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River-Friendly School signRiver-Friendly School Certification Program

The River-Friendly School program is designed to provide Pre-K to 12 schools with the opportunity to implement projects that benefit water quality, promote water conservation, and improve wildlife habitat, while also creating real-life learning opportunities for students, staff, parents, and other visitors.

NJWSA works with each individual school to help tailor the goals and requirements for certification in each of four areas: Water Quality Management, Water Conservation Techniques, Wildlife and Habitat Enhancement, and Education and Outreach. The River-Friendly School program is a tiered system, where schools can choose the level they would like to work towards. All schools are required to have at least one lesson in each category (Water Quality, Water Conservation, Wildlife and Habitat), and share River-Friendly information with parents and the community.

The program provides ongoing technical information, support and guidance for implementing environmental projects specific to the unique location, and the resources and needs of the facility.

The River-Friendly School Certification Program is aligned with and is complementary to the Eco-Schools USA Program, an international recognition program sponsored by the United Nations internationally, headed by National Wildlife Federation in the United States, and coordinated by NJ Audubon in New Jersey.

To find out more about the River-Friendly School program:

Certification Benefits:

The River-Friendly School Certification Program provides the following benefits:

  • Protects natural resources and preserves New Jersey's native landscapes.
  • Provides public recognition for achievements through receipt of a plaque, an award presentation and media announcements.
  • Incorporates environmental topics into the school curriculum.
  • Creates outdoor education opportunities for students, staff, parents and the community.
  • Maintains campus aesthetics and creates a positive learning environment.
  • Decreases water use.
  • Increases natural habitat and attracts beneficial wildlife.
  • Promotes a positive relationship between the community and the school.

Current participants:

  • Holland Brook School - certified "Stream" level 2014
  • Bridgewater-Raritan High School - certified "River" level 2015
  • Far Hills Country Day School - certified "Watershed" level 2015
  • Van Derveer Elementary School - in progress
  • Rutgers Preparatory School - in progress

Holland Brook Certification

Rain garden at Van Derveer School students help plant rain gardens
Rain garden at Van Derveer Elementary Students help plant the rain gardens


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