NJ Keep It Green today praised the Cumberland County Freeholders for adopting a resolution that supports establishing sustainable state funding for the preservation of open space, waterways, parks, farmland and historic sites throughout New Jersey.
“NJ Keep It Green is pleased that elected leaders in Cumberland County recognize the importance of protecting New Jersey’s land and water resources,” said Tom Gilbert, NJ Keep It Green chairman. “Preserving open space and farmland and protecting water quality are key to the economic vitality of our region and to the overall health and well being of New Jersey residents.
“Additionally, investing in open space can help control and mitigate flooding, which is becoming an increasing threat given the more frequent occurrence of superstorms like Hurricane Sandy.”
The following are just a few examples of how preservation funding has benefited Cumberland County:
Green Acres funds allowed for the acquisition of the 660-acre Durham Farm property in Fairfield Township, which sits near the Delaware Bay and is home to a variety of wildlife including the endangered bald eagle;
More than 140 Cumberland County farms, or 16,000 acres, were preserved with funds set aside for farmland preservation;
Nearly 420 land acquisition and park development projects have been supported through the Green Acres program, helping to preserve over 50,000 acres of open space.
Last week, the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the allocation of $123 million in funding for hundreds of Green Acres and Blue Acres projects across the state. This round of funding represents the last of the Green Acres and Blue Acres funds from the 2009 bond referendum, which voters approved to allocate $400 million for open space, farmland and historic preservation projects throughout the state.
According to a 2012 poll, 75 percent of New Jersey voters would support dedicating $200 million annually for 30 years to preserve our open space, farms, and historic sites and protect our water supply. In addition, 89 percent of voters said it is important to protect lands in coastal and inland areas that are prone to, or affected by, flooding.
About NJ Keep It Green
NJ Keep It Green is a coalition of more than 175 park and conservation advocates working to create a long-term, dedicated source of funding for the preservation and stewardship of New Jersey’s natural areas, waterways, parks, farmland and historic sites. NJ Keep It Green led successful campaigns to pass statewide ballot measures in 2006, 2007, and 2009 generating $600 million for state open space, farmland and historic preservation programs. For more information, visit www.njkeepitgreen.org.