Hudson County’s Green Leap: Over $2.5 Million Awarded for Ecological Projects

Hudson County Green Initiatives
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Hudson County Secures Over $2.5 Million for Green Initiatives

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Hudson County, NJ – In a significant stride towards environmental conservation, three Hudson County communities—East Newark, Hoboken, and Kearny—have secured a combined funding of over $2.5 million. This announcement comes as part of a broader $22.8 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to 10 New Jersey communities and organizations.

U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez championed this initiative, emphasizing the national commitment to bolstering urban and suburban tree planting and maintenance. East Newark and Hoboken have been allocated $1 million each, while Kearny is set to receive $548,000.

East Newark’s vision involves hiring a dedicated urban arborist for the East Newark Riverfront Park, a 5.5-acre development on the former BASF Superfund site. The grant will also support community education and training for future urban arborists.

Kearny, on the other hand, is channeling its funds towards rejuvenating its urban forest canopy. The town’s initiatives encompass expanding green spaces, managing stormwater, reducing pollution, and implementing measures to prevent sewer overflows—steps crucial for flood mitigation and groundwater recharge.

Hoboken’s blueprint is multifaceted, including tree planting, community engagement, and the introduction of green workforce development programs for both youth and adults.

Senator Booker, speaking about the grant, stated, “This historic investment is a significant step toward building healthier, more resilient communities across our nation. This investment will help us tackle the most pernicious effects of climate change, move us closer to remedying environmental injustices, and pay dividends for all Americans.”

This funding initiative dovetails with a larger $1.5 billion investment under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program. The USDA Forest Service also plans to allocate an additional $250 million to states and territories, with New Jersey earmarked to receive $11.25 million.

Senator Menendez weighed in, emphasizing the significance of urban green spaces: “All communities across the state of New Jersey, particularly those that are urban, deserve equal access to clean air, green spaces, and shaded areas. Investments in our urban forests directly translate to healthier, happier communities.”

The Forest Service’s grant saw a diverse range of applicants, from community-based organizations to universities, with a staggering 842 applications requesting a total of $6.4 billion.

Other notable New Jersey recipients include the Nature Conservancy, awarded $8 million; the New Jersey Tree Foundation, receiving $4.2 million; and Camden, which secured $3 million.