Open Space, farmland and historic preservation efforts in New Jersey gained ground Tuesday, when voters approved a statewide referendum to add $400 million to the State’s preservation programs. New Jersey’s Green Acres, Farmland Preservation and Historic Trust programs can now continue their success in protecting clean drinking water, parks and natural areas, habitat for fish and wildlife, working farms and historic sites.
The public has historically supported New Jersey’s preservation efforts. Since 1961, voters have approved 13 ballot measures in support of these valued programs. The $400 million approved by voters on November 3rd comes at a critical time as preservation dollars have been exhausted from the State’s coffers, but interest in preservation remains high. Approved in one of the toughest economic times in recent history, these results demonstrate that citizens overwhelmingly support open space and other preservation efforts in good times and bad.
With the newly secured funds, New Jersey can now continue its successful protection of northern New Jersey’s Highlands Region, a land area of over 800,000 acres that provides drinking water to over 5.4 million people in the State and provides outdoor recreational opportunities for citizens from New York City to the Lehigh Valley.
The Appalachian Mountain Club is a member of the New Jersey Keep It Green Campaign, a coalition of 135 organizations working to ensure that preservation funds continue to be available in the Garden State. Visit the New Jersey Keep It Green Campaign ‘s website at http://www.njkeepitgreen.org/ for more information on New Jersey’s preservation programs and how you can get involved.