Northern NJ Community Foundation's Partnership Awarded $75,000 Grant for Flooding and Community-Led Sustainability Project in Hackensack

Grant award provided by Partners for Places, a project of The Funders Network

(Hackensack, NJ; March 27, 2023) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) in partnership with Greater Bergen Community Action (GBCA) and the City of Hackensack received a matching grant of $75,000 from Partners for Places, a project of The Funders Network.  The grant supports the development of the project, Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice and Flood Mitigation, to be implemented in the City of Hackensack.  The project was one of only eight grants totaling nearly $1.3 million awarded nationwide in The Funders’ Network Partners for Places program.

The Foundation's Climate Action Mobilization Project (CAMP) initiative leads the project in the City of Hackensack that will engage community members in an environmental justice initiative addressing stormwater flooding and installing green infrastructure on public and private lands.  In the city, extensive stormwater flooding coupled with climate change increased environmental and health risks particularly to Latinx, Black and other communities of color.  The project complements the combined sewer separation work underway by the City of Hackensack.

The project plans to engage directly populations and areas most impacted by frequent flooding in the city.  They will participate in green infrastructure planning and installation by learning how to create rain gardens and install rain barrels to decrease stormwater run-off and reduce flooding.

"The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's CAMP initiative spearheads this environmental justice project to ensure all community members are informed, engaged and activated about sustainable climate action and green stormwater infrastructure.  We welcome this opportunity to expand our work with the City of Hackensack and Greater Bergen Community Action to address the myriad causes of stormwater flooding and build community driven solutions," said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

CAMP Initiative

The CAMP initiative engages communities in response to three regional crises: economic disruption, the pandemic and climate change, and the need for coordinated, multi-community resiliency planning and action.  The CAMP mobilizes community members, institutions, businesses, and government leaders to rebuild areas through innovative collaborative action.  This grassroots approach promotes innovation, local ownership, belonging, and equity by allowing the community itself to build resiliency in the face of climate change by identifying and addressing the most urgent local impacts.

"Contaminated flood waters disproportionately impact residents of Hackensack overall and communities of color.  This project will expand opportunities for residents to engage in planning discussions beyond the traditional public sessions at council meetings.  Frontline community members want to improve the livability of their neighborhoods and take an active role in planning and implementation.  Through this project, they will be provided greater access to information or opportunities to inform planning,” said Lynne Algrant, Vice President of Planning, Development and Communications, Greater Bergen Community Action.  

“By bringing together local governments, place-based funders and frontline community groups, this project will help build relationships that will fuel even more action and collaboration at the grassroots level,” said City of Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse.

Partners for Places

Partners for Places, a joint effort by The Funders Network (TFN) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), aims to enhance local capacity to build equitable and sustainable communities in the United States and Canada.  Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that advances equitable and sustainable communities through collaborative partnerships. The fund does this by requiring local government leaders, place-based funders, and frontline community partnerships, and by pairing national and local philanthropic funding sources.  These one-to-one matching awards support equitable, sustainable climate action and green stormwater infrastructure projects.  National funders invest in local projects to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the well-being of all residents.

The grant program provides partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one-year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two-year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local place-based funders. To date, Partners for Places has awarded more than $9 million across North America in this successful matching grant program, leading to more than $19 million in investments.

Through these projects, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our communities more sustainable, prosperous and just.  Partners for Places’ general grant program is supported by The JPB Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The Kresge Foundation, New York Community Trust, The Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust, and the Pisces Foundation.  For more information about Partners for Places, visit .

About Northern New Jersey Community Foundation

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to improve community life.  Through collaborative partnerships, regional problems are identified and resolved.  Opportunities are discovered and explored by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services and resources.  The Foundation's primary areas of work are the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy.  For more information, visit, send an email to, or call 201-568-5608.

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