(Hackensack, N.J.) – Bergen County officials voted unanimously on Wednesday, December 13th 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. Among the 58 grants totaling over $11.5 million, 51 will support municipal and county park improvements, two will support municipal open space acquisitions, and five will fund  historic preservation efforts.

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 Bergen Open Space Grant Program stands as a formidable instrument in our efforts to propel common objectives of safeguarding the environment, championing sustainability, and safeguarding open spaces for the enjoyment of generations to come,” said County Executive Jim Tedesco. “The commitment of my administration endures in backing our municipal partners through this initiative, and I eagerly anticipate commemorating the conclusion of numerous projects in the upcoming months and years."

"We take great pride in our public parks, recreation areas, and open spaces here in Bergen County, and we are grateful to the Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Committee for their partnership in making recommendations for improvements," said Commissioner Chairman Tom Sullivan. "We will continue to invest in our open spaces and historical sites for all our residents, and ensure they remain beautiful for future generations."

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.

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