From Daily Record
MOUNT OLIVE — A 208-acre farm formerly known as West
King Estates, located at the headwaters of the South Branch of the
Raritan River, will be preserved as open space.
Land Conservancy of New Jersey announced Thursday that it has closed on
the purchase of the property, which it said will nearly triple the size
of the South Branch Preserve in Mount Olive. The Morris County
Preservation Trust Fund recently awarded a $1.6 million grant for the
preservation of the West King property continues our ongoing effort to
preserve the headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan River,” Mayor
David M. Scapicchio said.
“It is a priority for the township and region,” he said.
conservancy now has preserved 370 acres in the headwaters of the South
Branch of the Raritan River in partnership with the New Jersey Water
Supply Authority, Mount Olive, the county freeholders, the Morris County
Preservation Trust, the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority and
the Raritan Headwaters Association and the state of New Jersey,
river provides drinking water to more than 1.5 million New Jersey
residents, making it one of the most important watersheds in the state,
according to a news release from the conservancy.
this property as an open space buffer will not only protect the
drinking water but also mitigate flooding downstream,” Freeholder Ann
Grossi said in a statement.
The Land Conservancy will own the former West King Estates property in partnership with the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.
authority’s water customers enable us to participate in important
projects such as this by funding source water protection,” said Henry
Patterson, executive director of the water authority.
Land Conservancy will use a $70,000 grant from the National Forest
Foundation to restore more than 40 acres of sloping farm fields to
native forest, further protecting the river. Hiking trails will be
created on the property, and 30 acres of corn fields will be converted
to an organic farm.
Other plans include a community garden that will be open to area residents and two small plots for local schools.