Open Space Institute and Morris Land Conservancy protect land for public access

New York, NY - March 13, 2003 - This morning, the New Jersey Conservation Loan Program of the Open Space Institute announced a conservation loan to the Morris Land Conservancy of Boonton. The loan will enable the Conservancy to protect 240 acres of undeveloped woodlands in Sussex County. 

The Morris Land Conservancy will purchase a conservation easement to insure the perpetual protection of the land parcel, considered a priority by the Green Acres program. Green Acres will ultimately purchase the easement when state funds become available. The Open Space Institute launched the New Jersey Conservation Loan Program (NJCLP) in January with a $2.5 million fund established by a program related investment of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. NJCLP supports New Jersey's land conservation community by providing bridge loans for time sensitive transactions when permanent funding is anticipated but not available at the time of closing. “The intent of the loan fund is to protect open space in areas of ecological importance. Our loan to the Morris Land Conservancy advances that goal nicely,” said Robert Perry, Director of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's Environment and Welfare of Animals Programs. 

“The loan program is geared toward public-private partnerships,” said OSI president, Joe Martens. “By leveraging funding for private non-profits, we hope to augment state efforts to protect open spaces in New Jersey. Today's loan will serve that purpose by purchasing a permanent conservation easement on a 240-acre land parcel that buffers State protected land,” added Martens. 

"Morris Land Conservancy is pleased to continue our partnership with Green Acres to purchase and preserve important properties throughout northern New Jersey. We thank the Open Space Institute and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for moving so quickly to provide the funding we needed to purchase this wonderful property," said Conservancy Executive Director David Epstein. 

Founded in 1974, the Open Space Institute is a nonprofit organization that protects significant recreational, environmental, agricultural, and historic landscapes for public benefit. Since its inception, OSI has permanently protected over 70,000 acres throughout the state of New Yorky; assisted in the protection of close to 600,000 acres in the Northern Forest, which encompasses critical wilderness areas in NY, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine; and launched a Conservation Loan Program to protect open spaces in New Jersey, which has more developed land than any other state in the nation.

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