NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced an investment proposal of nearly $100 million for park development or upgrade projects and open space preservation, including a new initiative to fund the construction of inclusive playgrounds for children with different abilities.

The funding, announced during Earth Week 2023 through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Acres Program, is intended to improve the quality of life for New Jerseyans, especially in many overcrowded communities.

The proposed investment includes $92.2 million in funds subject to the approval of the Garden State Preservation Trust and an additional $7.7 million for urban parks projects, bringing the total to $99.9 million. Investments are particularly timely as the national theme for Earth Week this year is “Investing in our Planet”.

“The projects recommended for funding by the independent Garden State Preservation Trust will help build and enhance New Jersey’s outstanding inventories of parks, recreation and open space while providing for the construction of inclusive playgrounds,” said the Governor Murphy. “These grants and loans will benefit many communities across the state by providing opportunities to engage in healthy activities, enjoy the outdoors, and spend quality time with family.”

“From our incredible investments in Green Acres in local parks to our historic investments in the restoration of natural resources across the state, the Murphy administration has put its money where it’s at,” the city’s conservation commissioner said. environment, Shawn M. LaTourette. “This Earth Week, with the vision and leadership of Governor Murphy, we are reinvesting in our planet with Green Acres awards in every county, accelerating our work to ensure our New Jersey neighbors can connect with nature and people. with each other in an open and recreational environment. quality environment. the spaces”.

Green Acres funding enables governments and nonprofits to raise millions more dollars for preservation through federal, state, county, and local funds, as well as private sources. For the first time, Green Acres is awarding unrequited grants to encourage projects in stressed-out communities in Urban Aid townships.

After approval by the Garden State Preservation Trust, the legislature must formally allocate Green Acres funds to those projects that will establish, expand, or revitalize new and existing parks; acquire land; improve access to the coast; develop sports fields and playgrounds; improve parking lots; create open spaces; and improve land administration.

Green Acres projects create jobs and stimulate economic development by making communities more attractive places to live and work, thereby increasing civic pride. They also improve air and water quality, providing New Jerseyans with a better quality of life.

For more information on the Green Acres program, click here.

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