The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation announces the organization received a Flagship Grant through the 2023 AARP Community Challenge, one of eight grantees selected in New Jersey. The Foundation joined 310 organizations awarded a grant out of 3,600 applications received nationwide in the largest group of grantees awarded to date with $3.6 million funded.
With the AARP Community Challenge award, the Foundation plans to promote effective solutions to mitigate flooding and flood damage in the City of Hackensack. Furthermore, the Foundation’s project encourages widespread use of rain barrels, as one solution to manage stormwater in vulnerable communities. By using an informational approach with artistic, fun elements, the environmental initiative seeks to help Hackensack residents become educated on green infrastructure and easy implementations for addressing the effects of climate change.
The project helps to support the Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice and Flood Mitigation initiative, a long-term program aiming to address flooding issues in Hackensack. This program focuses on helping areas in Hackensack that are most prone to flooding during big rainfalls. Furthermore, these areas have greater concentrations of Black, Latino and low- and moderate-income residents. The program also helps to build an alliance of community residents from these areas. They can be stronger advocates for strategies to protect their neighborhoods from future flooding.
AARP Flagship Community Challenge Grant
The Foundation remains committed to helping enhance living conditions for as many people as possible in North Jersey. “We are thrilled the AARP Flagship Community Challenge grant allows us to help the City of Hackensack,” said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation. “This project also continues our investment over the past several years in the city to become greener, more beautiful and more enjoyable.”
The Foundation plans to hold a kick-off event with Greater Bergen Community Action on September 23 in Hackensack. More details about the event will be announced in the near future. Other funders for the project include The Funders Network, Valley Bank, and The Rotary Club of Hackensack.
Previously, the NNJCF received a 2021 AARP Community Challenge grant. With this grant, the Foundation implemented the ‘Women’s Mural Project: Celebrating Black Suffragists and Achievements of Black Women in Englewood’. This grant supported the painting of a mural by a professional artist on the Women’s Rights Information Center’s building. Black residents and the Englewood community also provided content input.
2023 AARP Grantees
This year, the AARP Community Challenge accepted applications encompassing three grant opportunities. These include existing flagship grants, as well as new capacity-building microgrants to improve walkability and community grants. A third opportunity provides new demonstration grants to improve transportation systems, with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America. Furthermore, this grant supports housing choice design competitions. AARP also bolstered its investment in rural communities, mobility innovation, transportation options, and health and food access.
The Community Challenge grant program comprises part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative. This initiative supports the efforts of areas to become great places to live for people of all ages.
AARP Community Challenge grant projects provide funding in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, true to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2023.
This year, grant recipients represent a range of municipalities in the state. In Newark, The Trust for Public Land and Unstoppable Girls Foundation received awards. Furthermore, the Borough of Glen Rock, Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place and the Borough of Morris Plains received awards. Other recipients include Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey in Toms River and The FAF in Woodbury. View the full list of grantees on the AARP Community Challenge’s site.