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A Number of Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester Projects to Benefit

A package of bills sponsored by Assembly members John Burzichelli and Celeste Riley (both D-Salem/Cumberland/Gloucester) allocating a total of $71.8 million in voter-approved funding to help local governments acquire open space for preservation and develop lands for recreation and conservation was signed into law on Wednesday.

“As one of the most densely populated states in the nation, the preservation of open space is all the more important,” said Burzichelli. “During tough fiscal times, these funds will go a long way towards helping towns preserve and develop land for everyone’s enjoyment, whether active or passive recreation.”

The first law (S-2859/A-4050), sponsored by Burzichelli and co-sponsored by Riley, appropriates a total of $57 million, including $45 million from the “2009 Green Acres Fund” to provide funding to acquire land for recreation and conservation purposes and $12 million from the “2009 Blue Acres Fund” to provide funding to acquire properties for recreation and conservation purposes that are prone to flooding, have incurred flood or storm damage, or may buffer or protect other lands from such damage.

“When you tour parts of Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester counties, you understand just why New Jersey is called the Garden State,” said Riley. “The natural beauty of our state can be breathtaking but it also requires an effort to help maintain and preserve it from encroaching development. These funds will enable us to do just that for everyone’s enjoyment.”

The second law (S-2858/A-4051), sponsored by Riley and co-sponsored by Burzichelli, appropriates a total of $14.8 million in Green Acres funds to provide grants to various non-profit agencies to acquire or develop lands for recreation and conservation purposes.

Under S-2859/-A4050, a number of the projects that will be funded are located in the 3rd Legislative District, including:

– Properties along the Alloways Creek Greenway (Salem County) in Alloway, Elsinboro, Lower Alloways Creek, Pilesgrove, Quinton, and Upper Pittsgrove;
– Properties along the Cohansey River Greenway (Cumberland County) in Bridgeton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hopewell, Lawrence, Shiloh Boro, Upper Deerfield, and (Salem County) Alloway;
– Properties in Cumberland County along the Nantuxent/Cedar/Back Creeks Greenway in the municipalities of Commercial, Downe, Fairfield, Lawrence;
– Properties along the Maurice River Greenway in 14 towns in Cumberland, Salem and Gloucester County;
– Properties along the Stow Creek Greenway in Stow Creek Greenway in (Cumberland County) Greenwich, Stow Creek, (Salem County) Alloway, Lower Alloways Creek, and Quinton; and
– For youth camps in (Cumberland County) Greenwich, Hopewell, (Salem County) Alloway and Upper Pittsgrove

Under (S-2858/A-4051), some of the projects in the 3rd Legislative District that will be funded include:

– The American Littoral Society will receive $275,000 to develop a number of lands for recreational purposes, including properties in 15 towns along the Delaware Bay in Cumberland and Salem Counties;

– The Delaware & Raritan Greenway Land Trust will receive $550,000 for projects in a number of counties including, the following towns in Cumberland County: Deerfield, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hopewell, Stow Creek, and Upper Deerfield;

– The acquisition of Delaware estuary properties in the following towns in Salem and Cumberland counties: Commercial, Downe, Greenwich, Hopewell, Stow Creek, Alloway, Lower Alloways Creek, and Quinton;

– The acquisition of properties along the Delaware Bay in 23 towns in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties; and

– Watershed projects in every municipality in Gloucester County.