FREEHOLD – Three bills sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would help preserve more open spaces in Monmouth and Mercer counties were signed into law today by Acting Governor Richard Codey.
“Preserving our state’s open space is critically important in the face of encroaching development and suburban sprawl,” Senator Karcher said. “Here in Monmouth County, we’ve seen the face of sprawl in the last 20 years, as once-open farmland and forests have been rezoned for commercial and residential development at an alarming rate.”
The first bill, S2577 would appropriate $75 million to fund park development and open space acquisition, including $20.5 million for projects that include municipalities within the 12th Legislative District.
The second bill, S2642 appropriates $16,575,000 from “Garden State Green Acres Preservation Trust Fund” and various Green Acres bond funds for local government open space acquisition and park development projects in central Jersey.
The third bill, S2635 appropriates $31,415,464 from “Garden State Farmland Preservation Trust fund” for planning incentive grants to counties and municipalities for farmland preservation purposes.
“Throughout my tenure as Senator, I have made it a top priority to raise awareness about the importance of open space and to introduce legislation that will preserve our land for future generation,” Senator Karcher said. “If we don’t act now to protect the few traces of open space and farmland left, we could be doing an extreme disservice to future generations of Monmouth County residents by depriving them of our county’s once rural heritage.”
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CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO SENATOR KARCHER’S REMARKS FROM TODAY’S BILL SIGNING