Rockland County Invites Nominations for Open Space Acquisition Program

The Rockland County Executive, Ed Day, in collaboration with the Division of Environmental Resources, has announced that they are now accepting applications for the County’s reinvigorated Open Space Acquisition Program. This initiative aims to maintain the natural beauty and environmental health of Rockland County for future generations.

“We are reaching out to residents, encouraging them to nominate properties that align with our vision of preserving open spaces. I remain steadfast in my dedication to protecting our environment and am determined to collaborate with the County Legislature to ensure the approach is both financially sound and just for our taxpayers,” commented County Executive Day.

Originally launched in 1999 by then-County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, the program had the mission of securing lands that held significant scenic, environmental, and cultural value. This included picturesque landscapes, ecologically vital regions, farmlands, and stretches along the Hudson River waterfront.

However, the economic downturn during the national recession led to the program’s suspension in 2010. By that time, the program had successfully secured 31 properties, conserving a total of 1,204 acres of land. This was achieved through an expenditure of $23.3 million in County funds, supplemented by $11.576 million obtained through state grants, partnerships with Land Trusts, and local municipal collaborations.

After its revival in 2019, the program has marked another milestone. As announced this past April, three more properties have been added to the preserved list, accounting for an additional 25 acres of land.

Speaking on the program’s achievements, Legislative Chair Jay Hood Jr. expressed, “The County Legislature takes pride in the recent conservation of 25 acres in Rockland. We are eagerly looking forward to more acquisitions in the future, ensuring that these lands remain undeveloped for the enjoyment of our residents. Utilizing funds in such a meaningful manner, directly benefiting the community, is truly rewarding.”

For those interested in learning more about the Open Space program or submitting a nomination, detailed information, guidelines, and forms can be found here.

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