Open Space

Hunterdon County voters overwhelmingly approved three County Questions (November 1999, 2004, and 2008) authorizing the Board of County Commissioners to implement and continue an Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund pursuant to P.L. 1997, c. 24. (N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.1 et seq.) The proposition authorizes the County of Hunterdon to impose an annual levy for an amount or at a rate deemed appropriate for any or all of the following purposes, or any combination thereof, as determined by the Hunterdon County Board of County Commissioners:

  • Acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes.
  • Development of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes.
  • Maintenance of land acquired for recreation and conservation purposes.
  • Acquisition of farmland for farmland preservation purposes.
  • Historic preservation of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects, and the acquisition of such properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects for historic preservation purposes.
  • Payment of debt service or indebtedness issued or incurred by the County of Hunterdon for any of the previous purposes set forth.

County Ballot Questions:

The 2008 referendum was approved by the voters and authorized Hunterdon County to collect an open space tax on real estate of up to $0.03 per $100 value. The Board of County Commissioners have followed the goals and recommendations of the Open Space Trust Fund Plan to develop and implement various grant programs and allocate specific percentages of the Trust Fund to these purposes.

On this page is a breakdown of the Trust Fund allocations, the grant programs offered and their associated revenue collected in 2021.

Trust Fund Allocations

Current AllocationsPercentageCY 2019 Funding Levels

Farmland Preservation Grant Program


$ 1,946,059.44

Open Space Acquisition Grant Program


$ 1,946,059.44

County Open Space


$ 1,621,716.21

Municipal Grant Program


$ 648,686.48

Historic Preservation Grant Program


$ 227,040.27

County Historic Preservation


$ 97,302.97



$ 6,486,864.81

2019 Trust Fund Allocations Pie Graph

The Hunterdon Open Space Trust Fund Plan was prepared by the County Planning Board to provide the Commissioner Board with policy guidance on the selection of lands for preservation purposes including administrative and cost-effective ways to advance Hunterdon County's open space, farmland and historic preservation goals and objectives. These objectives also appear in the Hunterdon County Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan, adopted December 2008; the Hunterdon County Growth Management Plan, adopted December 2007; the Hunterdon County Strategic Park and Open Space Plan, adopted December 2018, and the Sites of Historic Interest - an element of the Hunterdon County Master Plan. Moreover, the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners adopted the Open Space Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation Policy Number  2008 02 (PDF), on October 7, 2008: and subsequent revisions. This Policy (Policy Number 2008-02) is intended to generally outline the Practices and Procedures of the Board of Commissioners when selecting, evaluating and acquiring interests in real property for Open Space, Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation Purposes by the County of Hunterdon, and which is incorporated in the Procedures Manual.

Hunterdon County Planning Board

Hunterdon County Park and Open Space PlanThe Hunterdon County Planning Board adopted the revised Strategic Park and Open Space Plan on December 6th, 2018 as an element to the County’s Growth Management Plan, otherwise known as a Master Plan.

This comprehensive plan identified our communities collective park and recreation needs and enables proactive planning for the future of the County Park System.” View the Strategic Park and Open Space Plan 2018 page.