News Department

Warren County Commissioners award $500,477 in preservation grants

Local Nonprofits and Municipalities Receive Grants for Open Space and Historic Preservation Projects

WARREN COUNTY, NJ – Six grants totaling $500,477 to local nonprofits and municipalities for open space and historic preservation projects received unanimous approval from the Warren County Board of County Commissioners.

Recommended by the 12-member Municipal and Charitable Conservancy Trust Fund Committee (MCCTFC), these grants will be financed through the County’s Open Space Trust, which is funded by a voter-approved dedicated tax. Since the program’s inception more than 25 years ago, 168 grants have assisted local historic and open space projects in each of Warren County’s 22 municipalities.

“I want to thank the County Commissioners for continuing to support this wonderful program. Warren County boasts so many great natural and historic treasures – it’s exciting to see our community preserving these sites,” said Corey Tierney, Director of Land Preservation. “I also want to thank the applicants for all of their hard work and the Committee members for generously volunteering their time to review the applications and visit each site,” he added.

“These projects represent some of the county’s most special places,” Commissioner Director James R. Kern III said. “Thank you to the dedicated volunteers and organizations who help keep these sites operational and open to the public. I encourage everyone to explore Warren County and see them in person,” Kern added.

Commissioner Jason J. Sarnoski also thanked Tierney and the county Land Preservation Department staff for their efforts with the grant program, explaining, “If it wasn’t for him and his staff, this wouldn’t be possible.”

“It is with great pleasure we approve these projects,” Commissioner Lori Ciesla said. “Preserving our heritage, culture and history is so very important and these projects will do that while also providing for the residents of today,” she added.

This year the County awarded $375,477 to four historic preservation projects and $125,000 to two open space preservation projects.


  1. Blairstown Township – Footbridge Restoration Plan$70,189 to prepare a professional restoration plan for the pedestrian bridge at Footbridge Park.

    John I. Blair installed the steel footbridge in 1893 and the property was purchased by the Township in 1959. In honor of the Nation’s Bicentennial, the Township established Footbridge Park in 1976. The footbridge now serves as an important connector between the Paulinskill Valley Trail and Footbridge Park to the Blairstown Historic District and local businesses. While structurally safe, the three overwater spans were deemed to be in poor condition by a professional engineer. Other bridge elements are also in need of repair. Restoration of the historic footbridge will ultimately be a multi-phase project as guided by the professional restoration plan.

    Footbridge Park

  2. Friends of N.J. Transportation Heritage Center – Union Station Restoration$172,099 for the continued restoration of the building’s interior, including the lower level waiting room and finishes throughout, as well as some exterior restoration including refinishing the front façade.

    Designed by Frank J. Nies and constructed by the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W), the Union Station was opened in 1914 and shared with the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ). The station is now owned by the Friends group and open to the public on a regular basis with exhibits from their archive collections.

     Union Station

  3. Mansfield Township – Mount Bethel Community Center$95,199 for the installation of a septic and generator so that the structure can be used as a heating and cooling center by residents, in addition to being used as a year-round community center.

    Constructed in 1844, the former church sits on land that was purchased on January 16, 1788 by Dr. Robert Cummins, a Methodist and surgeon in the First Sussex Regiment during the Revolution, who is buried in the adjacent cemetery along with other Revolutionary and Civil War veterans. In 1809 the village and church received the name of Mount Bethel, given by Reverend Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bishop in the United States. The form of the church is a traditional meeting house; the style is a restrained and stoic Greek Revival with Federal undertones. The fine construction of the building is still evident today in its elegant millwork and crisp, cut limestone masonry.

     Mount Bethel Community Center

  4. Phillipsburg Area Historical Society – Roseberry House Restoration$37,990 for the removal of the existing 20-year-old asphalt shingle roof and installation a new cedar shingle roof typical of such homes during its historical period of significance.

    Likely built by Loyalist John Tabor Kempe sometime during the Revolutionary War, this 18th Century Georgian style manor house was seized by the colonial government and sold to John Roseberry, remaining in the Roseberry family for nearly 100 years. Originally Johannes Rosenberger, John Roseberry was a German immigrant who was likely part of an influx of German settlers to New Jersey in the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. He went on to establish a farm at the property as well as an inn nearby. Believed to be the oldest standing structure in the Town of Phillipsburg, the Roseberry House would have been an exceptionally large and grand building for its time.


  5. Alpha Borough – Alpha Rails to Trails$75,000 toward the purchase of approximately 17 acres of land currently owned and controlled by the New Jersey Transit Corporation for the creation of an approximately 1.3 mile multi-use recreational trail for the public. The Borough envisions this trail will connect to the future Phillipsburg Rails to Trails segment that would utilize the same railroad corridor. 
  6. Town of Phillipsburg – Phillipsburg Rails to Trails
    $50,000 toward the purchase of approximately 29 acres of land currently owned and controlled by the New Jersey Transit Corporation for the creation of an approximately 3-mile multi-use recreational trail for the public. The Town envisions this trail will connect to the future Alpha Rails to Trails segment that would utilize the same railroad corridor.

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.

Related Articles

Back to top button