Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

September 6, 2023

Contact: Beth Cefalu,
Director of Strategic Communications
(845) 638-5645

Open Space Acquisition Applications Now Available

Residents Urged to Submit Nominations

New City, NY, - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and the Division of Environmental Resources are proud to announce applications are being accepted for the County’s revitalized Open Space Acquisition Program.

“We invite residents to submit nominations of properties that will help us preserve open space and protect our County’s environment and beauty for future generations. I am committed to safeguarding our environment and working with the County Legislature to do so in a way that is fiscally responsible and fair to our taxpayers,” said County Executive Day.

The program was first launched in 1999 by former County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef with the goal of acquiring areas of scenic beauty, environmentally sensitive lands, farms, and Hudson River waterfront areas.

Until Rockland County’s fiscal difficulties during the national recession caused the program to be suspended in 2010, 31 individual properties were acquired preserving 1,204 acres of land. A total of $23,300,000 in County funds were expended while $11,576,000 in state grants and partnerships with Land Trusts and local municipalities were leveraged. After the programs revival in 2019, the County has so far preserved another three properties encompassing 25 acres of land which was announced in April of this year.

“The County Legislature was proud to preserve an additional 25 acres in Rockland are excited to acquire more purchases in the future to preserve the land for residents that won’t be developed,” said Legislative Chair Jay Hood Jr. “It’s thrilling to use funds in such a way that it really gives back to the people.”

Information and guidelines about the Open Space program, as well as nomination forms, are available here. You can also call the County Division of Environmental Resources with questions by calling 845-364-2670.

As part of updating the program, nomination forms are now form-fillable and can be submitted via email.

After a nomination form is submitted it will be reviewed by an internal Open Space Advisory Committee made up of representatives from the Division of Environmental Resources, Department of Planning, Department of Health, Office of Fire and Emergency Services and the Rockland County Drainage Agency. Next steps include:

  • Determination made that property owner is interested in selling.
  • Field inspection and rating of each property based on the Open Space Guidelines.
  • Appraisal of property.
  • County Executive’s Office makes determination to proceed with purchase, resolution prepared and submitted to the County Legislature.