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Posted on: March 23, 2016

Passaic County Freeholders Invest in Local Tourism

(Passaic County, NJ) - The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders at its meeting on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 awarded a grant of $20,000 to the Greenwood Lake Commission (GWLC). Greenwood Lake is spread across the border of New Jersey and New York, and is part of the Township of West Milford.

“Greenwood Lake is the second largest public lake in the state and serves as a source of fresh drinking water to over 3 million residents and thousands of businesses,” said Freeholder Director Theodore “TJ” Best. “We have been investing in historical and other tourist attractions around the county, and this grant is a part of that investment.”

The GWLC is a bi-state commission, created by the legislatures of both states to oversee and protect the natural and recreational resources Greenwood Lake provides. A recent impact study from VisitNJ showed that Passaic County’s tourism industry recently grew by 10%, the fastest growing county in terms of tourism growth in New Jersey.

Greenwood Lake has been plagued by large amounts of stumps, floating islands, and invasive aquatic plants, all of which impact the safety of boaters and swimmers. The GWLC often has trouble finding funds for the lake, as the law that created the Commission provided no means of raising revenue. The grant award will be used to clean up Greenwood Lake and help alleviate it of these issues.

“I am thrilled that Passaic County again has come through on their word to support the Commission’s mission to improve water quality, recreation, safety and the economic value of Greenwood Lake,” said Paul Zarrillo, NJ Co-Chair for the GWLC and Vice-Chair of Highlands Economic Development and Tourism Corp (HEAT). “Without the Passaic County Freeholder’s support, the economic value that the lake brings would be impacted.”

Paul Sullivan, Passaic County’s appointee to the GWLC added, “We have agreements with several organizations in New Jersey and New York to receive funds, I am hopeful the other entities will step up the same way as Passaic County.”

In recent years, the GWLC has made significant strides in stump reduction and weed control. Greenwood Lake hosts annual power boat races, but the large amounts of weeds would clog and damage boat motors. This caused the races to be cancelled in 2012. The boat races returned to Greenwood Lake in 2014, and in June it will be having its third consecutive boat race since the hiatus. In 2007, the GWLC conducted a $100,000 stump reduction project that reduced over 2,000 stumps.

“As a resident of West Milford that lives near the lake, I have seen first-hand the vast improvements that have been made,” said Freeholder Terry Duffy. “Greenwood Lake is a real treasure that I, and the rest of the Freeholders are proud to support.”

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