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How do we make Medford NJ a better place to live?

Coordination

Working together, residents, neighborhoods, government, schools, churches, businesses, clubs, and organizations can accomplish much more than they can when they work separately.  Medford has many hard working, positive, bright and talented people.  Different groups have different resources and skills, as well as different limitations.  If we all have a common objective of improving our community, we can find ways to accomplish this faster and more effectively when we work together.

Communication

In order to coordinate the efforts of all of the individuals, groups, and organizations in Medford, we need to communicate.  While the best method would be to meet face to face, we can use all available methods, such as the phone, mail, web forums, or e-mail.  We have to be willing to work together, and to listen to the goals and objectives of our neighbors.

Volunteers

Medford has no shortage of people who are willing to give their time and expertise to help make their home town a better place to live.  Any parent who has a child participating in MYAA sports has seen all of the coaches and other parent volunteers who do everything from cleaning up fields to serving hot dogs at the snack bar.  Many neighborhoods have volunteer clean-up days where families join together to improve their own neighborhood.  While some improvement projects are clearly in the domain of professional contractors or the Medford Public Works department, many other improvements can be done with volunteer help only.  Certainly, volunteer efforts are far more cost effective than professional or municipal improvement or maintenance efforts. 

So where do we get these volunteers?  Good question!  Neighborhood Associations are a great place to start.  Churches and other charitable groups are always willing to help make Medford better for everyone.  High School students who want to go on to college need community service credit to put on their applications.  If we coordinate things properly, and communicate effectively, we can get people together to accomplish great things. 

What improvements are needed?  What can we do?  What should we do?

Here are some ideas.  Please contribute your ideas to make Medford a better place.  Together, we can make Medford great.

Safety and Security

Participate in the Neighborhood Watch program.

What to look for in your neighborhood...

  • Someone screaming or shouting for help
  • Someone looking into windows and parked cars
  • Unusual noises
  • Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or a business is closed
  • Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination, or without lights
  • Anyone being forced into a vehicle
  • A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child
  • Abandoned cars

Report these incidents to the Medford Police.  Grab your camera, and take photos or video of the incident.  Note descriptions of the individuals or cars.

Drive the speed limit, or slower when the weather or visibility is bad.  Keep your street clear and clean.  Don't put your leaves on the street. Sweep the street in front of your home or business to keep it free from sand or leaves.  Wide, clean streets give cars the room to maneuver and the traction they need to avoid accidents.  Where the road curves, keep trees and shrubs on the shoulders pruned back, to give drivers as much visibility down the road as possible.  Jog or walk on the sidewalk, rather than the roadway (where possible).  Work with your neighborhood to add sidewalks wherever they are needed.  Slow down and check for pedestrians at every crosswalk.

Security Systems - installing cameras in key public areas can help us deter crime and catch criminals.

Fire - Medford's fire companies are primarily manned by volunteers.  If you are able, you should consider joining your local fire department.  Our fire companies have always been there for us, saving many lives and preventing the destruction of homes and properties.  These volunteers deserve our thanks, and they need our support.

Parks, Recreation, and Athletics

If Medford's children and young adults have positive activities to be involved with, they will be much less likely to become involved with drugs or criminal activity.  The more positive choices and experiences we can provide our youth, the better.  Of course, recreation and athletics are not just for kids!  Adults and seniors need opportunities for physical fitness and recreation too!

Education

We need to support our schools.  Our schools provide more than just academic instruction.  They provide buildings, playgrounds, and fields that everyone in the township can use and benefit from.  They provide clubs and athletic programs that teach our children the skills and values they need to succeed in life.  Although it should be obvious that children involved in these activities are less likely to become involved in the wrong things, below are some supporting points from the National Federation of State High School Associations...

  • Activities Support the Academic Mission of Schools.  Students who participate in activity programs tend to have higher grade-point averages, better attendance records, lower dropout rates and fewer discipline problems than students generally.
  • Activities are Inherently Educational. Activity programs provide valuable lessons for practical situations teamwork, sportsmanship, winning and losing, and hard work. Through participation in activity programs, students learn self-discipline, build self-confidence and develop skills to handle competitive situations. These are qualities that we expect in students so that they will become responsible adults and productive citizens.
  • Participation in activities is often a predictor of later success in college, a career and becoming a contributing member of society.
  • An Analysis of National Data by the Department of Health and Human Services found that students who spend no time in extracurricular activities are 57 percent more likely to have dropped out of school by the time they would have been high school seniors; 49 percent more likely to have used drugs; 37 percent more likely to have become teen parents; 35 percent more likely to have smoked cigarettes; and 27 percent more likely to have been arrested than those who spend one to four hours per week in extracurricular activities.

Environment

Medford is a beautiful town, with woods, fields, streams, and lakes. What can we do, and should we do to keep our air, water, and land clean?

  • Avoid the use of chemicals, indoors and outdoors.  For instance, use a flame weeder instead of herbicides.  Use natural fertilizers such as compost and manure, instead of chemical fertilizers.  Use natural cleaners and pesticides.  Everything ends up in our water, sooner or later.  Let's keep it clean.
  • If your car is leaking fluids, or burning oil, please get it fixed.  Dispose of used motor oil properly (at our municipal building on Gravely Hollow Road, on Saturdays between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
  • Avoid the use of lime (calcium carbonate).  Our soil conditions in the Pine Barrens are naturally acidic, and the native plants have adapted.  If you change the soil pH, the native plants are likely to do poorly.  Lime will also change the pH of our lakes, killing off native species.  A recent study has shown that the average pH in our lakes has risen dramatically in the past few decades.  Whereas a normal Pine Barrens lake would be very acidic ( a pH in the 4.0 to 5.0 range), our lakes now regularly measure pH neutral (7.0) or higher.
  • Mulch your leaves, or just leave them in a compost pile.  If you can find a spot on your property, just collect your leaves in a pile, or corral them in a wire fence, and let them compost.  You don't even have to mulch them, or turn the compost pile.  They will decompose in one year, and next fall you will have beautiful "black gold"... (leaf mold) compost that can be spread on your lawn, garden, or landscaping.  Your trees and shrubs need the mulch to keep weeds down, and hold moisture in our sandy soil.  If you take the leaves away each year, you will end up with nothing but sand, and your landscaping will suffer.

Aesthetics

Keep Medford Beautiful!  Help to make it better.  What can we do to fix up our streets, public properties, and private properties?  As we know, you can fix up your own property all you want, but if you have a rose among thorns, your property will never be valuable.  If we all contribute to the common good, we can all benefit from living in a nicer place.  What do I mean?

Would you rather have Medford's streets littered with trash, or clean and natural?  Would you rather look at weeds on the side of the road, or mulch?  Would you rather look at signs and advertisements, or natural landscapes?

 

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Medford Township NJ 08055 - Burlington County - Southern New Jersey