HACKENSACK, NJ - Bergen County officials voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the list of projects recommended for funding by the Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund Advisory Committee. A total of 78 grants totaling over $19 million will support projects throughout Bergen County that will boost public access to outdoor recreation, conserve and acquire open space, and enhance 62 municipal and county parks.

The grants are critical to maintaining the quality of life in Bergen County as New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, and Bergen County is the fourth most densely populated county in the state despite not having a major city within its borders. The Trust Fund program is funded through a rate of one cent per $100 of total County equalized real property valuation annually, as approved by the public in 2013. The county administers these funds with a match program where the non-profit and/or municipality is not reimbursed until after the project is completed. The projects completed by this program preserves Bergen County’s natural beauty and makes open spaces more accessible for all the residents of Bergen County.

“This year’s Open Space grants continues our long-term commitment to enhance recreational opportunities and acquire and preserve open space,” said Commissioner Chairman Steve Tanelli. “These are the first grants awarded since the adoption of the Bergen County Parks Master Plan. A number of these grants focus on areas in need of quality open space opportunities.”

“The Board of Commissioners’ recent approval of these Open Space grants reaffirms our shared commitment to protecting the environment, promoting sustainability, and preserving open space for future generations to enjoy” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “These projects build upon the success of the Bergen County parks master plan, which was universally applauded by environmentalists, conservationists, and recreational enthusiasts alike.”