Rain Gardens & Bioswales

SJC's Rain Gardens +ART Campaign is an environmental remediation + educational outreach initiative.  Partners on this initiative include ioby.org for crowdfunding and the NJ Tree Foundation for design / install.  As we develop funding strategies for this initiative, we encourage the business community to engage in opportunities to Sponsor these installations.  It would also be great to see more residences opt to convert lawns and hardscapes toward beautiful rain garden installations and smarter tree pit technologies. Special thanks to the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority for funding our Rain Garden installation on NJCU Campus !

SJC Resource doc on CSO’s & Green Infrastructure Opportunities for JC here.

Spring 2019 Update on JC Municipal Utility Authority Long Term Control Plan here.

Jersey City Open Sewer Atlas (JC OSA) here.

We Need A City-wide Rain Garden Campaign - Medium sized cities like ours have targeted 10,000 Rain Gardens for their campaigns; we think 11,000 is a good number for Jersey City!

Sustainable JC’s Green Infrastructure initiative focuses on the idea of reducing flooding and the incidence of combined sewer overflow (CSO) events in our neighborhoods. It is an opportunity for improved ground-water infiltration to recharge underground aquifers (source of life) and a reduction of pollution entering our surrounding rivers and even our streets.

It is also an opportunity to leverage a stormwater capture strategy toward a natural irrigation system for community gardens, as demonstrated by the Washington Park Permaculture Learning Garden installation. By Rutgers' standards, 250,000 gallons of stormwater are diverted from Jersey City's sewer system each year as a result of this initiative.  Permaculture solutions and Green Infrastructure go hand in hand - SJC's Rain Garden +ART Campaign is modeled after this success which was spearheaded by SJC's founder.

Further, the City of Jersey City received a Sustainable Jersey Award for this innovative demonstration project during their 2011 certification process. SJC's Rain Gardens +ART initiative, launched in 2011, is a citizens response initiative to the recent US EPA Consent Decree leveraged on Jersey City for violations of the Federal Clean Water Act.  And these are the 2011 JCEC Recommendations for Municipal Action for Stormwater Management, yet to be implemented.  Nor are the 2011 JC Sustainable Land Use Resolution commitments being adhered to.

Rain Gardens We've Installed in Partnership With NJ Tree Foundation:

Permaculture Principles Applied To Remediate Erosion And Landscape Flooding - 200K Gals of Water Removed From The Sewer System Annually !

Private Property Rain Garden Installations -

Tell us where you think we should plant a Rain Garden or Bioswale

  >>>>> HERE <<<<<

Street Trees

Look no further than the 2015 JCEC Sponsored Tree Canopy Study to learn more about why street trees are so important - only 14% of our city is eco-serviced by trees! For cities our size, and in our geography, recommended tree canopy coverage is 44%. We are extremely deficient in our current tree inventory.  In order to provide the stormwater and other climate change resiliency opportunities, as well as provide greater biodiversity habitat and increased quality of life for residents (see Heat Island Effect), WE NEED TO PLANT MORE TREES  Let's get going on this initiative, and remember BETTER TOGETHER Jersey City :-)

In order to map the existing trees and record their health status, SJC partnered with Azevea to create a JC OpenTreeMap, an open source mapping app and began hosting Tree Mapping Meetups in 2015. Teams of volunteers took to the streets to map existing trees and get a better idea of where more trees need to be planted in the city. You can’t manage what you don’t measure … WE NEED MORE CITIZENS TO JOIN US IN MAPPING JC STREET TREES!

In 2018 we continued to support protection of the Society Hill Shelterbelt of 84 Mature Trees on the Hackensack River Public Walkway - the Friends of the Walkway community group had been battling the DPWA association board there for 10 Years and while the City of Jersey City had offered some directives, the City recently issued a single approval permit, without an independent assessment, to remove all 84 of those beautiful, healthy trees(a handful of these may have needed to be replaced due to their unstable condition). Previous directives from the City and guidance by independent Tree advocacy orgs were to repair the walkway by lifting the large concrete slabs, replace those with small pavers around the base of the Trees, and shave Tree roots where needed. No enforcement too place and City did not want to be bothered with oversight of doing the correct actions that were needed to save these Trees. Citizens can get still get involved to express their outrage - you can the full story about what happened here.

Care For Our Existing Tree Canopy

And finally, it's not only about just planting more trees, but protecting and maintaining the trees we do have. Chopping off Tree Canopies continue in JC both by PSE&G and DPW / Parks & Forestry - why do we allow this? Also, to help our existing Trees thrive more stewardship is needed. Compacted Tree Pits prevent Trees from absorbing as much stormwater as they might otherwise and we recommend a combination of compost and mulch to break up the compacted soil and re-invigorate the Trees’ health. And lastly, good stewardship begins at the beginning. In 2016 SJC and the NJ Tree Foundation co-hosted a Treekeepers Workshop (supported by Dickinson Highschool, JC DPW / Parks & Forestry and the JC Parks Coalition) teaching us the importance of planting "the right tree, in the right place, in the right way." More information on Tree Stewardship courtesy of NJ Tree Foundation can be found here.

#TreeSpeech is a perfect example of an SJC +ART collaborative project. This successful project raised awareness about Jersey City’s need for more trees and our JC OpenTreeMap initiatives in a clever social media campaign. Thank you Anne Percoco ! Brilliant community awareness and stewardship initiative, can't wait to get started on #TREESPEECH again this 2019 season :-) For more information on #TreeSpeech click here.


Green Roofs & Walls For Buildings


In 2017, SJC partnered with developer JMA Architects Atelier to install the First Green Wall In JC - 30' High Moss Mural Project at 54 Bright Street. The project includes a Moss Mural With Misting System. A moss mural like this one can purify the air as much as 275 trees. More photos here of this impressive first for SJC and special thanks to Amanda Levy and Joe Velez, the two artists who sourced and designed the project. This is another great example of an SJC +ART collaboration!

More Resources on Green Infrastructure can be found below and in the Resources section of this website:

SJC Overview Feb 2019 - SJC Green Infrastructure Projects & Activities - see links in this presentation to other presentations made at our Feb 5th 2019 Meetup on GI and the MUA Long Term Control Plan (LTCP)

NJ Developers Green Infrastructure Guide - NJ Future, Chair of NJF GI Committee George Vallone of Hoboken Brownstone Co. Work Product

Jersey City’s Plumbing Problem - SJC Fact Sheet To Help You Understand CSO’s

Sewer Free NJ Statewide Campaign - Community Stakeholders Should Join This Campaign !

Watershed & Sewershed Boundaries - Why Knowing About These Is Important !

Jersey City Open Sewer Atlas - 2 Year Long Project To Offer Stakeholders A Better Understanding Of The Jersey City Sewershed, Stormwater Flows and Opportunities For More Green Infrastructure In Jersey City !



Also on our Resources page, see the list of related Green Ordinances and policy guidelines currently in place here under the heading of City of Jersey City Green (-ish) Policies.  Unfortunately, there are many gaps and / or these are not being enforced and / or they are not being orchestrated in concert - this causes confusion and we do not achieve needed change in making JC a more sustainable place to live and work.