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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2005

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795

OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION ADVANCES

Garden State Preservation Trust Approves Green Acres Recommendation Package

Green Acres Recommends $75 Million for State Acquisitions and Park Improvements

(05/39) TRENTON -- The Garden State Preservation Trust today approved the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Acres Program's latest round of funding recommendations for open space acquisitions and park development projects. The funding package, which now moves to the Legislature for approval, recommends the dedication of $75 million to land acquisition projects and recreational and conservation improvements through the state land acquisition program.

"This funding package champions New Jersey's quality of life by protecting open space that safeguards drinking water sources, serves as habitat to threatened and endangered species and provides recreational opportunities to urban residents " said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Green Acres is integral to stopping sprawl and protecting natural resources."

The $75 million allocation recommendation for Green Acres projects includes:

  • $18 million for the acquisition of open space in the Highlands region. Preservation of the Highlands greenbelt is critical to ensuring the integrity of New Jersey's water supplies and maintaining biodiversity.

  • $10 million to conduct work in state parks, historic sites and wildlife management areas throughout the state. These projects will enable the Divisions of Parks and Forestry, and Fish and Wildlife to perform much needed work to protect these special public places and enhance visitors' experiences.

  • $8 million for acquisitions in the Pinelands region. Permanent protection of open space in the Pinelands will ensure excellent water quality, ecosystem integrity and sustainable agricultural production.

  • $9 million for Ridge and Valley region open space purchases that will link publicly owned lands such as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area, Stokes State Forest, High Point State Park, Jenny Jump State Forest and Bear Swamp Wildlife Management Area.

  • $3 million to protect sites that have played a role in the history of the state and nation. DEP has preserved and continues to expand historic sites like New Bridge Landing, Washington Crossing State Park and the Delaware and Raritan Canal.

  • $1 million to develop urban parks throughout the state. Enhancing urban open space improves quality of life, promotes urban redevelopment and renewal and helps control urban and suburban sprawl.

The DEP Green Acres Program recommends the allocation of funds for land acquisition in rural, urban and suburban communities throughout New Jersey. Funding for park development is recommended for the creation of new parks and to upgrade existing recreation and conservation resources.

The Garden State Preservation Trust reviews funding proposal packages submitted by DEP's Green Acres program, the State Agriculture Development Committee and the New Jersey Historic Trust. It then recommends them to the Legislature for passage. The Governor retains final approval over all packages.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Acres Program was created in 1961 to meet New Jersey's growing recreation and conservation needs. Together with public and private partners, Green Acres has protected more than 565,469 acres of open space and provided hundreds of outdoor recreational facilities in communities around the State. The total acres of protected open space and farmland across the State totals almost 1.3 million acres.

 

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Last Updated: April 14, 2005