6 New Acres of Parkland for Bergen County, NJ

Oakland, NJ, 4/2/2007: The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit land conservation group, today announced the conservation of a six-acre property in the Borough of Oakland. The group negotiated the purchase by Bergen County from Jack and Lydia Zakim. The land, near Camp Glen Gray, is now part of Bergen County’s park system, forging another connection to the 5,000 acres of open space managed by Mahwah, Oakland, Bergen County, and the State of New Jersey.

“We are grateful to Bergen County and the Green Acres Program for helping to make the protection of one of the last, undeveloped parcels in the Ramapo Mountains possible,” said Tom Gravel of The Trust for Public Land. “The preservation of the Zakim property will improve trail linkages and expand access to the publicly-owned assemblage of land next to Camp Glen Gray.

Funding for the acquisition was provided by the Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund and a planning incentive grant from Green Acres.

In order to help The Trust for Public Land continue its conservation work in the area, the Zakim family made a $100,000 donation to the group in honor of Lydia Zakim’s parents, Harry and Marcelle Silman. The couple belonged to many local outdoors clubs, including the New York Hiking Club, The Ramblers, The Nature Friends, the Wanderbirds, and the City College Hiking Club. They were also dedicated members of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Harry Silman worked with Raymond Torrey and Major Welch in laying out trails in Harriman State Park in the 1930s. The Harry Silman Tool Fund was established in 1982 at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to purchase tools and supplies used in trail building and maintenance.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. With its state office in Morristown, The Trust for Public Land has been active in the protection of the Highlands for more than a decade and has helped protect 50 properties-more than 32,000 acres-through its New York-New Jersey Highlands program. Since 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.2 million acres of land in 46 states, including more than 23,000 acres in New Jersey. For more information, visit www.tpl.org/newjersey.