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Open Space Institute announces loans for conservation in New Jersey

NEW YORK, NY - October 6, 2005 - The New York based Open Space Institute (OSI) announced today two new loans to expand recreational opportunities and protect wildlife habitat in Monmouth and Atlantic counties in New Jersey.

The Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) used OSI's $250,000 loan to help protect a 40-acre parcel in rapidly growing Middletown Township. MCF collaborated with state, county and local public agencies to protect the Fisher-Stern property, which runs through the Locust section of Middletown Township and includes 800 feet of frontage along Claypit Creek. The $10.4 million project, a state and local priority for many years, is located near the 740-acre Hartshorne Woods and the 260-acre Huber Woods that together offer over 18 miles of trails. Once protected, the property will become a new county park. 

The Unexpected Wildlife Refuge (UWR) recently received a $670,000 loan from OSI to purchase the 127-acre Codario farm in Atlantic County that will enlarge the organization's 610-acre refuge in the Pinelands National Reserve, a globally significant environmental resource. Through this acquisition, the Unexpected Wildlife Refuge helped to protect a critical wildlife resource by taking advantage of New Jersey's innovative conservation funding mechanism known as Pinelands Development Credits (PDC), a part of the New Jersey program that administers Transfer of Development Rights. The program was established to protect ecologically sensitive lands in the Pinelands while directing development into designated growth areas. 

The refuge features important breeding habitat for many species of wildlife, including the Pine Barren tree frog and barred owl. UWR plans to repay the $670,000 loan from OSI through a combination of public acquisition funds and revenue from the sale of Pineland Development Credits associated with Codario Farm. 

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