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Murphy administration announces 2024 Green Acres and Urban Parks funding round

NEW JERSEY – Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette Thursday announced the availability of Green Acres and Urban Parks grants and loans to local governments and nonprofits to develop or update parks and preserve open space.

The 2024 funding round includes an expanded initiative to fund construction of completely inclusive playgrounds, specifically developed to encourage municipalities to apply for funding.

Green Acres funds for the 2024 application round will establish, expand, or revitalize new and existing parks, acquire land, improve waterfront access, develop athletic fields and playgrounds, create open space, and enhance land stewardship. Green Acres will continue to provide non-matching grants to incentivize projects in Adversely Stressed Overburdened Communities in Urban Aid municipalities.

Green Acres and Urban Parks applications are now available on the Green Acres website; the application deadline for both funding opportunities is February 7, 2024.

“New Jersey’s Green Acres Program has a legacy of improving communities throughout the state by ensuring access to green spaces and recreational opportunities that allow people to connect with nature and improve their health,” LaTourette said. “DEP urges local governments and eligible nonprofits to apply for Green Acres funding to expand recreational and open space access statewide, especially in communities long overburdened by environmental stressors.”

“We are proud to announce the launch of our expanded initiative to empower municipalities to create completely inclusive playgrounds.” said Elizabeth Dragon, Assistant Commissioner for Community Investment and Economic Revitalization. “Building upon the success of our previous county funding, we are now extending our support to local communities, ensuring that every child, regardless of ability, can experience the joy of play.”

The 2023 funding round introduced 75 percent grant funding to counties to construct completely inclusive playgrounds that are designed according to special guidelines as a result of Jake’s Law. This initiative has been expanded to include municipalities to encourage inclusive playgrounds statewide.

Non-matching 100 percent grant funding is available for Urban Parks projects that advance recreation, conservation, and historic preservation projects in Adversely Stressed Overburdened Communities in Urban Aid municipalities, further emphasizing the Murphy Administration’s commitment to environmental justice. These communities are so designated because they have a combined stressor total higher than the 50th percentile for total environmental and public health stressors.

Funding for these recreation and conservation projects comes from both the DEP’s Green Acres Program, funded by the Corporate Business Tax, and the Urban Parks Program, which is funded by a state budget appropriation.

Green Acres will be hosting several virtual application information sessions:

  • November 13th – Application overview and Q&A
    • 10 to 11:30 a.m. for Acquisition projects (including Green Acres and Urban Parks),
    • 1 to 2:30 p.m. for Park Development (Green Acres and Urban Parks), Stewardship, and Jake’s Law projects.
  • December 13th – Application Q&A – 10 to 11 a.m. for all projects.
  • January 17th – Application Q&A – 10 to 11 a.m. for all projects.

Notices of these information sessions will be sent to stakeholders, and links to the virtual application information sessions will be posted on the Green Acres website. The virtual application information sessions will be recorded, and the recordings will be available on the Green Acres website.

To learn more about the Green Acres Program, visit

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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