Perhaps you’ve found yourself stopped at the intersection of Maple Avenue and East Bergen in Red Bank wondering, ‘What on earth is going on at the house opposite the Windward Deli?’

That? Oh, that’s just Joe Ruffini installing a green roof on his house.

What started out as a plan to create living space in his attic has turned into a somewhat more ambitious project. After he’d started the renovations, Ruffini—a roofer whose family has owned the house since the 1940s—read an article about the environmental benefits of grass-and plant-covered green roofs, and decided he had to have one, too, even though it meant more work.

“You’d think that, as a roofer, the last place I’d want to spend my free time would be on a roof,” he says. But he’d gotten the bug.

The house is still below the maximum height limit, Ruffini says, but he needs an approval from the zoning board for the railing. If he gets it, he hopes to have the job finished by summer’s end. With any luck, next time redbankgreen drops in, Ruffini will be in his verdant skybox, enjoying a Pop Warner game a quarter-mile or so away at Count Basie Field.

You can see the stadium over Ruffini’s shoulder in the photo above as he snuggles with his daughter Ariella, 12. Daughter Alyssa, 10, is on the far left, and the girls’ friend, Diana Roth, 11, of Atlantic Highlands, is in the center.