Saturday, July 17, 2010

West Milford to preserve Random Woods through grant (07/16/10)

West Milford is the northern-most township in Passaic County. At just over 80-square-miles, it's also the largest. Its population, as of 2007, was 27,839, not very large considering the township's size, but consider this: according to census data from 1930, its population was 1,901. West Milford is located in the Highlands Preservation Area, meaning there are additional restrictions to what can be developed and where.

West Milford to preserve Random Woods through grant
Friday, July 16, 2010
WEST MILFORD—With the assistance of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, a 98-acre parcel of land known as "Random Woods" was recently preserved by West Milford.

Situated in the hills of the New Jersey Highlands, Random Woods is located on Ridge Road and in close proximity to municipal complexes and the central downtown area.

It was previously the subject of a development application and prior to the implementation of the Highlands Act in 2004, it had preliminary approval for 103 single family homes.

The $2.1 million project was funded with Passaic County and Green Acres grants. The preservation of this land represents an addition to the municipality where there is a need for additional athletic fields and recreational facilities.

While more than 90-percent of the parcel will remain undisturbed and available to the public for recreation, a small portion will be used to establish new athletic fields.

The acquisition of Random Woods also furthers an existing and expanding greenway and supports conservation goals identified in the Highlands Water Protection & Planning Act of 2004, which seeks to preserve extensive and contiguous areas of land in its natural state (forests, wetlands, stream corridors, and critical wildlife habitat) and protect New Jersey’s drinking water resources.

"We are very excited about the recent acquisition of the Random Woods property, which will preserve an additional 100 acres within the township while also providing for a multi-purpose ball field at no cost to our residents," Mayor Bettina Bieri said. "This acquisition adheres to the township's philosophy, which prioritizes open space acquisitions not solely based on its environmental sensitivity but also based on its potential to directly benefit the community via active recreational opportunities."

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