INVITES MUNICIPALITIES, COUNTIES AND NONPROFIT GROUPS TO
APPLY FOR OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION FUNDS
(05/01) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today
announced the start of the DEP Green Acres program's Spring
2005 funding round. The DEP Green Acres program offers
funds for land acquisition and park development. Municipalities,
counties and nonprofit organizations seeking funding for
projects should submit applications by February 15, 2005.
"I encourage local and nonprofit groups to take advantage
of this chance to invest in New Jersey's quality of life
by preserving natural and historic resources and recreational
space," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.
DEP is committed to preserving New Jersey's natural resources
statewide. Eligible land acquisition projects include the
purchase of natural areas, historic sites, conservation
areas, water bodies, and open space for active or passive
recreation purposes. Funding is also available for the development
of outdoor park and recreation facilities. Eligible recreational
projects include facilities that provide boating, fishing,
swimming, outdoor games and sports, biking, picnicking,
camping, or nature interpretation. Related costs incurred
as part of the acquisition or development project also may
be eligible for reimbursement.
"The availability of additional Green Acres funding
presents an excellent opportunity for local and nonprofit
groups to advance their recreation and conservation priorities,"
said Commissioner Campbell. "I look forward to forming
new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships
with local and nonprofit officials who share DEP's interest
in expanding New Jersey's network of protected open space."
Funding is available for land acquisition and park development
projects in more populated communities. This round, funding
incentives again will be offered to Densely Populated (population
density of 5,000 per square mile) municipalities and counties,
Highly Populated (population density of 1,000 per square
mile) counties, and Highly Populated (total population over
35,000) municipalities. Urban Aid municipalities also will
be eligible for additional funds.
Local governments that lack an open space tax are eligible
for 25 percent matching grants for land acquisition projects,
whereas local governments with an open space tax qualify
for 50 percent matching grants for such projects. Applicants
may also apply for supplemental Green Acres loans, which
are offered with 2 percent interest and payable over 30
years. Land acquisition projects located in Urban Aid municipalities
are eligible for 75 percent matching grants. Supplemental
Green Acres loan funding for these urban projects is offered
with no interest and is payable over 30 years.
Funds for park development are available through DEP Green
Acres program 2 percent interest loans, which are payable
over 20 years. Projects located in Densely and Highly Populated
municipalities and counties qualify for 25 percent matching
grants and 2 percent interest loans to be used for park
development projects. Projects located in Urban Aid municipalities
are eligible for 50 percent matching grants and 0 percent
interest loans for park development projects.
The demand for local acquisition and development funding
continues to greatly exceed Green Acres' available funding.
DEP encourages local governments to consider supplemental
acquisition funding available through the New Jersey Environmental
Infrastructure Financing Program (EIFP). In recent years,
the EIFP has become an important resource for open space
preservation in New Jersey. The EIFP is a low-cost (one-quarter
market rate) loan program for projects that protect or improve
water quality, including many land acquisition projects.
Applications are available at www.nj.gov/dep/greenacres.