The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) announces the organization received a PSEG Foundation grant of $7,500 to support the Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice and Flood Mitigation Program. The project will reduce flooding in the City of Hackensack’s neighborhoods by planting trees and rain gardens, donating rain barrels and raising awareness on environmental issues through “green art” projects. With higher populations of low- to moderate-income residents and people of color, the program also aims to create a community-driven infrastructure plan that protects vulnerable communities most susceptible to flooding.
The PSEG Foundation selected the NNJCF because of its significant contributions to Environmental Sustainability. Furthermore, the NNJCF’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 about green infrastructure and easy implementations for addressing the effects of climate change.
Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice and Flood Mitigation
The Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice and Flood Mitigation initiative is a long-term program aiming to address flooding issues in the City of Hackensack. This program focuses on helping areas in Hackensack that are most prone to flooding during significant rainfalls. These areas have greater concentrations of Black, Latino and low- and moderate-income residents. The program is also helping to create an alliance of community residents from these areas, who can be stronger advocates for strategies that will help protect their neighborhoods from future flooding. Learn more about this program and ways to get involved.
Founded in 1998, the NNJCF, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023. The NNJCF’s work focuses primarily on climate action, creative placemaking, civic engagement, education, philanthropy, and public health.
PSEG Foundation’s Neighborhood Partners Program
In 2023, the PSEG Foundation awarded $1,040,300 to 301 community organizations, 39 of which are first-time recipients. Founded in 2014, the Neighborhood Partners Program (NPP) provides grant funding for organizations based on demonstrated program effectiveness, depth, and overall alignment with the PSEG Foundation’s strategic pillars: environmental sustainability, social justice, and equity and economic empowerment.
The funding responds to a record number of applications for the annual Neighborhood Partners Program (NPP). This nearly doubles the number of organizations awarded funding since 2020. In addition, in 2023, more than 85% of the grant funds were distributed to organizations committed to fostering equity in underserved communities. They also serve primary school-aged children and youth. Of the 301 organizations, a total of $334,500 in grants went to to 95 nonprofits supporting STEM programs. Furthermore, more than 40% of funds awarded involved workforce development and K-12 educational enrichment programs. Additionally, nearly 30 nonprofits were awarded funding to preserve New Jersey’s environmental footprint and conservation efforts. This area is a growing priority for the NPP.
First Time Grant Recipient
The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation is a first-time grant recipient from the PSEG Foundation. “We greatly appreciate the support of the PSEG Foundation. This grant funds the Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice project in Hackensack,” said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, NNJCF. “This money helps us build partnerships. The NNJCF does on-the-ground initiatives like a rain garden to help address stormwater runoff. This also enhances living conditions for people in flood-prone areas of Hackensack.”
“Through the NPP, we continue to partner with organizations dedicated to creating people-centered solutions that positively impact and uplift local and underserved communities,” said Calvin Ledford Jr., President, PSEG Foundation and Director, Corporate Social Responsibility. “To realize the world we all aspire to, we must invest, support, and nourish organizations centered on fostering more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable communities for all. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the hardworking individuals doing the difficult but very necessary work to improve lives. Your efforts are truly appreciated and celebrated. Congratulations to all 301 awardees, and here’s to a bright 2024!”
For further information about the NNJCF’s work, call 201-568-5608 or send an e-mail.