Paul R. Brown, President of Monmouth University, named to MCF's Board of Directors

Monmouth Conservation Foundation named Monmouth University President Paul R. Brown, Ph.D., to its board of trustees on April 19.  The non-profit organization has collaboratively preserved more than 22,500 acres of open space and natural habitat throughout Monmouth County since its founding in 1977.  

As a trustee, Brown will help set broad policies for the Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF), approve an annual budget, and help the Foundation succeed in its mission to create a permanent legacy of open space, farmland, woodlands, wetlands, wildlife and parks throughout Monmouth County, including establishing parks in under-served local neighborhoods for families who lack the resources and ability to access the land saved and parks created in other areas of Monmouth County. 

Brown will work with his fellow board members to ensure the Foundation continues to implement its ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the county’s fragile ecosystem through partnerships between public and private entities.

“The mission of the Monmouth Conservation Foundation aligns well with the overarching goals of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute (UCI),” Brown said.  The UCI serves the public interest as a forum for research, education, and collaboration in the development and implementation of science-based policies and programs that support stewardship of healthy, productive, and resilient coastal ecosystems and communities.

Among the projects on the MCF agenda are the 62-acre former Aeromarine facility in Keyport Borough, and the 14.6 acre Chris’ Landing property in Middletown Township, which provides access to the Swimming and Navesink Rivers.

During his tenure at Monmouth, Brown has completed a comprehensive strategic plan, overseen substantial campus improvements, and recently led the university to its highest levels of outside financial support, including a $5 million Marine Science & Policy Challenge Grant for the UCI. In 2014 Monmouth University received the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award in the Clean Air category for its contributions to improving air quality in New Jersey.

The first independent university in New Jersey to sign a comprehensive green operation agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Monmouth University has distinguished itself as a leader in conservation and environmental stewardship among academic institutions. In 2006 the University installed a 454kW solar photovoltaic system—at the time, the largest solar array on any campus east of the Mississippi River.  In 2012, the University installed an additional 600 kW solar panel system on seven University buildings under a Power Purchase agreement with Torcon Energy Services.

Monmouth was named the New Jersey Clean Energy School of the Year in 2006 by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and in 2007 received a Merit Award from the Monmouth County Planning Board for its Solar Panel Installation Project. 

Brown is one of five new trustees elected to the Foundation’s board.  The others include Meredyth R. Armitage, Mai Cleary, Mark Forrest Gilbertson and Bob Sickles. 

William Kastning, executive director of Monmouth Conservation Foundation, commends the entire board of trustees for their commitment to Monmouth Conservation Foundation and for tirelessly carrying out its mission.

“The members of Monmouth Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees are outstanding individuals who are exceptionally accomplished and represent a range of professional, personal, and philanthropic fields,” Kastning stated. “The Foundation is especially thankful to the board for both their support and for the role they serve as ambassadors of Monmouth Conservation Foundation and its ongoing mission to acquire, hold, develop, save and protect land throughout Monmouth County.”

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Monmouth Conservation Foundation Unveils Preschool Winners of Kids for Conservation Contest


Preschool students earn grants for their conservation creativity

Click here for The Patch article.

By Heather Keefe (Open Post) March 16, 2015

Monmouth Conservation Foundation, a non-profit organization that collaboratively has preserved more than 22,500 acres of open space and farmland throughout Monmouth County, is proud to announce the young winners of its Kids for Conservation contest. As part of the contest, Monmouth Conservation Foundation provided $2,500 in academic grants for Monmouth County students.

Kids for Conservation is an academic enrichment program that Monmouth Conservation Foundation created for preschool and kindergarten students in Monmouth County. The program was funded, in part, with a Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence grant given by New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

The purpose of Kids for Conservation is to teach children and adults about their environment and how to care for it. The program emphasizes the importance of land conservation, wildlife protection, and the preservation of farms, farmland, and open space.

From September 3 to November 7, 2014, Kids for Conservation was open to all preschool and kindergarten students in Monmouth County. The schools were challenged to implement one of the lesson plans provided by Monmouth Conservation Foundation (pertaining to rainwater, wildlife, trees, and other topics) or develop their own lesson plan. They created projects and shared artwork demonstrating what they had learned about preserving and protecting a clean environment.

The first-place winner of Kids for Conservation is Janet Ford’s Midstreams class at Atlantis Prep School in Manasquan. The students (4½-5 years old) created an interactive water cycle project and earned a $1,500 academic grant from Monmouth Conservation Foundation.

The second-place winner is the Learning Experience of Wall. A “seasons tree” project, led by teachers KristyLyn Krais and Kelly Lord, incorporated nature into learning the alphabet. The preschool students earned a $500 grant from Monmouth Conservation Foundation for their school.

A second component of Kids for Conservation is Discovering Nature at Home. Monmouth Conservation Foundation encouraged preschool and kindergarten students to draw, paint, or photograph an aspect of nature that they discovered while outside. Richie Wagner, a four-year-old resident of Manalapan, earned a $500 academic scholarship from Monmouth Conservation Foundation for his depiction of a dinosaur as “nature from the past” and leaves as “nature from today.”

According to Lisa McKean, Managing Director of Marketing and Development for Monmouth Conservation Foundation, the foundation is eager to continue motivating children and adults to participate in environmental education.

“At Monmouth Conservation Foundation,” McKean explains, “we want to inspire children to engage in and become passionate about nature – to play outdoors and make their own discoveries about the environment.

“With the Kids for Conservation program,” McKean continues, “Monmouth Conservation Foundation educates young students and their families about the importance of land conservation, open space preservation, and wildlife protection. It is our goal to create an ongoing legacy of open space for our own families and all the families of future generations so everyone can enjoy the natural beauty of Monmouth County.”

William Kastning, Executive Director of Monmouth Conservation Foundation, reiterates this mission. “Engaging young children at any early age instills an appreciation for nature, conservation, and protecting the land,” Kastning states.

The late Michael Huber and Judith Stanley – longtime residents of Monmouth County – founded Monmouth Conservation Foundation in 1977. The mission of Monmouth Conservation Foundation is to create a permanent legacy of open space, parks, farmland, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife throughout Monmouth County.

Monmouth Conservation Foundation is the only countywide land trust in Monmouth County. The organization achieved land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

In the fall of 2015, Monmouth Conservation Foundation plans to offer the Kids for Conservation program once again. For more information, please contact Christine Horrigan at Monmouth Conservation Foundation (732-671-7000) or visit Monmouth Conservation Foundation on line: www.monmouthconservation.orgor

Gimbel family works with MCF to preserve property as farmland and open space

MCF purchased an agriculture easement on this 35 acre farm in Middletown Township with the help of the State Agriculture Development Committee and the Monmouth County Agricultural Development Board.  The donation of a conservation easement on the remaining 6 acres of the farm from the Gimbel Family ensures that the property will forever remain as farmland and open space.  The Gimbel tract is not only valuable to our farm community, but it also falls within the Foundation’s Navesink Highlands Greenway project area, which stretches from the shores of Atlantic Highlands to the inlets of the Navesink River and the farm landscapes of the Chapel Hill section of Middletown Township.