Great Adventure in Jackson Township will cut down far fewer trees in order to power its park with the sun, according to environmental groups that announced the agreement Wednesday.
Instead, it will build a large portion of a planned solar facility in parking lots, reducing the need to clear-cut forest by more than 50 percent.
The groups had sued Great Adventure, KDC Solar and Jackson Township to stop the amusement park’s original plan, which called for clear-cutting 92 acres of Pinelands forest to build the solar array. The suit was dismissed last summer in Superior Court.
Great Adventure has said it plans to power the park with 100 percent solar power. It will now clear-cut about 40 acres for the project.
The environmental groups involved are Clean Water Action, New Jersey Conservation Fund, Environment New Jersey, Save Barnegat Bay, Crosswicks Doctors Creek Watershed Association and the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club.
The agreement includes a conservation easement on 213 acres of existing forest and beneath the 40 acres of solar fields that will revert to natural habitat if not used for renewable energy, the environmental groups said. Plans also include construction of pine snake hibernacula on the site, and for the solar field to be cleared and graded to protect wildlife.