TRENTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reaching out to help promote environmental education in the Ironbound section of Newark.
The EPA today announced it would provide $25,000 to the Ironbound Community Corp. to enhance a community garden and promote environmental education.
There is a wide variety of pollutants that affect the Ironbound, from existing and former chemical plants, waste industries, and trucks, airplanes and ships, EPA stated.
This is one of a series of so-called environmental justice grants, including one earlier today for Southern New Jersey to help protect farm workers from pesticides.
“EPA environmental justice grants provide much needed funds to tackle local pollution problems in low-income communities,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator.
“The grant to the Ironbound Community Corporation will expand a community gardening project that brings children and adults together to learn about sustainable practices, and will train community residents on ways to reduce pollution in the Ironbound.”
EPA stated that more than 50,000 people live in this densely populated Newark neighborhood. Seventy-five percent of its residents speak a language other than English, including large numbers of people who speak Portuguese or Spanish. The community suffers from double-digit unemployment and high poverty, EPA said.
The grant will help the Ironbound project support gardening efforts at the East Ferry Street Family Success Center, add new sustainability elements such as a rain harvesting system to better manage storm water, and link all greening and gardening activities to educational activities. In addition, the group will encourage civic participation and sustainability practices, and train community members on ways to address pollution.