The New Jersey Field Office of the Trust for Public Land (TPL) published the first edition of the Handbook for Public Financing of Open Space in New Jersey in 1994, at a time when reduced and inconsistent federal and state open space funding was sparking an increased demand for local governments to step up their open space preservation efforts. TPL created the Handbook to provide local officials and leaders of nonprofit environmental and land trust organizations with an overview of basic techniques for financing open space preservation at the county and municipal levels. At that time, only a few counties and municipalities had established local open space taxes and trust funds pursuant to the New Jersey enabling legislation enacted in 1989.
The Association of NJ Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) updated the publication and reprinted it as this edition. We hope that this Handbook will continue to generate the interest of local government agencies and nonprofit open space organizations in expanding their programs to preserve additional open space. In every part of the state the need is clear and urgent, and the opportunities are present but rapidly disappearing to preserve permanently open lands that the public relies on for recreation and for quality-of life, environmental and natural resource functions.