DEP TO HOLD WORKSHOPS
ON OPEN SPACE FUNDING
Programs Help Local Governments
and Nonprofit Groups to Obtain Funding for Open Space Acquisition
(04/67) TRENTON -- The New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Acres
Program and the Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program
will hold eight informational workshops from July to October
to guide municipal and county officials and nonprofit organizations
through the state-funding application process.
"The 2004 workshop series advances Governor James
E. McGreevey 's commitment to promote open space preservation
and to create new parks," said DEP Deputy Commissioner
Joanna Dunn Samson. "I encourage local governments,
nonprofit organizations and land use professionals to take
advantage of the Green Acres Program's informational workshops
to explore opportunities for open space funding."
Topics to be discussed at the workshops include Green Acres
Funding for Land Preservation and Park Development, Elements
of a Land Transaction, Changes in Use, Historic Preservation
Trust Funding and the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure
Financing Program (EIFP).
During the workshops, DEP will encourage municipal and
county government applicants who have a project with a water
quality benefit to apply to the EIFP for acquisition funds.
The EIFP is a partnership between the DEP and the NJ Environmental
Infrastructure Trust (Trust). The EIFP provides low-cost
financing to municipal, county, and other local government
units as well as to water purveyors for the construction
of wastewater, drinking water and stormwater or nonpoint
source pollution management projects, including open space
acquisition that provides a water quality benefit.
Financing through EIFP provides a rate equal to one-quarter
of the current market rate and results in a loan structure
that reduces annual debt service significantly when compared
to local financing options. The EIFP has no limit on the
amount of money that a borrower can finance to acquire land
and the funds can be used as a local match for land acquisition
projects funded through Green Acres.
The Green Acres program protects environmentally sensitive
open space, water resources and other significant natural
and historic resources and provides parks for New Jersey
residents and visitors to enjoy. Green Acres partners with,
and provides grants and low interest loans to, qualifying
county and municipal government agencies and nonprofit land
conservancies who work to further these same goals.
The Green Acres program was created in 1961 to meet New
Jersey's growing recreational and conservation needs. Since
Governor McGreevey took office, the Green Acres Program
has acquired 57,914 acres of open space -37,064 acres through
state projects, 10,362 acres through local projects and
10,488 acres in partnership with nonprofit groups. To date,
the Green Acres Program has protected more than 540,214
acres of open space and provided funding to develop hundreds
of parks statewide. The statewide system of preserved open
space and farmland totals more than 1.26 million acres.
This year's workshops are scheduled for:
- July 12 at Bergen County Community Services Building,
Paramus, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- July 13 at The Meeting House at Waterloo Village, Stanhope,
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- July 21 at Gloucester County College, Sewell, 9 a.m.
to 3 p.m.
- August 2 at Hominy Hill Clubhouse, Colts Neck, 9 a.m.
to 3 p.m.
- August 12 at the Clinton Township Municipal Building,
Annandale, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- August 17 at the Bordentown Township Municipal Buildng,
Bordentown, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- September 13 at the Long Beach Township Municipal Building,
Brant Beach, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- October 4 at the Crest Pier Facility, Wildwood Crest,
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pre-registration is required for all workshops. There is
a registration fee, which covers materials, lunch and refreshments,
of $25 per person and $20 for each additional member from
the same municipality or organization. To register, contact
Nancee May, Green Acres workshop coordinator, at (609) 984-0570.