FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June, 29 2021
Friends of the New Jersey School of Conservation (NJSOC) are thrilled after receiving news that the state budget signed by Governor Murphy today includes $1 million in funding to keep the school open and operating.
Last year, Montclair State University abruptly closed the NJSOC, turned the facility over to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and suspended all programming citing financial hardship due to the pandemic.
Since then, the Friends of the NJSOC negotiated a limited access agreement with NJDEP, allowing them the ability to offer five education and public programs a month. The NJSOC programs have been well attended, and environmentalists, professors, students, and political leaders have been fighting to have the school’s funding restored.
“The Friends of NJSOC are so grateful to Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman John McKeon for sponsoring this budget resolution and supporting our efforts to restore the NJSOC. We would also like to thank Governor Phil Murphy for supporting this resolution, and the NJDEP for their incredible partnership with the Friends over the last year,” said Kerry Kirk Pflugh, president of the Friends of the NJSOC. “We were thrilled when we heard the news that the school had received $1 million in funding to continue our programming.”
“Educating the public, and especially our youth, about our environmental challenges and opportunities – such as confronting the realities of climate change, achieving environmental equity, and protecting natural resources – is a cornerstone of our mission at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection,” said DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “We are excited that the New Jersey School of Conservation – for decades a bulwark for environmental education – will be able to continue enabling New Jersey residents and others to become better stewards of the environment we share.