On October 20, 2021, Governor Murphy announced a proposal to inject the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Acres Program with over $100 million. If approved, the proposal would establish new parks and expand existing ones, develop athletic fields and playgrounds, improve access to waterways, create open spaces, build flood resilience, and enhance stewardship by restoring lands for nature and public enjoyment. Future projects will be those that anticipate and address climate change impacts, advance long-term resilience goals, provide equitable and meaningful public access, and maximize social, environmental, and health benefits to the public, particularly within overburdened communities. The proposal is pending final approval by the Garden State Preservation Trust.
The Governor’s announcement demonstrates the State’s dedication to publicly available parks and recreation facilities. This round of funding, if approved, will also focus on providing green space to New Jersey’s most urbanized areas, allowing residents to get in touch with nature in their neighborhoods.
In southern New Jersey, there were many major projects already approved for matching Green Acres grants and loans, including:
- The second phase of improvements at Willingboro Lakes Park in Willingboro which will expand parking and improve public access to the lakes and Rancocas Creek;
- A project to add sports lighting to two baseball/softball fields at the Pemberton Sports Complex and to two football fields, a practice field, and a game field at Nesbit Park in Pemberton;
- The development of an inclusive playground and sensory garden, exercise circuit stations, and construction of restrooms at the Joseph E. Romano Sports Complex in Vineland; and,
- Installation of a synthetic turf multi-purpose field at South Delsea Drive Park in Glassboro.
The attorneys at Parker McCay have a wealth of experience guiding clients through both DEP’s green acres and blue acres programs. These projects can have an immense impact on the local community and become treasured community assets. To discuss the Green Acres program, process, and eligibility requirements, contact Parker McCay’s environmental department.
The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.