MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – The Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has announced that the 2021 grant application for funding of open space projects under the Morris County Preservation Trust are now available online on the Open Space Preservation website.
“Any of Morris County’s 39 municipalities and qualified charitable conservancies are eligible to apply for grant funding,” said Barbara Murray,” open space program coordinator.
The deadline for submitting open space applications and appraisals for 2021 is Friday, June 11.
Last year, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners approved the recommendation by the county’s Open Space Trust Fund Committee to award $1.49 million in county preservation grants for six open space projects, totaling 69 acres located in five Morris County towns.
Funding for the grants comes from the county’s Preservation Trust Fund, which generates revenues through a voter-approved special county tax. The Open Space Trust Fund has helped to preserve 17,621 acres throughout the county since 1994, using $292,128,633 generated by a preservation tax Morris County voters approved in November 1992.
In addition to open space projects, the county’s preservation fund also helps finance farmland and historic preservation, county parkland acquisition, recreational trail projects, and the purchase of residential properties prone to flooding.
“The story goes back to the early 90’s when the then-Freeholders recognized that sound community planning requires a balance of economic growth and the protection of natural resources. Our long and dedicated effort to preserve open space in Morris County goes to the heart of why people love to live and raise their families here, and why major corporations make Morris County their home. With an established park system that is second-to none in New Jersey and our continued expansion of a network of county hiking trails, we have preserved much more than just our bucolic surroundings. We have augmented an already high quality of life here that includes reliable public services, top-rated schools, dedicated civil servants and safe neighborhoods, and we will continue to nurture it,” said Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw, who is the county governing board’s liaison to the Department of Planning and Preservation.
The review process for grant applications is handled by the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund Committee, which visits the proposed sites and makes final recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners by fall.
Additional information maybe be obtained by contacting the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation at 973-829-8120.