Green Acres Acquisitions
Expand Belleplain State Forest
(03/60) WOODBINE, NJ -- Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell kicked off Earth Week on Monday by announcing a
major expansion of Belleplain State Forest in Cape May and
Campbell was joined this morning by Woodbine
Mayor William Pikolycky and Dennis Township Mayor and Assemblyman
Jeff Van Drew.
Six recent acquisitions from private landowners
and a purchase from the Borough of Woodbine are increasing
Belleplain State Forest by 2,320 acres.
"These additions to Belleplain will
not only preserve habitats for threatened and endangered
species, but they also will give people more rivers, marshes
and forests to explore and enjoy," Campbell said.
The largest addition to the State Forest
is a 1,265-acre tract purchased from the Thomas family.
The land is a mosaic of upland and wetland forest, bogs,
lakes and meadows that likely harbors threatened and endangered
species such as the Pine Barrens tree frog and the red-headed
"Governor McGreevey is committed to
providing parks and outdoor recreation facilities, not just
in rural areas, but also in urban and suburban communities
throughout the State," Campbell said.
Woodbine is selling Green Acres a 266-acre
addition to Belleplain, the first piece of the state forest
that will be in the borough. The tract encompasses the western
end of the boroughs new DeHirsh Avenue bicycle path.
Woodbine also is in line to receive a $90,000
Livable Communities grant to help pay for improvements along
the bike path and at Lincoln Park, Franklin Street Park
and Woodbine Elementary School playground. The money will
be used to help the borough install a tot lot, replace aging
playground equipment and purchase trash receptacles and
"We have many causes for celebration
today first to recognize the successful partnership
between Woodbine and the State of New Jersey to preserve
precious open space, and second to recognize the states
support of our local parks," Pikolycky said. "Both
of these initiatives will provide local residents and those
across the state ideal access to New Jerseys parks
and natural resources."
Since 1961, Green Acres has protected more
than 514,000 acres of open space and provided funding to
develop hundreds of parks, bringing the state-wide system
of preserved open space and farmland to more than 1.2 million
Green Acres purchases land to protect environmentally
sensitive open space, water resources and other significant
natural and historical open space. Land acquired by Green
Acres becomes part of the statewide system of parks and
forest, wildlife management areas and natural areas.
Through the Local Assistance Program, Green
Acres provides funding to county and municipal governments
and nonprofit organizations to acquire open space and parks
in their communities.