Non-profits’ actions speak volumes

Grace Sinden of Princeton
The contrast between the actions of two non-profit organizations, Isles of Trenton and the Westerly Road Church (WRC) in Princeton is stark and startling.
   On one hand an editorial in the Times of Trenton (“LEEDing the way,” March 21) described the continuing environmentally sustainable projects of Isles in current plans to seek the “gold or platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)” certification of their most recent project.
   This is in sharp contrast to the plans of the WRC to build a mega-facility on the Princeton Ridge covering more than 8 acres with destruction of a forested area and increasing the potential for lower land flooding which is a continuing serious problem in Princeton.
   Such a large one-story, spread-out facility (WRC has refused to have a two-story facility) with potential parking for almost 300 cars creates a very heavy footprint in an environmentally fragile area. Both the Princeton Environmental Commission and the Site Plan Review Advisory Board have expressed their disapproval of the WRC’s heavy-handed site plans which ignores all we have learned about sustainable development.
   It’s as though the LEED program and the move to more sustainable building do not exist in the minds of WRC. No matter what they state at public meetings about their concern for the environment, their actions speak louder than their words.
   This insensitivity is all the more worrisome because of the presumed mission of the WRC as good stewards of the earth. It is inspiring and refreshing that at least Isles practices what it preaches.
Grace Sinden