Engineering Conference Room, 129 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ 08753
The Natural Lands Trust Fund Program was established to acquire and maintain environmentally sensitive lands, natural areas or open spaces that would generally remain in their natural state and for the preservation of farmland. The objective of the program, is to establish of a system of protected lands which, in combination with the Farmlands Preservation Program, enhance the quality of life in Ocean County by:
- Helping to maintain the County’s rural characteristics;
- Protecting critical environmental resources and water supply;
- Maintaining and enhancing active agriculture;
- Buffering areas that are not compatible with development.
In 1997, the residents of Ocean County, overwhelmingly voted to establish the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Program. The approval of a 1.2 cent dedicated tax provides the Board of Chosen Freeholders with the funds to acquire lands in Ocean County for conservation and farmland preservation. On February 18, 1998, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders established a nine member Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee to advise on the preparation of the required open space plan and the nomination of properties to be acquired through the Natural Lands Trust Fund. The committee’s purpose is to review nominations for the Trust Fund and to forward recommendations to the Board of Chosen Freeholders for consideration.
The program now generates over $10 million per year for natural lands acquisitions and farmland preservation. Several important parcels have been preserved and acquired through partnerships with non-profits, municipalities and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information on the program click here.
** November/December meetings are combined. Date and location to be determined. Meetings are subject to change, please contact the Ocean County Planning Department to confirm dates at 732-929-2054.