407 acres of Gloucester County Farmland to be preserved
Farm, forest in Warren County preserved under agricultural easement
"We're pleased to help preserve Apple Valley Farms," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation, in the release."Preserving this farm will help maintain the rural and scenic character of the Musconetcong River Valley, and the easement will preserve the soils for future farming and food production."Apple Valley Farms is bordered by preserved farmland to the north and the state's Musconetcong Wildlife Management Area to the south. Nearby are the Musconetcong River and several other parcels of preserved farmland and open space.
A private nonprofit, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has assisted Warren County in preserving several other farms in recent years.
In 2009 and 2010, the foundation used its Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program grant fund to help preserve four Warren County farms: the 139-acre Truszkowski farm in Franklin Township, the 108-acre Prant farm in Allamuchy Township, the 78-acre Demeter farm in White Township and the 56-acre Schuster farm in Greenwich Township.
Since 2005, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has been awarded more than $22 million in Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program funds by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than any other New Jersey nonprofit.
Thirty acres of open space preserved in Raritan Township
RARITAN TOWNSHIP — Through a partnership of funders, 30 acres of forest with a meandering stream in the township has been preserved as open space.
Raritan Township, D&R Greenway Land Trust and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority on Feb. 14 finalized the purchase of the 30-acre property along the Plum Brook to be protected permanently as open space with future plans for public trails.
The property is between Plum Brook Road and Old Hill Road, with temporary access through the Michele Cross cul-de-sac.
"Large undisturbed forests, which are increasingly rare in Hunterdon County, support a wide diversity of native plants and wildlife and protect the quality of our streams and rivers," said Amy Greene, chairwoman of the township Open Space Committee.
The Plum Brook and its tributary, the Wickecheoke Creek feed, into the D&R Canal, a drinking water source for Central Jersey residents.
The state Green Acres Program provided a grant for 40 percent of the acquisition price, the New Jersey Water Supply Authority funded 20 percent, D&R Greenway Land Trust utilized a grant from the Hunterdon County Open Space Fund to contribute 20 percent, and the balance was provided by the township's Open Space Fund.