MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has announced that the 2023 grant application for funding of open space projects under the Morris County Preservation Trust is now available on the Open Space Preservation by clicking here.
“When you drive through Morris County, it’s easy to see why it is one of the most beautiful counties in New Jersey and a place you would call home. At the same time, it is one of the most economically vibrant counties in the country, as many major corporations also choose to call our county home. Preserving open space is essential to maintaining this balance between the beauty that makes Morris County what it is while maintaining the business footprint that helps sustain our local economy,” said Morris County Commissioner Stephen Shaw, liaison to the Office of Planning and Preservation.
The deadline for submitting open space applications and appraisals for 2023 funding is Friday, June 9, 2023.
Last year, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners approved recommendations by the county’s Open Space Trust Fund Committee to award $2.13 million in preservation grants for five open space projects totaling 34.60 acres in five Morris County towns.
The Open Space Trust Fund, part of the county’s Preservation Trust Fund, has helped preserve 17,838 acres throughout the county since 1994, using $294,557,718 generated by a preservation tax Morris County voters approved in November 1992.
“Resident tax dollars preserve open space in Morris County, which is directly evidenced by everything our county offers: well-maintained public infrastructure, top-rated schools, safe neighborhoods, the best park system in the state, and a vast network of hiking trails. When you consider we also have one of the lowest county tax rates in the state, the value your tax dollars provide is even more obvious,” Commissioner Shaw added.
In addition to open space projects, the county’s Preservation Trust Fund also helps finance farmland and historic preservation, county parkland acquisition, recreational trail projects, and purchasing residential properties prone to flooding.
The review process for grant applications is handled by the Open Space Trust Fund Committee, which visits the proposed sites and makes final recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners by fall.
“Any of Morris County’s 39 municipalities and qualified charitable conservancies are eligible to apply for grant funding,” said Barbara Murray, Morris County open space program coordinator.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Office of Planning and Preservation at (973) 829-8120.