ANNOUNCES WORKSHOPS ON OPEN SPACE FUNDING
Programs Help Local Governments in Applying for Funding
for Open Space Acquisition
TRENTON --- The New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Green Acres Program and the Environmental
Infrastructure Financing Program will hold four workshops
in June and July to guide municipal and county officials
and nonprofit organizations through the state-funding application
process. These workshops are part of the McGreevey Administration's
continued commitment to promote open space preservation
and to create new parks and recreational areas around the
the overwhelming demand from local governments and nonprofits
for funding to preserve open space, we wanted to help applicants
navigate the process more easily and explore additional
funding opportunities they might not otherwise use,"
said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Working
with community partners to preserve open space is a vital
component of Governor McGreevey's smart growth agenda."
McGreevey's other open space initiatives include a proposal
to provide capital gains tax waivers to landowners who sell
their property to the state. His constitutional amendment
to invest an additional $150 million for creating and enhancing
community parks and for preserving open space and farms
in the Highlands has passed the Legislature with widespread
support and will appear on the November ballot.
the workshops, DEP will encourage municipal and county government
applicants who have a project with a water quality benefit
to apply to the Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program
(EIFP) for acquisition funds. By holding workshops early
in the year, the Green Acres program hopes to inform applicants
of this opportunity in time to meet EIFP's early deadlines
and to qualify for EIFP funding.
EIFP is a partnership between the NJDEP 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.
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.
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.
Green Acres was established in 1961, the program has protected
more than 517,000 acres of open space and developed hundreds
of recreation facilities. Statewide, more than 1.2 million
acres of open space and farmland have been preserved.
year's workshops are scheduled for:
27 at Cumberland County College, Vineland, from 9:30 to
17 at Brick Township Municipal Building, Brick, from 9
23 at Mercer County Boathouse, West Windsor, from 9 to
31 at Charles Watters Community Service Building (formerly
the Museum Building), Paramus, from 9 to 3.
is required for all workshops. There is a nominal fee, which
covers breakfast, lunch and handouts, 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.