Over $3 Million Awarded for NJ Conservation

PHILADELPHIA, PA, 6/13/01 – The William Penn Foundation has announced grants totaling $3.41 million to three New Jersey organizations to improve the management and protection of important habitat and watershed lands in the Garden State.

Grants are being awarded to:

  • The Trust for Public Land, Morristown, N.J.; $1.1 million over two years to create a greenway from the Delaware River to Barnegat Bay.
  • The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey, Chester, N.J.; $1.65 million over three years toward acquisition and management of threatened natural areas in the Delaware Bayshores, Pine Barrens, and Skylands regions.
  • The New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Far Hills, N.J.; $660,000 over two years to improve coordination of public and private planning, policy, and preservation efforts in the Delaware Bay Watershed and the Delaware River Corridor.

“New Jersey has some of our region’s most precious natural resources that we need to protect now for future generations,” said Dr. Janet Haas, president of the William Penn Foundation. “These three organizations have a strong track record of success in forming partnerships with public and private agencies in order to leverage resources and protect New Jersey’s watershed lands.”

From 1986 to 1995, developed land in New Jersey increased by 14 percent, while the population grew only 4.5 percent; some 85 percent of state waterways were deemed too polluted for fishing or swimming; and nearly one-third of vertebrate animal species and native plant species were designated rare or endangered.

The grants announced today bring William Penn Foundation support of the three organizations to nearly $10 million since 1987. These grants are intended to help the state to achieve its 10-year goal of protecting 1 million acres of farmland and open space.

Each organization announced the following plans for its grant:

The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey Michael Catania, Executive Director; (908) 879-7262
The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey will protect at least 1,000 acres, valued at more than $6 million, in three areas of New Jersey that fall within the Foundation’s grantmaking region – the Delaware Bayshores, Pine Barrens, and Skylands – by matching the Foundation’s grant with local, state and federal public funds and private contributions of cash and gifts of land.

Trust for Public Land Leigh Rae, Director; (973) 292-1100
The Trust for Public Land will work with local communities to create a greenway from the Delaware River to the Barnegat Bay. Foundation support will be used toward greenway planning and the acquisition of key sites with special emphasis on linking existing protected public parklands in Camden and Ocean counties. Funds were provided through this initiative for the Trust for Public Land’s first acquisition in Camden County, a 49-acre parcel in Voorhees Township to be used for a township park.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation Michele S. Byers, Executive Director; (908) 234-1225
In addition to continuing its land acquisition efforts in partnership with the state and other land trusts, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation will provide assistance to local public and private agencies to promote better multi-municipal and regional cooperation and to build the capacity of land trusts to meet the state’s goal of protecting 1 million acres.

The William Penn Foundation promotes understanding of and action on important issues facing the Philadelphia region, in order to advance dynamic and diverse communities that provide meaningful opportunity, and to improve the region’s quality of life. Through its grantmaking and other efforts, the Foundation strengthens children’s future, fosters rich cultural expression, and deepens connections to nature and community.

The Foundation funds proposals from nonprofits working in Arts and Culture; Children, Youth, and Families; and Environment and Communities, and it seeks dialogue with organizations and others concerned about our communities. For more information, call 215-988-1830; e-mail to moreinfo@wpennfdn.org; or visit The William Penn Foundation.

The William Penn Foundation, with assets of $1 billion, was founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas.