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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2003

Contact: Jack Kaskey
(609) 984-1795

DEP Holds Workshops on Funding Open Space Acquisitions

(03/126) TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Acres Program and the Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program are holding a series of workshops in the coming weeks to guide local government officials and nonprofit groups through the process of applying for state open-space funds.

During 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.

The EIFP is a partnership between the DEP and the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust. The EIFP provides low-cost financing to local governments and water purveyors for the construction of wastewater, drinking water and stormwater management projects, including open-space purchases that benefit water quality.

Financing through EIFP provides a rate equal to one-quarter of the current market rate, resulting 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.

The workshops will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as follows:

  • Sept. 15 at Pequest Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County;
  • Sept. 24 at Long Beach Township Municipal Building, Ocean County;
  • Oct. 2 at DeHart Community Center, Maplewood, Essex County.

Pre-registration 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.

For more information, visit the Green Acres section of the DEP website at www.nj.gov/dep/greenacres.

The 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.

Since Green Acres was established in 1961, the program has protected more than 522,000 acres of open space and developed hundreds of recreation facilities. More than 1.2 million acres of open space and farmland have been preserved statewide.

 

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