Tuesday, July 3, 2012

48-Acre Farm Preserved in Cumberland County

Yay! Another area I have intended to visit for a while. Maybe when I go on vacation in September ...?
Article courtesy NJConservation.org

HOPEWELL TWP. - A 48-acre farm along the Cohansey River in Hopewell Township has been permanently preserved through a partnership between Cumberland County, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the state’s Farmland Preservation Program and the Open Space Institute. 

The farm, owned by Carmen Adamucci, is located at the intersection of Sanitarium and Aitkin roads in the Dutch Neck section of the township. Vegetable crops are grown in the fields, which are separated from the river’s marshlands by a hedgerow. 

Development rights to the farm were purchased using funding from Cumberland County, the State Agriculture Development Committee, and a grant to New Jersey Conservation Foundation from the Open Space Institute. Although the land will continue to be owned by Mr. Adamucci, it will be permanently restricted for agricultural use. 

“This farm was a high priority for preservation because of its prime soils and close proximity to the river,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “The preservation effort was made even more urgent because it was once proposed for a housing development.” 

The Cohansey River corridor is critical for wildlife habitat, especially waterfowl, marine life and birds like bald eagles. Preservation of the Adamucci farm will help protect water quality in the river and surrounding marshes, and the region’s remaining forests. 
“With its high-quality soils, the Adamucci farm is a valuable addition to Cumberland County’s roster of preserved farmland,” said Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher, who chairs the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) that administers New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program. “The SADC was pleased to provide a grant toward the preservation of this farm, and we look forward to working with our partners to preserve many more farms in Cumberland County.” 

Cumberland County Freeholder Tom Sheppard said the county is glad to have more farmland preserved so it can continue to be the production center of the Garden State. “Without the critical mass of good land that has not been developed, we would be unable to hold the businesses that depend on commercial growers to survive,” said Sheppard. “From the stores that sell supplies, to the farms and their workers, to the banks that handle the money, all of Cumberland County benefits.” 

“The Open Space Institute is very pleased to have been a part of the successful completion of the Adamucci Farm preservation through a grant from its Bayshore-Highlands Fund,” said Peter Howell, OSI’s executive vice president. “This farm will add to the corridor of exceptionally rich and productive farmland in Hopewell Township along the north shore of the Cohansey River. The permanent protection of the Adamucci Farm will also add to the rich mosaic of farmland and forests, marshland and wetlands in the area which serve as prime habitat for species such as the bald eagle, endangered shorebirds other diverse and rare wildlife.” 

The Adamucci farm is the first of several farms in the Dutch Neck neighborhood – the area within a wide bend of the Cohansey in Hopewell Township - that are being targeted for preservation. 

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