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Pinelands Conservation Fund
2024 Acquisition Round Offered


Lenape Farms

The Pinelands Conservation Fund (PCF) was created in 2004 as part of an agreement with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to permit the construction and upgrade of an electric transmission line through eastern portions of the Pinelands. Under the agreement, the special fund was established to further the Pinelands protection program and ensure a greater level of protection of the unique resources of the Pinelands Area. The utility that built the transmission lines, Atlantic City Electric (formerly Conectiv), provided $13 million to establish the Fund. An additional $3,415,000 was added to the Fund in 2009 because of an amendment to the Comprehensive Management Plan that authorized expansion of the Cape May landfill and through a 2008 Memorandum of Agreement with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority that authorized improvements to the Garden State Parkway. Most recently, an amended agreement with the South Jersey Transportation Authority added $3,000,000 to the Fund for permanent land protection.

The Pinelands Conservation Fund is dedicated to four types of projects: permanent land protection; conservation planning and research projects; community planning and design initiatives; and education and outreach. Of the original $13 million, $6 million was allocated by the Commission to permanent land protection. Additional monies were subsequently allocated to the land acquisition component of the Pinelands Conservation Fund, including $2.5 million from the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority. Eight percent of those funds, or $200,000, was earmarked for projects in Cape May County. An additional $915,000 was added to the acquisition component of the Pinelands Conservation Fund in 2008 as the result of a memorandum of agreement between the Commission and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority that allowed for the widening of the Garden State Parkway. To offset potential secondary impacts associated with this transportation project, the Turnpike Authority provided the Commission with funds to purchase lands in the immediate vicinity of two Parkway interchanges as a means of limiting future development that might be inconsistent with the CMP. In 2014, the Commission transferred $500,000 from the community planning and design account to the land acquisition account.  Most recently, the South Jersey Transportation Authority has completed contributions totaling $3,000,000 to the PCF, all of which must be used for permanent land protection in the Pinelands Area.

Between 2007 and July 1, 2019, the Commission conducted a series of funding rounds, in which a total of $9.42 million was allocated from the PCF to 40 projects in the Pinelands Area. All of the 40 projects were successfully closed as of July 1, 2019, resulting in the permanent protection of 8,971 acres in the Pinelands Area. Further details on those PCF projects may be found in the final report that Conservation Resources, Inc. submitted to the Commission in 2014 and by accessing the Commission's Permanent Land Protection Map.


2024 Acquisition Round Offered

For each funding round, the Commission sets land acquisition priorities and other policies for distribution of the PCF acquisition funds. Previous rounds focused on specific planning areas and the “502” Target areas (a reference to Section 502 of the 1978 National Parks and Recreation Act that created the Pinelands National Reserve). Also, in all prior rounds, the Commission determined that PCF dollars would be best spent by contributing a maximum of one-third of a project’s fair market value, as a means of closing gaps in funding and providing the last piece of the puzzle needed to complete a project.

In May 2024, the Commission is offering a new round of funding for land acquisition projects. A total of $3,000,000 will be made available to fund land preservation efforts for projects that rank highly relative to a set evaluation matrix.  

The matrix lays out weighted criteria related to:

  • grassland habitats
  • habitat for other threatened or endangered species
  • size of the project and its contiguity with nearby preserved land
  • location in or near an environmental justice community
  • location of the project in a Section 502 or acquisition target area
  • stewardship and maintenance plans or projects
  • partner contribution of at least 67.7% of acquisition costs

County and municipal governments and non-governmental organizations engaged in permanent land protection are invited to apply for project funding. A map showing acquisition target areas is linked here: Target Area Map. In addition, the Pinelands Commission acquisition target areas may be viewed on the New Jersey Conservation Blueprint map.

The application form may be downloaded here. Project applications must be submitted no later than September 16, 2024 to be considered. Please submit all application materials via email to For files exceeding 35MB, please email to request a link to upload files. Alternatively, hard copy packages may be delivered to the attention of Gina Berg at the address below:

New Jersey Pinelands Commission
PO Box 359
15 Springfield Road
New Lisbon, NJ  08064

Questions about the PCF land acquisition program should be directed to Gina A. Berg, Director, Land Use Programs at