Northern NJ Community Foundation Awarded First-Time PSEG Foundation Grant for Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice and Flood Mitigation Program

(Hackensack, New Jersey; January 2, 2024) – The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) announces the organization was awarded 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 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.  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 on the NNJCF’s website,

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) and nearly doubles the number of organizations awarded funding since 2020.  In 2023, more than 85% of the grant funds were distributed to organizations committed to fostering equity in underserved communities and serving primary school-aged children and youth.  Of the 301 organizations, a total of $334,500 in grants was awarded to 95 nonprofits supporting STEM programs; with more than 40% of funds awarded to 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, 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 for the Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice project in Hackensack,” said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, NNJCF.  “This money will help us build partnerships and do on-the-ground initiatives like a rain garden to help address stormwater runoff and enhance 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!”

The full list of the PSEG Foundation’s NPP awardees is available online at For more information about the Foundation and its programs, visit PSEG's website,

For further information about the NNJCF and its initiatives, visit the organization’s website,  To get involved in the organization’s work, call 201-568-5608 or send an e-mail to 

About Northern New Jersey Community Foundation
            Founded in 1998, The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023.  The NNJCF 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.

About PSEG Foundation

The PSEG Foundation (501(c)(3)), the philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), prioritizes investments in promoting environmental sustainability, social justice, and equity and economic empowerment.

Photo Caption: The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s Executive Director, Leonardo Vazquez (left), joined some of the artists posed with the rain barrels they painted that were on display in Carver Park in Hackensack, New Jersey. 

Photo Credit: Northern New Jersey Community Foundation

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