By Melissa Erdelyi
The New Jersey Highland Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and restoring the New Jersey Highlands, with a focus on the drinking water that many New Jersey residents depend upon. The coalition represents and works with several diverse organizations and individuals in order to meet their goal to keep the Highlands a safe and healthy area, as well as keeping those dependent on the area in good health.
According to the New Jersey Highland Coalition’s website, the organization focuses specifically on safeguarding the water resources and many other aspects of the Highlands, promoting the development and implementation of a strongly protective Highlands Regional Master Plan, educating the public and decision-makers on, and serving as an information source for, New Jersey Highlands preservation issues.
In order to assist those that the coalition represents, the coalition has a small grant program. With this program, the coalition is able to award several grants to assist organizations that are working within the New Jersey Highlands or that are associated with protecting its resources.
Eligible for the grant are “grassroots organization” groups, defined as a non-governmental organization that has a total annual operating budget of less than $200,000. In successfully applying and being awarded the grant, organizations can gain a maximum $5,000. Also, the organization, if not already, must become a member of the New Jersey Highland Coalition.
While the New Jersey Highland Coalition gives to other organizations in need of their assistance, they are also noticed by other New Jersey residents and rewarded for their work.
In October 2015, Wells Fargo granted the coalition $1,000 in support of their mission to protect, restore, and enhance the water and other natural and cultural resources of the N.J. Highlands, according to a news release. This grant was given as a part of Wells Fargo’s Community Connections program. For the program, each store manager was to identify a non-profit organization to reward with the grant. In Wells Fargo’s Northern New Jersey region, a total $139,000 was distributed.
"The New Jersey Highlands Coalition was entirely chosen by our local branch team members, who witness and experience first-hand the positive and lasting impact the organization has made in their neighborhood where many of them and our customers live and work," said Fred Bertoldo, Wells Fargo’s Northern New Jersey region president.
To read more about the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, check out their webpage: njhighlandscoalition.org.