(Hackensack, N.J.) – Bergen County officials voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the list of projects recommended for funding by the Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund Advisory Committee.
With 70 grants in total, the nearly $18 million will support projects throughout Bergen County that will boost public access to outdoor recreation, conserve and acquire open space, and support nearly 60 municipal and county parks.
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, and Bergen County is the fourth most densely populated county in the state despite not having a major city within its borders. Open Space grants play a crucial role in helping to maintain quality of life in Bergen County. The recommended project awards range in the following categories including open space acquisition, floodplain protection, historic preservation improvements, and improvements to County and municipal park facilities. The Trust Fund Public Advisory Committee is charged with determining the annual list of projects to be recommended to the Commissioners for funding as well as the amount that should be awarded for each project.
"The Board of Commissioners continues to prioritize quality open space to maximize recreation areas accessible to all Bergen County residents," said Bergen County Commissioner Steve Tanelli. "We are proud to approve these investments to ensure that our beautiful parks and historic sites will remain available for generations to come. Thank you to the Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Committee for their well-thought-out recommendations.”
“The Bergen Open Space Grant Program is one of the greatest tools in our arsenal to advance our shared goals of protecting the environment, promoting sustainability, and preserving open space for future generations to enjoy,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “My administration remains committed to supporting our partner municipalities through this program and I look forward to celebrating the completion of several of these projects in the months and years to come.”
The Trust Fund program is funded through a rate of one cent per $100 of total County equalized real property valuation annually, as approved by the public in 2013. The county administers these funds as a reimbursement once the proposed project is completed by the awardee.