DEP GREENS NEW JERSEY WITH
LANDMARK ACQUISITION TOTAL
(06/03) TRENTON - Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced
that New Jersey's Green Acres Program preserved a record number
of acres during 2005, making it the program's most successful year
since its inception in 1961.
Last year, Green Acres funding was used to acquire more than 38,000
acres of land for recreation and conservation, surpassing by more
than 2,000 acres the program's previously highest annual acquisition
total. Green Acres funding also helped municipalities, counties
and nonprofits to acquire land and develop park and recreation facilities
in all of New Jersey's 21 counties.
"New Jersey ranks as a national leader in land preservation,"
Commissioner Campbell said. "The record set last year reflects
our commitment to protecting precious natural, scenic, historic
and recreational resources."
The DEP strengthened its commitment to preserving land in the Highlands
and to boosting recreation and conservation opportunities in New
Jersey's most densely populated areas. In the Highlands, the Green
Acres Program acquired more than 15,600 acres for permanent protection.
Of that, more than 13,300 acres were preserved by the state; local
governments and nonprofits used Green Acres funding to acquire nearly
2,300 acres of land. These acquisition projects will help protect
critical drinking-water supplies for more than 5.4 million residents.
In New Jersey's urban areas, open space, parks and recreation projects
are central to successful redevelopment initiatives. During 2005,
the DEP dedicated additional funding to Urban Aid and densely populated
municipalities and counties, making nearly $17 million available
for local urban acquisition and park development projects.
"There is no stronger testament to the success of the Green
Acres Program than residents' consistent approval of open space
and recreation referendums at both the state and local levels,"
said John S. Watson Jr., Assistant Commissioner for Natural and
Historic Resources. "Since 1961, voters have approved nine
Green Acres bond issues totaling $1.6 billion."
In addition, the 1998 Garden State Preservation Trust provided
nearly $2 billion in additional funds for open space, farmland,
and historic preservation, bringing the combined public investment
to more than $3.6 billion in state dollars.
Since 1961, the Green Acres Program, together with public and private
partners, has acquired and protected more than 597,000 acres of
open space. New Jersey has more than 1.3 million acres of protected
open space, including restored and improved municipal, county and
In 2005, Green Acres directly acquired more than 31,000 acres for
public use and enjoyment. The land will be managed by the DEP's
Parks and Forestry or Fish and Wildlife Divisions, the Natural Lands
Trust, or in cooperation with one of its many preservation partners.
These lands are used for public recreation and enjoyment, and for
preserving New Jersey's exceptional natural and historic resources.
Local and Nonprofit Assistance
In 2005, grant and loan payments to municipal and county governments
and nonprofit organizations totaled nearly $85 million for land
acquisition and the development of outdoor recreational facilities
in every county. These local governments and nonprofits preserved
almost 7,000 acres of land and improved over 50 parks with Green
Green Acres provides matching grants and low-interest loans to
municipal and county governments to acquire open space and develop
outdoor recreation facilities. The program also provides matching
grants to nonprofit organizations to acquire land for public recreation
and conservation purposes.
For more information and accomplishments, go to www.nj.gov/dep/greenacres