Borough of Oakland Awarded $20,000 Sustainability Grant for New Oakland Community Garden

For Immediate Release: Contact Alison Fleeson, Co-Chair, Sustainable Oakland Green Team
Community Garden Grant - 2020

Oakland, NJ – The Borough of Oakland was awarded a $20,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Five $20,000 grants, six $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to municipalities in fourteen New Jersey counties.

The grant awards will fund a range of projects including green infrastructure, food waste composting education, single-use plastic reduction campaigns, community gardens, a farmers market, environmental resource inventories, a diversity discussion series, green team capacity building and more.

This $20,000 Sustainable Jersey Grant will go towards building Oakland’s first Community Garden. The garden will be located behind the Oakland Municipal Building. The Community Garden will have ADA accessible table top beds in addition to offering beds of various heights and sizes for accessibility for all ages and physical needs. Other elements of the garden include salad beds, composters, picnic tables, and trex benches obtained through the plastic film recycling program. The Oakland Community Garden will provide a destination for a variety of local classes on topics including composting, seed saving, and growing tips. Announcements will be forthcoming on plot registrations for the garden.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these grants will strengthen our communities and build the groundwork for finding solutions to the sustainability concerns that are reaching a crisis point,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the towns that received grants. “By making preparations today to ensure our future wellbeing, we strengthen our communities and help alleviate future disasters,” Solomon added.

The PSEG Foundation has contributed $2.2 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. “The PSEG Foundation is committed to helping build sustainable and thriving communities by empowering and investing in the people, environment and infrastructure of the communities we serve, embodying our mission to help build better places to live and work,” said Rick Thigpen, senior vice president of Corporate Citizenship at PSEG and chairman of the PSEG Foundation. “Supporting Sustainable Jersey and local municipalities as they build sustainability programs puts resources where they’re needed to positively impact the environment and local communities, having a lasting impact on neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.”

Proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification. Nearly ninety percent of the New Jersey population lives in a registered or certified Sustainable Jersey community. Currently 455 municipalities, or 81 percent New Jersey municipalities, are registered with Sustainable Jersey.

The Sustainable Oakland Green Team is dedicated to supporting the creation of a more environmentally sustainable community and improving the quality of life in Oakland. Our mission is to create a community that understands its environmental assets and resources and will act to protect and enhance them.

The Sustainable Oakland Green Team is a collaborative effort in which volunteers work with local businesses, residents, schools, municipal representatives and other community organizations to foster community involvement in reaching sustainable environmental and fiscally responsible goals. We review, evaluate and implement sustainable initiatives to enhance the public welfare of both current and future generations by creating a more sustainable community.


Sustainable Jersey is a non-profit that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 81 percent or 455 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program and 351 school districts and 952 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program.