Open Space Institute Secures Deal for Creation of Greenway in Northern New Jersey

Deal reached after Open Space Institute negotiated $65 million purchase rights for nearly nine miles of former rail line and galvanized private fundraising effort.

After years of direct negotiation that led to a $65 million purchase agreement between OSI and Norfolk Southern Railway, Governor Phil Murphy announced on November 12, 2021 that the state of New Jersey would acquire the 135-acre property to create a new Greenway. The deal marks the single largest state-funded land protection project in New Jersey history.

The newly announced Greenway project will span one of the world’s most populated regions – located just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. It will create easy and equitable access to nature for millions of New Jersey residents; provide alternative transportation options; introduce green infrastructure to improve water quality; and spur economic activity.

Rendering of the proposed Essex Hudson Greenway. Courtesy of Essex Hudson Greenway

OSI assembled private funding to invest $3.9 million in the project to date. Major support for OSI’s efforts has been provided by the Thomas L. Kempner Jr. Foundation. Additional generous support came from the Helen & William Mazer Foundation, Partners for Health Foundation, and individual donors.

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