Press release from The Land Conservancy of New Jersey
On June 21, Montville Township purchased and preserved 36 acres along River Road. Known simply as "Market Place," the Township of Montville purchased this undeveloped property for open space and recreation, plans include utilizing the property for flood storage protection and hiking.
River Road has been identified in the 2011 Open Space and Recreation Plan as a proposed bicycle route in the southern part of the municipality, this property would provide a quiet respite for riders along this scenic road across from the Knoll West County Club in neighboring Parsippany-Troy Hills Township. Robert Lazar Middle School is diagonally across from the northeastern corner of the property.
Purchased with a $1,350,000 grant from the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund, this is the 17th property Montville Township has preserved with the assistance and technical expertise of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey.
With its headquarters located on a municipal park in the Township, The Land Conservancy has worked with Montville Township since 1998 assisting the township with its open space preservation program. Since the inception of the Montville Township open space program in 1990, 1,100 acres of land have been preserved by the township for recreation and watershed protection.
"The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is proud of its accomplishments in Montville Township," stated Linda Gloshinski, land preservation specialist with The Land Conservancy. " From protecting the Towaco Aquifer, to creating new parks for ball fields, to expanding the protected lands along the Rockaway River, the Market Place property will further enhance the open space and recreational opportunities available to Township residents."
"The acquisition of the former Market Place property is a valuable addition to the township's parks and open spaces," stated Victor Canning, township administrator.
The Market Place property had the potential to be developed with 14 single-family homes. The site has ample access available from River Road, as well as approximately 50 feet of frontage on Old Changebridge Road.
The Township of Montville has a long history of preserving open space within its borders and is focusing its energies on providing public access to preserved lands in the township. A parcel along the Rockaway River was donated to the township as part of this transaction, and may become part of a future river walk. Preserving Market Place protects an area that would be best left undeveloped for water quality and flood protection, including the riparian corridor of Crooked Brook, which traverses the eastern portion of the site.
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey has its headquarters in Montville Township on the 44-acre WildAcres preserve. This park offers many opportunities for visitors to enjoy a beautiful part of Montville: The Fred Hierwarter WildAcres Trail consists of three walking trails, of varying difficulty, where hikers can enjoy the scenic vistas and experience the property's varied wildlife habitat (including deer, black bear, blue birds, wild turkeys, pileated woodpeckers and more).
WildAcres Garden, established with the help of dedicated volunteers, features native plants and has been certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
For more information, to volunteer or make a donation, call 973-541-1010, or visit www.tlc-nj.org.