Open Space Preservation Program
Another goal of the Office of Land Preservation is to expand the existing County and municipal park system in Gloucester County . The program has procured expansions to Red Bank Battlefield in National Park, the James G. Atkinson Memorial Park in Washington Township, Scotland Run Park in Clayton and Franklin Townships, and five additions of lands adjacent to the County Golf Course Greenway in Mantua Township.
The County also assists municipalities in the purchase of recreational lands through this program. Funds can be used to buy new parks, expand old ones, or develop greenways. Applications that are received are ranked according to their environmental value, development pressures on the property, and recreational needs of the area. Through this program Gloucester County has assisted many municipalities to preserve thousands of acres for their residents recreational needs. We are currently evaluating new open space projects in a number of municipalities. In 2015 the Office of Land Preservation, in cooperation with the State Green Acres Program, Mantua Township, and the South Jersey Land and Water Trust, successfully completed the preservation of the former Maple Ridge Golf Course in Mantua and Deptford townships to create the Tall Pines State Preserve; the first State park in Gloucester County (for a trail map of the Tall Pines State Preserve click here).
In addition to providing County funding assistance, the Office of Land Preservation will act as the lead agency and oversee all necessary contracts in order to ensure Green Acres financial participation on projects. Municipal projects typically receive 50% of their funding from Green Acres, 25% from the County, and 25% from the municipality. The County also provides all appraisal reports, preliminary environmental assessment reports, survey and engineering, and legal and title work required for closing free of charge to the municipality. The County files all the required paperwork with Green Acres and deeds the property over to the municipality following settlement.
The County will also consider cost sharing on municipal projects, when the municipality chooses to be the lead agency.
For more information on the Open Space Preservation Program please contact the Office of Land Preservation at (856) 307-6451.