A bumper crop of good news!
By Joe Moszczynski, for The Star-Ledger
FRANKFORD — A 126-acre farm located near the Sussex County fairgrounds in Frankford will be saved in perpetuity as a working farm, the Land Conservancy of New Jersey announced today.
Land Conservancy President David Epstein said the development rights for the Bain farm, located near the corner of Route 206 and Plains Road, were purchased from the Bain family for nearly $1 million.
The Land Conservancy, a Boonton-based nonprofit group, contributed $500,000 toward the purchase price with a grant from the state Agricultural Development Committee.
Other contributors included the Sussex County Agricultural Development Committee, through the county’s Open Space Trust Fund, the federal Farm and Ranchland Protection program and the Township of Frankford.
"It’s really a very special place," said Epstein, noting the tract is located atop a sloping ridge near the Paulinskill River.
The fields at the Bain Farm are also an important habitat for unique wildlife, including ground-nesting birds such as the Bobolink, a migrant blackbird which is declining in number due to the loss of habitat to development, he said.
The farm was originally purchased by the great-grandfather of Tom Bain, whose name appears at the site of the farm on an 1860 map of Sussex County.
"Preserving the farm means a lot to me. I look forward to telling my grandchildren that this is the property that made up the farm held so long by our family. It is good to know that it will always look like a farm and never be covered by pavement," said Tom Bain.
The Bain family currently leases the tract to a farmer and it will later be offered for sale with a deed restriction that prohibits future development. When the land is sold, the Land Conservancy will use the proceeds to purchase the development rights of another farm, said Epstein.
For more information about the Land Conservancy, or to volunteer or make a donation, call (973) 541-1010 or visit tlc-nj.org.