Groundwork Elizabeth Honors Friends & Sponsors At 10th Anniversary Affair

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Members of the Groundwork Elizabeth Board of Directors: Front, Left to Right:  Dave Strochak, Phyllis Reich, Robert Varady, Karen Grant.   Rear, left to right:  Gregory Waga, Agnes Kristen, Maria Carvalho, Ken Richuso, Marcy Metz, Fatimah Raymond, Exec. Director Jonathan Phillips. (Photo courtesy of Groundwork Elizabeth)

Members of the Groundwork Elizabeth Board of Directors: Front, Left to Right: Dave Strochak, Phyllis Reich, Robert Varady, Karen Grant. Rear, left to right: Gregory Waga, Agnes Kristen, Maria Carvalho, Ken Richuso, Marcy Metz, Fatimah Raymond, Exec. Director Jonathan Phillips. (Photo courtesy of Groundwork Elizabeth)

ELIZABETH—Groundwork Elizabeth, a non-profit organization founded in Elizabeth in 2003, celebrated its successes and partnerships at a cocktail fundraising event at Bambu Banquet Hall in Elizabeth on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Honorees included Mayor Chris Bollwage, Anne Evans Estabrook and David Gibbons of the Elberon Development Company, Eileen Leahey and Russ Furnari representing PSE&G, and Elizabeth City Councilwoman Patricia Perkins-Auguste.

Ms. Evans Estabrook’s and Mr. Gibbons family has been associated with development projects in Elizabeth for generations. They are currently involved in an expansion project in the Elizabethport section of Elizabeth for Wakefern Industries. PSE&G, a regular Groundwork supporter, recently procured grant funding for the continuation of the Elizabeth River Trail project.

Bollwage and Perkins-Auguste have consistently advocated for Groundwork’s mission to “change places, change lives” as the non-profit plants trees, restores pocket parks, engages youth in a Green Team, and works with government and the community at large to accomplish its ultimate goal of improving the quality of life in a greener urban environment.

Also featured during the festivities were three new community gardens, part of a network of 12 “Come Grow With Us” Union County community gardening program, which specialize in locally growing foods in diverse urban neighborhoods. The new gardens are based at the First Baptist Church on Union Avenue Elizabeth, Ford Leonard Towers, an Elizabeth Housing Authority development, and the Union Township Fire Department on Morris Avenue in Union.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano was instrumental in Groundwork in getting the program off the ground. Groundwork helps community members at public institutions as they build raised bed community gardens, greenhouses, and corresponding nutritional programming in urban outposts. The program has now grown from 1 to 12 community gardens, which are located in Elizabeth, Linden, Union, and Roselle.

Additional sponsors for the evening were Agnes Kristen, the Birdsall Services Group, Annette Quijano, Suplee, Clooney & Co., BJ&M Auto, and Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery.

Groundwork is also known as the organizer of the Annual Tour de Elizabeth, which will be held this year on Sunday, May 19, at City Hall, Elizabeth.

To learn more about the Groundwork program, its Come Grow With Us Community Gardening program, the Green Team and/or how to become involved, donate resources or time, call Jonathan Phillips, Executive Director, Dave Wiener, leader of the Green Team, or Jackie Park Albaum, Garden Coordinator, at 1-908-289-0262, or visit www.groundworkelizabeth.com.


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