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  • Kate Munning

TLCNJ Awarded $1.67M by Green Acres

During Earth Week, Governor Murphy and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette announced $117 million in recommended Green Acres funding for development and enhancement of parks and preservation of open space—the highest level of Green Acres project funding since 2009. 


Of the $5.7 million that the state provided in grants to nonprofit organizations, 29% went to a single organization: The Land Conservancy of New  Jersey. The $1,675,000 we received is our largest Green Acres award ever, and may be the largest award Green Acres has ever made to a nonprofit.

 

In addition, TLCNJ helped six New Jersey communities secure seven grant awards of their own, for a total of $4.5 million: Madison, Oakland, Livingston, Hanover, Verona, and Knowlton. We also helped Bergen County update their open space plan, which made them eligible for Green Acres funding for the first time in 14 years. Bergen County went on to secure $2.75 million in grants of their own.


We are overwhelmingly proud of TLCNJ’s remarkable land team that works hard and gets these kinds of results. This funding will allow local governments and nonprofits to leverage millions of additional preservation dollars through matching federal, state, county, and local funds, as well as from private sources. When we win, everybody in New Jersey wins, from the towns we work with to the families enjoying the parks and green spaces that are built and improved with these tax dollars being put to good use.


It's especially gratifying to see the Green Acres program thriving and finally able to distribute this many awards. The Land Conservancy has been working on improving the Green Acres program since 2006, when we helped found the Keep It Green Coalition to lobby for increased state Green Acres, farmland, and historic preservation funding. Keep It Green eventually grew to 180 members and became the leading voice land preservation in New Jersey. From there we played a leading role in getting a referendum approved for the state to fund Green Acres, and then helped that referendum get passed by educating the public about the importance of land preservation and park restoration.


In 2014, we led the campaign to dedicate a portion of the corporate business tax to permanently fund this work. And now our devotion to this cause is bearing for not just for us, but for nonprofits and municipalities all over the state—and not just for us, but for everyone who lives here.

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