Preserving open space and conserving natural resources ensure a sustainable quality of life in Passaic County. Acknowledging the need to preserve open space, historical sites, and farmland and improve the park system/facilities in Passaic County, two referenda were added to the November 1996 Election Ballot concurrently as non-binding ballots. The citizens approved an Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund referendum and an Open Space and Parks Improvement referendum, which were ultimately consolidated as a result of legislative initiative. The County manages and provides grants to municipal and non-profit partners from the Open Space, Farmland, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
Any of Passaic County’s sixteen municipalities and qualified charitable conservancies are eligible to submit applications to the Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Committee.
Qualified nonprofit land trusts and charitable conservancies are defined as a “corporation or trust whose purposes include the acquisition and preservation of land or water areas or of a particular land or water area, or either thereof, in a natural, scenic or open condition, no part of the net earnings of which insures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, and which has received tax exemption under section 501(c) of the 1954 Internal Revenue Code.” (N.J.S.A 13:83-2).