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The STAR Neighborhoods Program gives Princeton residents the opportunity to actively participate in building a more sustainable, together and resilient community.

STAR Neighborhoods select activities that will strengthen their community, reduce its carbon footprint, and inspire others to follow suit.

STAR Neighborhoods are part of a community of sustainably minded and engaged neighbors, with access to special resources and educational opportunities.


Getting started.

Three actions are necessary to launch a STAR Neighborhood.

  1. Build a Network: To start, identify your neighbors and build a phone or email list. Make sure to define your boundaries and give your STAR Neighborhood a name!

  2. Pick your Leaders: Identify two or more liaisons for your neighborhood.

  3. Establish Your Goals: What would you like to see done in your neighborhood? Review the list of actions and pick two or three for the coming year. Feel free to invite us to help you brainstorm.

Complete these steps and you are ready to start a new STAR Neighborhood! Then, make a plan to bring your neighbors together for some fun and community building. Check out some ideas for neighborhood gatherings below.

Defining a neighborhood.

By definition, a neighborhood is any residential district that forms a community within Princeton. Neighborhoods can be one block, a street, an apartment building, or even a collection of city blocks. For the STAR Neighborhood program, each neighborhood is welcome to define its own boundaries, based on its unique geographical characteristics. Check out our current list of STAR Neighborhoods.

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Each year, participating STAR Neighborhoods will be recognized by the Mayor and Council for their efforts, but perhaps the bigger reward is achieving new sustainability goals and forging new relationships in your neighborhood.

In our rushed and sometimes detached society, neighborhood relationships can be neglected. However, by getting to know your neighbors and learning to trust them, you can support each other during times of need, keep your home and neighborhood more secure, and even improve your health. Furthermore, STAR Neighborhoods have access to information and resources that can actually deliver financial savings.

All STAR Neighborhoods also have access to Mini-Grants that can help fund their activities.

On top of that, every neighborhood should be considered as a fundamental unit of social change. While a person can achieve great things in isolation, we believe the power of a group can do even more!

Additional Perks:

  • Special events just for STAR Neighborhoods
  • Educational tools and resources 
  • Access to Sustainable Princeton’s Library of Things
  • Native plant distribution each spring and native trees distribution each fall

Types of Neighborhood Gatherings.

To get you started, here are a few ideas to bring your community together.

  • Keep it simple: Host a block party, potluck or backyard bbq.
  • Make it academic: Organize a book exchange or game night.
  • Note your talents: Plan a talent show or karaoke party.
  • Add a twist: Include an international focus or a scavenger hunt
  • Highlight food: Coordinate a cookie swap, wine tasting or soup crawl.
  • Do some good: Organize a charity event or a community yard sale.

Regardless, have fun getting to know your neighbors!

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Sustainable Princeton is here for you. We want to see your neighborhood succeed, so please ask for support and guidance at any step along the way. We can help brainstorm actions, find resources, and organize tours and speakers – just ask!

For more information, please email Sustainable Princeton’s Project Manager, contact Lisa Nicolaison.

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Thank you to our generous sponsor, NRG Energy, Inc.