Nonprofit profile: Newark Science and Sustainability, increasing environmental awareness in the city

In brief

Serving: Newark (Urban Farm Redevelopment Location: 3-7 Fairmount Ave., Newark)
Key leaders: Tobias A. Fox, founder and managing director; Jacqueleen Bido, chief strategy officer


Founded in 2013; established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2014.


Newark Science and Sustainability Inc. is a community-driven, nonprofit organization based in Newark that implements various initiatives to increase awareness of environmental, ecological and wellness issues through educational programs and hands-on activities, such as gardens and urban farms.


A rendering of the future redevelopment of the Garden of Hope. ­

Our once Garden of Hope is currently being redeveloped as Newark’s first year-round, sustainable urban agriculture hub. Its features will consist of the following:

  • A hydroponic greenhouse that will collect rainwater to support food production;
  • An structure to host meetings and sell value-added products such as body cream, herbal teas and much more; 
  • An outdoor commercial kitchen for education and culinary initiatives;
  • A chicken coop;
  • Solar technology; 
  • A walk-in cooler to store produce harvested; 
  • A weekly farmstand.


Despite all the challenges we are faced with due to COVID-19 and limited resources, we still manage to demonstrate how even the smallest grassroots organization can make a significant impact by thinking globally, acting locally, and that’s “glocal”!

  • Distributed 2,200 pounds of fresh produce during the outdoor growing season;
  • Served 20 families for 20 weeks with fresh, locally grown produce during the outdoor growing season;
  • Expanded our global outreach into the Dominican Republic and Uganda;
  • Hosted 40 virtual town halls and community meetings/presentations;
  • Organized and facilitated 60 community events and workshops;
  • Mentored 12 college interns and 100 volunteers;
  • Advocated for one statewide urban agriculture policy and submitted two proposals for two community green redevelopment initiatives in the city of Newark.


A community member working in the garden.

Our goal is to provide an interdisciplinary approach towards learning. Through this process, we believe individuals will become more informed about their environment, and therefore more likely to have a holistic understanding of themselves and the world they inhabit. Our programs involve the following: 

  • Healthy food access and nutrition education; 
  • Ecological construction; 
  • Advocating for strong policy that protects the long-term sustainability of our green spaces; 
  • Ecopreneurship and the creation of a green economy. 

We achieve this through collaboration and partnerships with residents, community-based organizations and other key stakeholders, including local businesses.


Our funding comes from the following sources:

Crowdfunding; grant writing; and Farm to Table Cooperative membership (which mirrors a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, program).


  • Whole Cities Foundation;
  • Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation;
  • Impact100 Essex;
  • The Hyde and Watson Foundation;
  • The South Wind Foundation;
  • Northern New Jersey Community Foundation;
  • Resolution Time Share Cancellation;
  • RWJBarnabas Health.


Think global, act local … that’s “glocal”!

Conversation Starter

For more information about Newark Science and Sustainability, go to:, or contact Tobias A. Fox, founder and managing director, at: or Jacqueleen M. Bido, chief strategy officer, at: or call 862-244-3519.