Borough Commissioner Joan Leonard Announces Retirement

Borough Commissioner Joan Leonard Announces Retirement

Contact: Cassandra Duffey at (856) 854-0720 Extension 124

The Borough of Collingswood announces the upcoming retirement of long-time Borough Commissioner Joan Leonard.

Leonard has served as a Commissioner for the Borough of Collingswood since 1997. She has held various titles including Director of Public works, Director of Revenue and Finance, Director of Sustainability, and Director of Main Street Development. Her areas of special interest have included town-wide business revitalization, historic preservation, shade tree planting, protection of the environment, Knight Park preservation, horticultural beautification, and community volunteerism. 

“Joan dedicated years of her life to serving the people of Collingswood as a passionate advocate for the environment and beautification of this town. She can be seen any given Saturday doing community clean-ups, planting gardens, and planting trees. Her efforts have made a lasting impact on our town,” said Mayor Jim Maley.

Leonard was active in the town’s revitalization efforts in the 1990s, organizing numerous volunteers to improve storefronts as part of the Main Street Restoration Program, founded in 1993. Over 30 retail establishments were restored or rehabbed through her efforts. Leonard also arranged for the reproduction of Collingswood’s original downtown lighting fixtures to be restored on Haddon Avenue, along with the coordination of district-wide flower and planter beautification projects seasonally. She was also a founding member of the Collingswood Horticultural Society. 

Working with volunteers of all ages, Leonard has improved the quality of life in the community through creating and maintaining public gardens and planting curbside shade trees throughout the Borough. Nearly 3000 trees have been planted earning Collingswood the designation as a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Foundation. Leonard has earned recognition for her tireless dedication and success in revitalizing the Borough with awards from local organizations including the “Woman of Outstanding Achievement” in 2004 by the Girls Scouts of America and as a "Super Woman” in South Jersey Magazine in 2011.  

Joan has steadily been an advocate for the environment. Her work dates back 30 years with efforts such as creating the bike share, community gardens, back yard composting, a rain barrel program, and the creation of the Green Festival just to name a few. The Green Festival was created 12 years ago as a way to bring greater awareness and sustainability to residents. From that festival, the work of the Green Team was born and includes many accomplishments including the Borough’s prestigious designation as a Silver Sustainable Community in 2019 by Sustainable Jersey. 

Leonard announced her retirement from her elected post citing a desire to focus on and spend more time with her family.

“It has been a great honor and privilege to be a part of the team in Collingswood and to serve the residents through my years as a Commissioner. It has been extremely rewarding to work alongside so many residents and volunteers whose energy and enthusiasm has been an inspiration and helped to make Collingswood the best place to live, work, and raise our families. I plan on continuing my work as a volunteer to build upon the many accomplishments we’ve achieved together. There are so many projects to work on!” said Leonard.  “I owe a world of thanks to all of the friends I’ve made over the years,” Leonard added.

The Borough thanks Joan Leonard for her years of service and love and dedication to the Borough of Collingswood.