Sunday, November 13, 2011

Morris County to Spend $11.6 Million on Open Space in 11 Towns

Here is a good one, from The Daily Record:

Morris County will spend $11.6 million from the county’s Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve 1,286 acres of open space in 11 towns, with the largest amounts going to preserve land in Harding and Long Hill.

The money, which was approved by the county freeholders Wednesday and was based upon the recommendations of the county’s Open Space Trust Fund Committee, will go toward 12 projects that are located in 11 towns, according to a prepared statement from the county.

The largest grant award, $2,880,000, will go to the nonprofit Harding Land Trust for nearly 70 acres of property in Harding known as Primrose, said Freeholder Ann Grossi, liaison to the Preservation Trust.

“This property contains wetlands, important watershed lands adjacent to both Primrose Brook and the Passaic River and endangered species habitat,” Grossi said. According to the Harding Land Trust, the property will be managed to maintain and enhance wildlife habitat and water quality and to provide opportunities for passive recreation, including hiking.

A grant totaling $2.3 million was awarded to Long Hill to acquire 71.4 acres of property at the northwest intersection of Morristown and Valley roads. Known as Central Park, the township plans to maintain nature trails, picnic areas, and walking and bicycle trails throughout the tract, with portions of the property also being used for active recreational fields, the statement said.

One of the smallest projects approved by the freeholders was the fifth phase of the Pompton Riverwalk in Pequannock, the statement said.

The township will receive a $988,000 grant to purchase the land portion of six properties totaling 1.2 acres on the Pompton River as a continuation of a long-term project to recover riparian buffers and flood mitigation along the river.

“The first four phases of this project were funded with assistance from the county open space program, and most of the properties in these phases are now preserved,” Grossi said. “This latest acquisition will fill in the gaps between existing preserved lands, and further Pequannock’s goal of creating a linear park along the Pompton River.”

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