Open Spaces


Trust Fund

On November 9th, 1989, the voters of Cape May County approved by a 2 - 1 margin a ballot question endorsing the establishment of a trust fund to preserve open space and agricultural land. The trust is funded by a County property tax of 1 cent per 100 dollars of assessed valuation and currently generates approximately 1.3 million dollars a year. Since its inception, the program has preserved approximately 4,000 acres of open space and farmland (almost 5 square miles).

Cape May County Creative Placemaking Plan

The Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present you with the "Cape May County Creative Placemaking Plan".  This document, the result of a stakeholder-driven visioning process, provides partners in our Open Spaces Program with robust guidelines for use in designing projects for public spaces throughout Cape May County, using materials, patterns, colors, and other aesthetic elements derived from our natural and built environments.

placemaking plan new photo

Open Spaces & Farmland Preservation Program


Click above image to access the "Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan"

Farmland Preservation Program

Farmland Easement Acquisition

Applications are accepted on a continual basis.  For information on the Farmland Easement Acquisition application process and pending applications, contact Barbara Ernst at 609-465-1086 or email.

Right to Farm and Other Issues

For all other information on Farmland Preservation, including Right to Farm issues and information on existing preserved farms, contact Barbara Ernst at 609-465-1086 or email.

        *Additional meetings and/or public hearings shall be held on "as-needed" basis
          Call 609-465-1086 or 609-465-1081 for details

Open Spaces Program

• 2023 Program Guide   (Adopted 3/14/2023)

Land Acquisition Program

Historic Preservation Program

Open Spaces Program Priorities Grant Program

Preliminary Application Form - Program Priorities

Parks & Recreation Development Program
• Full Application Form (To be submitted after completion of pre-application process; by invitation only)

Joint Venture Program
• Joint Venture Grant Application Form (Coming Soon)


Signage and Dedication Plaque Standards

Dedication Plaque Standards
• Wall Mounted 12" x 18" Dedication Plaque - to be used in projects where the Municipality's costs for the project are 51% or greater.
•  Wall or Post Mounted 5" x 10" Dedication Plaque - to be used in projects where the County Open Spaces Program's costs for the project are 51% or greater.

Project Close-Out Documents