Open Space

From the Highlands to the Pinelands, the Jersey Shore to the Delaware River, NJ Keep Green and its partner organizations are dedicated to protecting the natural resources we all depend on, the beautiful landscapes we enjoy, and the healthy ecosystems in which plants and wildlife thrive. Preservation and stewardship are critical land-use tools with significant economic and public-health benefits that sustain our quality of life and ensure a healthy future for generations to come.

A well-planned program of land preservation and stewardship benefits our communities in numerous ways:

Clean water

Land preservation protects the watershed and aquifer recharge areas that millions of New Jersey residents depend on for a clean and reliable water supply. Keeping water clean at the source is far less expensive than purifying it at delivery.

Land management

Preservation is a critical tool in the effort to manage growth wisely. Working with the state and local governments, our partner organizations help communities control sprawl, reduce traffic, protect beautiful landscapes, and provide ample space for outdoor recreation.

Healthy habitats

New Jersey is rich with plant and animal life. Our varied landscapes provide diverse habitat for a wide variety of species, including many classified as threatened and endangered. Many species require large, contiguous tracts of habitat for survival. Thoughtful preservation and stewardship assure the survival of imperiled species over the long-term.

Tax benefits

Residential development often costs local taxpayers more in government services than it generates in new tax revenue. Preserving land that might otherwise be developed helps to stabilize the tax rate.

Coppermine Trail Falls in New Jersey

Economic development

Outdoor recreation is big businesses in New Jersey. Open space boosts local economies by attracting tourists and supporting outdoor recreation such as hiking, birdwatching, hunting, and fishing. Outdoor recreation contributes $17.8 billion in consumer spending, $6.1 billion in wages and salaries, $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenue annually, as well as 158,000 direct New Jersey jobs (

Climate change

“Carbon sinks” such as forests and wetlands remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, an essential method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Flood mitigation

The NJ Blue Acres program assists homeowners who want to leave areas subject to chronic flooding by purchasing their property and preserving it as open space.