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Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grants

Franklin ParkerThere aren’t too many people about whom you can say, “If not for him, many of the most beautiful, unspoiled places in our state would not exist today.” Franklin E. Parker III was one of those people.


Frank was one of New Jersey’s true conservation pioneers. An attorney by vocation, his passion was land preservation in the Garden State and beyond. A myriad of conservation groups succeeded due to his leadership and vision.


He served as the inaugural chairman of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, established in 1979 to enforce laws protecting the Pine Barrens. He was a co-founder of New Jersey Conservation Foundation and a longtime trustee and former president. He founded and served as director of the New Jersey office of the Trust for Public Land. He was on the boards of numerous conservation organizations.


It is a testimony to Franklin Parker's legacy that grants supporting the work of New Jersey land conservation groups are named in his honor.




The Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grants provide funding for non-profit conservation organizations working in New Jersey. The grants are designed to enhance proficiency in land conservation, develop long-term viable programs, and design creative, innovative projects that can serve as models for other communities and projects. Since its inception in 1989, the Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grants Program has awarded more than $1,676,746 for 428 conservation projects throughout the Garden State.


The purpose of these grants is to provide essential resources to nonprofit conservation groups addressing critical land protection and conservation issues throughout New Jersey. Eligible activities include land preservation, land stewardship, public education,  and organizational health.




2018 Grants are due on May 15, 2018.



For questions or assistance, contact Laura Szwak at or 908-234-1225 ext. 117.


For a list of 2017 Grant awards, click here.


Funding for the Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grants Program is made possible through the generous support of Victoria Foundation and the Mary Reinhart Stackhouse Foundation.


Previous award winners:


2016 Grant Awards  (click link to see all winners)

Boys & Girls Club in Vineland plants a "pizza garden" and eat the produce!
Hunterdon Land Trust developed interpretive trail signs at Dvoor Farm.
Stewards trained by Sourland Conservancy restore woodcock habitat.
Friends of Black Run Preserve plant native Pine Barrens trees, shrubs and grasses.
Conserve Wildlife Foundation conducted bat surveys using mist-netting and telemetry.
D&R Greenway Land Trust planted shrubs to enhance reforestration project at Woodens Lane Preserve. 
Friends of Princeton Open Space constructed a deer fence and enhanced the forest at Mountain Lakes Preserve.
Isles cleaned up and beautifed vacant lots in Trenton with the help of neighborhood residents.
Great Swamp Watershed Association received assistance for land trust accreditation.
NJ Audubon Society improved bird migration stopover in Cape May.

Passaic River Coalition conveyed properties to other conservation groups.
Ridge and Valley Conservancy removed invasive mile-a-minute plants from Beech Ridge Preserve.


Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association preserves 26-acre property next to their lands.

Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space produced

 training and film about conservation deer hunting.



Tewksbury Land Trust purchased land to fill a gap in a 10-mile trail network.
Musconetcong Watershed Association & North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development will develop agreements to share administrative responsibilities.


NJ Invasive Species Strike Team tackled kudzu eradication projects.
Harding Land Trust created a wildflower pocket meadow.
NY-NJ Baykeeper will engage students in a restor-ation project in Cheesquake State Park.


2015 Grant Awards (click link to see all winners)


Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space removed a Heritage Preserve.  See before (left) and after (right)

major autumn olive infestation from their pictures.

D&R Greenway Land Trust volunteers established scrub-shrub and meadow habitat for pollinators. 

Volunteers assisted Delaware Riverkeeper Network create  a bioswale in Reverend Evers Park in Camden. 
Conserve Wildlife Foundation conducted research to learn more about bat behavior in NJ.

NJ Invasives Species Strike Team researched the extent of Chinese pond mussels in the Wickecheoke watershed.

Over 600 students learned about the importance of pollinators, thanks to Monmouth Conservation Foundation.

Friends of Princeton Open Space reforested 2 acres of their Greater Mountain Lakes Preserve.
Great Swamp Watershed Association took a step closer to achieving land trust accreditation. Isles engaged neighborhood volunteers and civic groups to "clean & green" vacant lots and parks in Trenton.
Passaic River Coalition transferred some of its preserved properties to other conservation organizations, resulting in a leaner, stronger organization.
South Jersey Land & Water Trust installed trail and boundary signs on their Oldmans Creek Preserve.
Ridge and Valley Conservancy mapped invasive species to begin to implement five of their preserve management plans.  Saddler's Woods Conservation Association engaged high school and college students to remove invasive plants from their 15-acre preserve.
Sourlands Conservancy trained a cadre of residents, "Sourlands Stewards," to take care of natural lands in the Sourlands region. The Land Conservancy of NJ started a wildflower meadow to attract monarch butterflies and other wildlife in their South Branch Preserve in Mt. Olive. 


2014 Grant Awards   (click link to see all winners)


Great Swamp Watershed Association built trails and a deer fence to protect their preserve.     Saddlers Woods Conservation Foundation recruited volunteers to remove invasive from their preserve.

D&R Greenway Land Trust restored Monarch

their properties.

Butterfly habitat and began reforestation on one of

Tewksbury Land Trust constructed a trail to connect lands they own.
NJ Invasive Strike Team improved their app to help volunteers detect invasives. 

The Canal Society of NJ is helping Roxbury Township acquire a towpath that will become a town trail.
The Friends of Riverside Park in Newark developed community programs in their new park.
Ridge and Valley Conservancy hired a consultant to help prepare for accreditation.    They achieved accreditation in February 2016.  Congratulations!       

Monmouth Conservation Foundation promoted a Kids for Conservation program in local schools.


Raritan Headwaters Association is acquiring a    historic farm, using the grant for soft costs.     Hunterdon Land Trust improved the hunting program on their properties to curb deer damage. 



Updated August 10, 2017





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