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Pinelands Conservation Fund
2022 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. In 2019, an amended agreement with the South Jersey Transportation Authority resulted in the addition of a total of $3,000,000 over a five-year period.

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.  Finally, as of April 2022, the South Jersey Transportation Authority has made the first three of its six annual $500,000 contributions 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 have successfully closed as of July 1, 2019, resulting in the permanent protection of 8,971 acres in the Pinelands Area. Further details on the 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.


2022 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 April 2021, The Commission offered a new round of land acquisition grants. A total of $1,000,000 was made available to fund land preservation efforts for projects that ranked highly relative to a set project evaluation matrix. At the conclusion of the acquisition round, the Commission tabled the land acquisition effort due to a lack of highly ranked projects.

The Commission is now re-launching the land acquisition grant round. With a $500,000 addition, a total of $1.5 million will be available for this round of grants. Project proposals will be evaluated on the same evaluation matrix that was set in 2021. 

The matrix lays out weighted criteria related to:

  • a focus on grassland habitats closer to the Atlantic City Airport
  • habitat for other threatened or endangered species
  • size of the project and its contiguity with nearby preserved land
  • climate change mitigation through acquisition of land for carbon sequestration or to reduce flood or wildfire risk
  • location of the project in a 502 or planning target area
  • long-term maintenance plans
  • 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. See maps of focus areas by choosing from among the links below.

The application form may be downloaded here. Project applications must be submitted no later than July 15, 2022 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 at