Five community improvement projects receive more than $40,000 in environmental funding
In honor of Earth Day this week, New Jersey American Water announced today the recipients of its 2022 Environmental Grant Program. This year, the company awarded a total of $41,000 to five distinguished organizations and community groups within its service areas that are engaged in sustainability projects to improve water source protection or watershed protection.
“At New Jersey American Water, we recognize that people aren’t the only ones who need clean water – the environment depends on it too,” said Danielle Kearsley, Environmental Program Lead, New Jersey American Water. “That is why we are proud to offer over $40,000 in funding this year to support these innovative projects. By investing in the restoration and protection of our watersheds, we can help preserve our water sources and the life they sustain for years to come.”
The 2022 Environmental Grant Awardees are as follows:
Cranford Public Library was awarded $1,000 to establish a Native Seed Library for Union County residents. The library will provide a curated collection of plant seeds with the goal of preserving local biodiversity by increasing native plant populations. Seeds will be distributed at no cost to residents with educational materials about planting, maintaining, and gathering future seeds from the plant.
The Hanson Foundation was awarded $10,000 for its biodiversity project in partnership with Enlightened Farm. This project will focus on restoring the natural local habitat by diversifying plant and animal species with a series of six pollinator, native plant, agricultural, and wildlife grazing plots across its 3-acre farm. Restoration of the farm will reduce soil displacement and flooding issues on the property and allow for increased penetration of rainwater back into the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer.
Rumson Borough Environmental Commission was awarded $10,000 for its Emerald Necklace Green Infrastructure Project inspired by the Fredrick Law Olmsted’s 200th Anniversary. The project will include three demonstration rain gardens with bioswales throughout the town. The Environmental Commission will host several workshops to educate the public on how to create their own rain garden and will provide starter kits. Webinars will also be posted to build a Rain Garden Ambassador program that will allow the program to be sustainable into the future.
Somerset County OEM was awarded $10,000 for county-wide reforestation efforts using native trees and shrubs to help mitigate flooding from stormwater runoff impacts in the county’s most vulnerable areas. These efforts will allow stormwater runoff to be taken up by root systems to create natural “storage areas” while providing clean water, habitat and food for local wildlife. Together with several municipal partners, this project will engage the local communities to learn about the benefits of reforestation has on the local watershed.
West Orange Township Environmental and Open Space Commission was awarded $10,000 for its “Down Stream to the River: Phase II” project which will continue the organization’s efforts around river clean-ups, restoration and education for the Rahway River and its connecting water bodies. The project will focus educating the ever-growing population in the region about the importance of consistently taking care of the rivers and streams that make up the local watershed.
Established in 2008, the company’s Environmental Grant Program has provided more than $429,000 in funding to 51 innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and groundwater supplies in communities served by New Jersey American Water.
For more information on the Environmental Grant Program, visit the company’s website at www.newjerseyamwater.com.
About New Jersey American Water
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people. For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook.
About American Water
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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External Affairs Specialist