North Bergen Goes Green for Health and Wellness

On a warm summer day, the township kicked off its 2022 Summer Health and Green Family Festival at the North Bergen Recreation Center; where there were numerous green vendors, health screenings, animal care education, compost bins, live music and much more.

“It’s a very great experience to be more aware of what you eat and how you live,” says Angel Rivera Lopez.

It’s about making ecologically responsible decisions and conscious lifestyle choices.

“Going green is very important and this kind of focuses people’s attention on it, and also being healthy,” Mayor Nicholas Sacco says.

The Summer Green Festival is chock full of healthy town resources.

“Medical insurance, testing, also how to go green, how to recycle, planting green,” says Robert Morano, Director of North Bergen Health Department.

According to the director, the event provides everything that will help the environment and the people in the township.

It’s a chance for many to get knowledgeable and healthier.

“And the vendors here are very passionate about what they do,” Morano says. “We have our interaction with the public so they know what we’re providing and what’s going on as far as public health and environmental resources.”

One of those vendors brings her loves of bees and all-natural honeycomb…

“No preservatives, no pesticides. It’s directly from the hive, from the frame to the table,” says Elizabeth Casner. “It’s infused with so much natural B12 shots kind of. “It’s very healthy for you and if you eat the wax, the wax helps your kidneys and digestive system.”

People from North Bergen, West New York, Jersey City, Union City and Hoboken — come to Uncle Gordon’s Backyard because this hidden gem has 100 percent raw New Jersey honey.

“If you have allergies you have to get it local because that’s where the pollen is coming from,” says Casner.

Interested, call and Elizabeth will make arrangements to have you look at the yard to see where her bees are coming from.

“We need to keep the bees alive because they are an important part of our society,” Casner says they help our food, our flowers — and without the bees we wouldn’t be able to get the nutrition that we need.

So they are our friends. “Yes, they are, yes,” she says.

This whole thing is a collaborative effort between the Municipal Utilities Authority (NBMUA) and North Bergen Health Department, and their caring spirit always shines through for the township residents.

“The choruses are singing, the bands playing. Feels so good to be out, instead of hibernating that we have been for the last two years,” says MUA Recycling Aide, Tom Stampe. “So we’re very happy to be back.”

The event includes a little bit of everything. “Yes, It’s a little bit of everything,” Senaia Lopez says.

That includes COVID testing and rapid antibody testing.

“I think it’s everybody good to check —because every single time you go outside you could be (potentially) exposed to have COVID,” says Lilia Cabbeo, CNA Phlebotomist. “It’s recommended because maybe the person could not develop any symptoms and maybe give it to other people.”

The Lopezes are longtime North Bergen residents and attend every event that Mayor Sacco offers.

“And this is very important like Angel said — I’m actually learning how to eat healthier myself,” Senaia Lopez says they were testing there as well. “Checking blood pressure, COVID, which is important since it’s on the rise again and just a lot of healthy things to learn.”

It’s a beautiful event that attracts thousands of people.

“There’s great activities for the kids, we had our choruses performing and we have a special guest — an Elvis sighting,” the mayor says.