Dear Friend of MCF,

Let's face it, the holiday season can be a very stressful time of year! Did you know that one of the best ways to relieve holiday tension is to spend time in nature?  

Research shows that a walk in the forest decreases the stress hormone cortisol by 12.4 percent, a seven percent decrease in sympathetic nerve activity, a 1.4 percent decrease in blood pressure, and a 5.8 percent decrease in heart rate!  Mother Nature is pretty amazing at helping us reduce stress!

Do something good for your health this holiday season and spend some time surrounded by the trees on a forested trail.

We would like to wish you and your family a very Happy Holiday season and New Year!

William D. Kastning, AICP
Executive Director

P.S. - The perfect gift for any nature lover on your list this year is a donation to MCF in their name.  Be a force of change for the environment and check someone off your list this holiday season by following the donation button below.  Thank You!

Shop Green and Bring Good Tidings to Mother Nature!

Our green holiday gift guide will take all the work out of finding the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list.  Check out this great line up of products that are made from recycled or environmentally friendly materials.  We promise you won't be disappointed.   Click Here to Read More.

Photo by Stephan Ritz
What Does the Future of Food Look Like? 6 Local Schools Receive Grant Awards to Find Out

Middle School students in six different Monmouth County schools will learn to be green and grow fresh, organic foods through hands-on learning with Tower Gardens in their classrooms. Grants were awarded to Asbury Park, Henry Hudson Regional, Neptune, Holmdel, Red Bank and Howell Middle Schools.  MCF received 37 requests for funding.

Aeroponic growing uses 98% less water than traditional agriculture while growing organic produce 30% faster.  It is crucial for  kids to learn about how to make the best use of our natural resources, like soil and water, as we learn to adapt to a changing climate.  Tower Gardens provide the perfect way to inspire curiosity in kids about growing fresh, healthy foods, with a lens towards natural resource sustainability.  The grant support was made possible by the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

Tyler Christensen Photography
Thinking of the Wildlife as the Weather Turns Cold? We Are!

While we are cozy inside our warm homes, do you ever wonder what wildlife does in winter?  Here at MCF we are making progress towards the preservation of land in Millstone and Wall that will help to ensure wildlife has the best defense against winter and climate change - sufficient habitat to call home.  

Be sure to leave some leaves, brush, and fallen branches around your yard to ensure that animals have a place to overwinter.

Good News About Open Space, Farmland, and Historic Preservation Funds

The share of dedicated funding for preservation is slated to increase from 4 to 6% of the Corporate Business tax since the permanent dedication was first established in 2014.  This comes at an important time for funding programs such as Green Acres and NJ Farmland Preservation where MCF leverages considerable funding for projects.  

We continue to work as part of the Keep it Green Coalition, a group of 150 organizations that work together to achieve conservation milestones, as we have for several years.  The current goal is to influence the implementation legislation  (S2920) to allow for a funding allocation between the programs that best serves MCF.  Stay tuned for more updates as the effort progresses.  The good news is funding will increase for all programs by 2%.  Click to read more.

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