Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

GROUNDWORK HUDSON VALLEY INC

Changing Places Changing Lives

Yonkers, NY

Mission

Groundwork Hudson Valley creates sustainable environmental change in urban neighborhoods through community-based partnerships that promote equity, youth leadership and economic opportunity.

Ruling Year

2001

Executive Director

Ms. Brigitte Griswold

Main Address

22 Main St 2nd Floor

Yonkers, NY 10701 USA

Formerly Known As

Groundwork Yonkers

Keywords

Community, gardens, biodiversity, environmental education, river, sustainability, greenway, youth, climate change, science barge,

EIN

11-3579493

 Number

4580226713

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Southwest Yonkers was once a manufacturing hub for the entire region in the 19th and 20th centuries and retains an historic, urban and industrial character. It has great socioeconomic and environmental issues today due to decades of economic and social disinvestment. Among other things, it is a federally-designated Community Development Zone, a New York State Environmental Justice Area, and a priority for the State’s Regional Economic Development Council. Most residents are Hispanic or African-American (75%) and certain census tracts are among the poorest in the metro area. A wide range of issues affect the lives of low-income families and children Southwest Yonkers, including a lack of public green space, health disparities related to access to healthy food, and a staggeringly high youth unemployment rate.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Education

Youth Employment

Rivers and Trails

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total pounds of debris collected

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Rivers and Trails

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of trees planted

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Rivers and Trails

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Acres of natural habitat restored

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Rivers and Trails

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Pounds of trash removed from rivers and streams and/or from riparian habitat

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Rivers and Trails

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Acres of brownfields/derelict land improved

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Rivers and Trails

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth under 18 years of age actively engaged in community involvement and education

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

K-12 (5-19 years)

Related program

Education

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of student hours of climate-related environmental education

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

K-12 (5-19 years)

Related program

Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average number of hours each youth participated in program over summer

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years)

Related program

Youth Employment

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of employment placements defined as part-time (less than 35 hours per week)

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years),

Young Adults (20-25 years)

Related program

Youth Employment

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total square footage of garden beds provided

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Rivers and Trails

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Groundwork has been a dynamic force for change in communities of the Lower Hudson Valley for the past 18 years. The goal is to create sustainable environmental change in urban neighborhoods through community-based partnerships that promote equity, youth leadership, and economic opportunity. The organization engages and trains local people to improve blighted and neglected conditions in their own neighborhoods to achieve economic, social, and environmental outcomes. Participants promote community change, develop skills, and become leaders in transformative work over time. The organization’s mission is summarized by the phrase “Changing Places, Changing Lives.” In addition to local empowerment, projects have short- and long-term goals, so smaller actions, such as tree plantings, are in the context of a community-led vision. Local buy-in is further bolstered through partnerships and volunteer activities involving local business, neighborhood groups, and public agencies.

Groundwork has three major strategies to restore the urban landscape and promote long-term economic and environmental neighborhood renewal. Groundwork's strategy to transform public spaces includes uncovering polluted rivers, turning an abandoned train line into a new greenway, and transforming vacant lots into urban farms and playgrounds. Groundwork's strategy to support the next generation of community leaders includes training and mentoring more than a hundred students each year through a year-round program that includes summer jobs, after-school employment, and internships. Groundwork's strategy to increase community agency and knowledge of environmental issues includes public education programs focused on environmental sustainability, climate change, urban ecology, and brownfield remediation.

Groundwork's staff and board have years of experience developing innovative environmental initiatives, most addressing community-based environmental justice concerns. Groundwork has received and successfully managed millions of dollars in local, state and federal funds for its notable projects and programs. Groundwork programs have resulted in several prestigious awards including the Partners in Conservation Award from the Secretary of the Interior in 2016, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency 2017 Environmental Champion Award, the Outstanding CTE (Careers & Technical Education) Partner of the Year Award from Yonkers Public Schools in 2017, the National Park Service Centennial Volunteer Challenge Award in 2016, and the Westchester County Eco-Award in 2018. The organization’s highly experienced staff includes Brigitte Griswold, Groundwork's Executive Director, who was the Global Director of Youth Engagement at the Nature Conservancy for 13 years before joining the organization.

Groundwork's ultimate vision is a vibrant, diverse, sustainable city where the economy, environment, and residents thrive. Our progress will be measured by our ability to 1) ensure equal access to a clean, healthy environment for everyone, regardless of where they live, their economic status, or their race or ethnicity, 2) promote inclusion of all community members in decision-making and project implementation, 3) collaborate with residents, governments, and businesses to accomplish positive environmental change; 4) foster the development of environmental and community leaders through environmental education and employment, 5) transform underutilized public sites into vibrant, accessible, green community spaces designed for and with local neighborhoods, and 5) champion durable, sustainable projects that promise lasting impact over time.

Groundwork's accomplishments include the Science Barge, a sustainable farm and urban environmental education center on the Hudson River in downtown Yonkers that is one of the region’s leading STEM centers; the Green Team youth conservation corps, which provides jobs, training, and leadership to Yonkers youth in urban conservation, with service trips to National Parks such as Yellowstone; the Saw Mill River Coalition, which resulted in the daylighting of the Saw Mill River and today focuses on cleaning up and restoring one of the most polluted tributaries to the Hudson River. Groundwork's newest project is the Yonkers Greenway Park and adjacent Yonkers Greenway, a new park and urban trail along an abandoned rail line that will revitalize some of the city’s most neglected neighborhoods to promote health, recreation, and public transit.

External Reviews

Awards

Westchester Eco Award 2018

US Enviromental Protection Agency

Environmental Champion Region 2 2017

US EPA

Outstanding Careers and Tech Ed Partner 2017

Yonkers Public Schools

Centennial Volunteer Challenge Award 2016

National Park Service

Award for Sustainability Education 2015

Omega Institute

Financials

GROUNDWORK HUDSON VALLEY INC

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/30/2020

Leadership

No data

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 03/30/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data

done
We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
done
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
done
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
done
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
done
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
done
We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
done
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

done
We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
done
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
done
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
done
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
done
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.