JERSEY CITY, NJ - In an interview at Jersey City Lincoln Park during Hudson County Improvement Authority’s annual Earth Day event on April 30, Amanda Nesheiwat highlighted how HCIA’s initiatives to build a more sustainable future dovetailed with the day’s events.
Nesheiwat is Deputy Director, Sustainability and Community Outreach at HCIA.
A myriad of activities took place and included a petting zoo, kids rides and a solar powered carousel designed to engage kids while learning about renewable energy and everything it can do.
A pre-production model of an all electric Toyota SUV was on display a the event. She said that having the model present was made possible by via a partnership with HCIA and the automaker; following the recent big auto show in NYC they were transported to the park.
“We are so lucky to have the cars here today,” she said.
Jersey City Parks, which had activities for kids at their booth, distributed 1,600 plants to attendees at the event.
A handful of small food service businesses included a vegan food truck. The birthday poster contest winners were also in attendance.
For 2022 the day’s theme was, “Invest in Our Planet,” she said, adding: “We wanted this event to reflect what investments in our communities can look like … Investing in our planet is investing in future generations.”
Moreover to invest in the earth is to move forward.
“We’ve got lots of different programs to educate youth and the public on what they can do in their homes and school campuses,” said Nesheiwat. She explained how HCIA is working with the county to develop an electric vehicle infrastructure plan and program for schools and government buildings to concurrently assist in energy efficient programs.
And though the state already offers incentives, she said: “We want to be in the middle and explain how great they could be and maybe connect them with others already in the program [as a way to offer support] “going through.”
HCIA wants to signal to the community how serious it is about electric vehicles, she said.
HCIA recently purchased two Ford Mustang Mach-E’s with funds from a recycling grant and is working with PSE&G, an important stakeholder that’s developing infrastructure for electric vehicles in order to get more charging stations to their parking lot and further expand the electric vehicle fleet.
Citing the importance of climate change and education, she said HCIA was offering grants for pilot programs that prompt “governments to scale up.”
“Climate change is important to us,” said Nesheiwat. “One way is to capture food and put it back into the earth.”
There are efforts to develop an action plan for HCIA and its partners to reduce litter, for instance, she said, citing the overall need to “worry more about climate change and environmental protection,” moving forward.
Nesheiwat is also interested in sustainability, climate change solutions, women's empowerment and working with others to bring innovative solutions to current challenges.