MCF helps residents, landowners, and municipalities preserve the lands that are important to their communities. Here are some ways we have helped local governments and their residents to accomplish their land preservation goals:
Understanding Funding Options: We are experts in applying for grants from Green Acres, State Agriculture Development Committee, Monmouth County (Open Space Grant program), Federal, and private foundations and private individuals. Our staff can assist you to identify and apply for funding based on the specific need of your projects.
Landowner Outreach: We are skilled in speaking with landowners of targeted properties on behalf of government entities in order to assess landowners’ needs and goals. The initial contact may be better received by the landowner and developed by a nonprofit rather than the government. For example, if a municipality is interested in purchasing a piece of land to expand existing recreation areas, MCF can contact the landowner on behalf of the municipality.
Acquisition Negotiations & Due Diligence: We can help negotiate a suite of real estate transactions on behalf of the municipality. For example, negotiating a bargain sale for a Green Acres project can benefit both the buyer and the seller. We can perform the due diligence (appraisal, phase 1 and 2) survey. We can review purchase agreements to conform with grantor requirements.
Easement Monitoring: We have specialized staff trained to conduct routine monitoring for municipal conservation and farmland easements, which require regular monitoring. We are also experts in dealing with easement issues when they arise.
Fundraising: We are an accredited nonprofit that is well-equipped and trusted to solicit, hold, and maintain private funds. This is often helpful in raising money to fund projects.
Open Space Tax Guidance: Sometimes a municipality needs expertise to pass or increase the open space tax (or issue bonds). We can help provide guidance to educate residents about the importance of the effort.
Resident and Student Education: We offer programming for adults and school age children to learn more about conservation.