PRESERVATION AND PARKS PARTNERSHIPS
DEP Recommends $148.5
Million for Local and Nonprofit Acquisition and Park Improvements
(05/72) 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 $148.5 million to local governments
and nonprofit organizations for open space acquisition and park
"Protected open space and attractive recreational facilities
in cities, suburbs, and rural communities help to improve the
quality of life for residents and visitors and create an environment
where people want to live and work," said Commissioner Bradley
The $148.5 million allocation recommendation for Green Acres
- $83.2 million for municipal and county land acquisition projects.
Funds are recommended for Urban Aid Acquisition, Planning Incentive
Acquisition, Site-Specific Incentive Acquisition, and Standard
- $38.5 million for the development of 71 local parks and recreational
facilities. Specifically, DEP recommends the allocation of $25.6
million in grants and loans for 38 development projects in Urban
Aid municipalities or sponsored by Densely Populated Counties
across New Jersey. Grants and loans for 18 development projects
in Densely or Highly Populated Municipalities, or sponsored
by Highly Populated Counties, are recommended for a total of
$8.2 million. An additional $4.5 million in loans is advised
for 15 park development projects in non-urban communities.
- $16 million for acquisition projects by 32 nonprofit organizations.
Nonprofit organizations can receive 50% matching grant funding
for land acquisition statewide.
- $10.8 million for 35 recreational development projects by
nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations can receive
50% matching grant funding for recreational development projects
in Urban Aid, Densely or Highly Populated Municipalities, or
Densely Populated Counties.
DEP's funding recommendations reflect the State of New Jersey's
commitment to protect the Highlands region. This package includes
$36.6 million for acquisition projects in the Highlands-$26.8
million for local acquisition projects and $9.8 million for nonprofit
acquisition projects. The proposed land acquisition projects would
be made possible by the second expenditure of funds made available
via voter approval of Public Question #1 in November 2003. Each
municipality and nonprofit organization acquiring land in the
Highlands will receive an additional $175,000 in funding for those
purchases, while counties will receive an additional $250,000
for purchases in the Highlands.
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 568,191 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 has exceeded 1.2 million