BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- Mayor Michael Venezia announced Monday that the Township of Bloomfield has been awarded $1M in New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) grant funding to restore the Lions Gate Drive property near the Third River.

The Third River runs through Montclair, Bloomfield, Belleville, and Nutley before emptying into the Passaic River in Clifton. 

 This funding comes from a NJDEP Green Acres matching grant, and will be used to complete the Lion Gate Municipal Park and Wetlands Complex. This new funding comes on the heels of a $3 million grant awarded for the project lin 2016 and will help minimize cost to Bloomfield taxpayers for the park.

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“This grant from the NJDEP will be carefully used to restore the wetlands and preserve a historical landmark, while adding new recreation space and reducing flooding,” said Mayor Venezia. “This marks an important milestone in the development of Lion Gate Municipal Park and Wetlands Complex, which will become an educational center and beautiful park Bloomfield families will cherish for years to come.”

The development of Lion Gate Municipal Park and Wetlands Complex is expected to significantly reduce flooding in the neighborhood, saving homeowners money in reduced flood insurance rates. It will also add new recreational spaces including new sports fields, walking trails and more.

The park will be used for educational purposes in partnership with Rutgers University to teach students about sustainable brownfields to greenfields development.  

The Green Acres program was established in 1961 and has protected over half a million acres of open space and provided hundreds of outdoor recreational facilities in communities in New Jersey.