News

Eight Non-profit Organizations Awarded Grants for Environmental Work in Communities of Color

Jul 13, 2022

Contact: Jay Watson, Jay@njconservation.org, 609.439.3726

Far Hills, New Jersey, July 13, 2022 – Eight nonprofit applicants were awarded Franklin Parker Community Conservation Grants totaling $30,000 by New Jersey Conservation Foundation. The grants will help provide essential resources to nonprofit organizations addressing environmental challenges and improving the quality of life for communities of color in New Jersey. The grants were funded under a grant to New Jersey Conservation Foundation by the Victoria Foundation.

Since 1989, the Franklin Parker Conservation Grants Program has awarded nearly $2 million to 478 conservation projects throughout the state. In 2020, New Jersey Conservation added a racial equity lens to the grant program and has since awarded more than $90,000 through 28 grants to benefit communities of color across the state and improve equitable access to quality open space and places to grow food locally.

“These organizations are providing important land conservation, stewardship and educational programs serving communities of color and we are pleased to support them with funding to improve quality of life in these communities,” said Jay Watson, the foundation’s co-executive director. “These grants are part of New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s commitment to protecting land and providing nature in all areas of the state — urban, suburban and rural.”

Underrepresented communities in New Jersey face disproportionate hardships resulting from impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Increasing access to green spaces in urban areas provides health and environmental benefits. Green spaces keep surrounding areas cooler, clean the air and water, and make urban areas more resilient to extreme weather from climate change, such as heat waves, floods and wildfires. Additionally, people with safe access to parks and trails exercise more and are generally healthier.

This year, New Jersey Conservation Foundation awarded grants to the following organizations:

• Appel Farm Arts and Music Center (Upper Pittsgrove Township)

o Grant funding will support Environmental Arts and Wellness program events in which participants from Salem, Gloucester, and Cumberland Counties learn to tend to and harvest from the Appel Farm garden and make healthy meals.

• Branch Brook Park Alliance (City of Newark)

o Grant funding will support the purchase of equipment and supplies for the Park Ambassadors program, in which young adults in the workforce development program will design and implement an invasive species removal program and plant native species to control re-infestation.

• Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA) (City of Bridgeton)

o The grant will provide funds for student stipends for high school interns who will learn about the food system, agro-ecological farming practices, nutrition and the intersection of this work with broader issues such as labor rights, immigration and the environment.

• Foodshed Alliance (Hope Township)

o Grant funds will be used for shared equipment and tools to facilitate climate-smart conservation methods for small-scale organic growers, many of which are from underserved communities.

• Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (Hopewell Township)

o The grant will support the Outdoor Equity Alliance Agrihood internship project, which will provide 20 students with an opportunity to get hands-on experience and learn to think critically about environmental stewardship, urban agriculture and social wellbeing.

• Great Swamp Watershed Association (Town of Morristown)

o This grant will be used to support the Paterson Green Team’s implementation of an Adopt a Catch Basin program by providing funds to purchase supplies for residents removing debris from catch basins.

• Grow It Green Morristown (Town of Morristown)

o The grant will be used for apprentice stipends in the Farm Apprentice Program that provides opportunities for underrepresented populations to pursue careers in agriculture and its associated pathways.

• Monmouth Conservation (Middletown Township)

o Grant funding will be used by the Monmouth Conservation Foundation to enlist the expertise of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant to undergo analysis and training to initiate strategies around DEI across all functions of the organization.

To learn more about the Franklin Parker Community Conservation Grants, its previous awards, and mission visit njconservation.org/franklin-parker-grants/

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By Michele S. Byers,
Executive Director