Monmouth County Open Space Plan Update


The Monmouth County Park System is currently reviewing and updating the County Open Space Plan. The previous plan was adopted in 2006 to preserve land in Monmouth County for recreation, water resources, natural areas, and improved quality of life for county residents.

As a result of this guidance, over 2,000 acres have been added to the Park System since 2006, bringing the total acreage of the Park System to more than 17,000. The recreational facilities and open space provided in Monmouth County are visited over six million times annually.

Key elements of the 2006 Open Space Plan included:

Advocacy

  • Encourage municipalities to develop open space plans and acquire lands
  • Encourage linkages between parks
  • Work with partners on parks projects

Stewardship

  • Manage, design and improve parks to protect valuable resources
  • Promote public awareness of environmental stewardship issue
  • Budget for operations in proportion to the acquisition of additional land

Acquisition

  • Lands should have conservation and recreation value
  • Create a geographically balanced park system
  • Follow the Park System Lands Classification System
  • Expand current parks where possible
  • Develop new parks in densely populated or underserved areas
  • Increase public access to waterfront areas
  • Develop a county-wide trail network

Over the last 10 years the region has made incredible progress and faced serious challenges. As a result, we are expanding the scope of the Open Space Plan to meet the current needs of the community. In addition to the elements of the previous plan, the following items will be emphasized.

Ecology

  • Preservation of habitat areas and species specific habitat areas
  • Preservation of century forests
  • Protection of headwaters of surface water drinking supply
  • Ground water re-charge area protection

Connectivity

  • Accessibility via cycling and walking
  • Accessibility via mass transit
  • Waterfront access
  • ADA compliance within and surrounding our parks

Equity

  • Consistent acquisition throughout the county
  • Expanded opportunities for urban recreation
  • ADA accessibility
  • Improving access for all ages

Resiliency & Sustainability

  • County Hazard Mitigation Projects
  • Mapping flood prone areas
  • Planning for sea level rise

Historic Preservation

  • The Monmouth County Park System is the largest owner of historic properties and buildings in the county.
  • The Monmouth County Park System has a role in preserving county history.
  • The Monmouth County Park System must be a responsible caretaker.

The development of the Open Space Plan includes analysis of the county as a whole, by region, individual municipalities, and park by park. It is an extensive undertaking, but we recognize that the issues and needs of one region of the county are not the same as others. To better understand this we are asking the community for input.

The parks belong to us all and are here to serve the community. To achieve this, residents are encouraged to participate in our Citizen Survey for 2017. Residents are also encouraged to send comments and questions via email and check back for updates as draft copies of the plan are uploaded for review and comment. Additional public meetings for review and comment will be scheduled this fall.

This site will be updated with further information, including the dates and locations of events. Make sure to sign up for our Park System email list to stay informed of upcoming events and opportunities to participate in the planning process.

County Open Space Plan Presentation to the Residents of Monmouth County 2017

County Open Space Plan Citizen Survey 2017 

Monmouth County Open Space Trust Fund Fact Sheet     

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Please email us with questions or comments.