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