The New Jersey – Keep It Green (KIG) Campaign
Pinelands Preservation Alliance is a member and outreach committee co-chair of The New Jersey – Keep It Green (KIG) Coalition which represents over 150 statewide, local and regional organizations ranging from sportsmen’s groups and environmental organizations to affordable housing and urban park advocates.
NJ KIG led efforts to pass statewide bond measures, such as those in 2009 and 2011, which together provided $600 million for the State Green Acres, Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation programs.
Following these successes, NJ KIG led a campaign to secure a long-term, sustainable source of funding to ensure permanent protection of critical lands and waters throughout the state. In 2014, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to dedicate existing Corporate Business Tax funds to sustainably provide long-term open space, park, farmland, and historic preservation efforts. This measure will provide $1 billion dollars every 10 years for preservation and stewardship!
New Jersey Conservation Foundation in cooperation with the Keep it Green Coalition created a series of three White Papers describing the Benefits, Accomplishments and Future Needs of State Preservation Programs. Some of the findings on economic and environmental benefits are as follows.
Economic Benefits for Land and Property:
- The average home price increases 16% when it is located near permanently preserved open space.
- The value of a vacant lot increases 35% when it is located next to permanently preserved open space.
- Parks contribute up to 20% of the value of homes in urban areas.
- 1,931 farms generated $30 million in income from sales of edible farm products in 2007
- Properties listed on a historic register benefit from at least a 5% increase in market value.
- 29 jobs are created for every $1,000,000 spent rehabbing historic residential buildings.
- 38 jobs are created for every $1,000,000 spent rehabbing historic nonresidential buildings.
- Each $1 million spent on non-residential historic rehabilitation creates 2 jobs more than the same money spent on new construction.
A study of five NJ towns found that:
- For every $1 collected in residential property taxes, over $1.00 is spent in municipal services, in a range from $1.10 to $1.51.
- For every tax dollar collected from privately owned natural lands, less than a dollar is spent on municipal services, in a range from 33 to 66 cents.
- For every 10% increase in forest cover, water treatment and chemical costs decrease by 20%.
- One tree provides $62,000 in air pollution control.
- New Jersey’s estuaries and bays provide $5.3 billion in ecosystem services.
- Open spaces in New Jersey support 2,134 known native plant species.
- Open spaces in New Jersey support close to 900 wildlife species.