What We Do

Since 2003, we have been working in Elizabeth N.J. and surrounding Union County communities to develop programs and projects that educate, improve and enhance our local urban challenged environment and address quality of life issues of environmental and food injustice.

We work hand in hand with both the public and private sectors as well as the community at large providing resources, education, and training to the environmentally underserved. We also work cooperatively on a number of community based and public sector committees that incorporate our mission.

Our programs and projects are focused primarily in the five areas listed below.

We engage everyday people and communities to tangibly improve their environmental, economic, and social conditions, increase the likelihood of upward mobility, and improve health and overall quality of life.

– Groundwork USA

Climate Resilience

The City of Elizabeth’s diverse urban community is threatened by climate issues such as heat islands, flooding, and poor air. We work with government, other public and private partners and the community at large to mitigate challenges in the neighborhoods in which we live and work.

We are continuing to build relationships to repair the damages from a changing climate and to develop systems which can prevent further degradation of urban lands and watersheds.

Find out more about our work in Climate Resilience >

Healthy Communities

Created to help fill a void in a county that has almost no commercial agriculture, our Healthy Communities programs work because of their ability to build support for locally grown agriculture in an environmentally friendly way, with an aim to improve community health and welfare.

Find out more about our work towards building Healthy Communities >

Urban Agriculture

Groundwork Elizabeth provided more than 10,000 organically grown seedlings to support the network, and distributed more than 7,500 bottles of donated organic fertilizer in Union County.

Related Programs

  • MicroFarm Program includes the educational Farm & Garden Adventures Program
  • “Come Grow With Us” (CGWU) Program
  • “Union County Kids Dig In” (est 2022), a continuation of the “Union County Plant a Seed” Program (est. 2018)
  • “MORE P.E.A.S.” (Permaculture Educations in Agricultural Systems) PROGRAM (est. 2016)
Urban Ag

Our featured projects focusing on Urban Agriculture include:

  • CGWU Program Hydroponics Project at Keen University.
  • Portuguese Hydroponic Greenhouse Project
  • Agricultural Demonstration and Learning Laboratory Project at Kean University’s Liberty Hall Farm
  • 100 Community Plot Garden Beds Project
  • Liberty Hall Farm and Partner Gardens Permaculture Plan Project
  • Six Mini Ag Demo and Learning Labs at “CGWU” Parter Gardens Project
  • Online Video Learning Library for Urban Ag Management Best Practices Project

Urban Waters & Trails Focus

Related Programs

  • National Parks Department’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) with the US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Project.

Our featured projects focusing on Urban Waters & Trails include:

  • Elizabeth River Trail Project
  • Peterstown Outdoor Demonstration Center Project
  • Elizabeth MicroFarm & Environmental Center Project.
  • Trotters Branch Watershed Improvement Project
  • Paterson Fall Trailwork Project

Youth Development Focus

Groundwork Elizabeth believes our youth have the potential to become the next generation of leaders in our community. Over a decade ago, we began working in youth development by creating our Green Team Program. Today, in addition to the Green Team, we also work with youth in developmental programs including the Mayors Youth Council, HACE Heat in partnership with The Housing Authority City of Elizabeth and NJ Youth Corps.

Find out more about our work in Youth Development >


Youth Development w/ Jonathan