FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 01/11/11
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ Jan. 12, 2011
FAR HILLS – New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s 50thanniversary year turned out it be its busiest ever, with 44 open space and farmland preservation projects completed across the state in 2010.
The private nonprofit helped to preserve 2,144 acres last year, ranging from small donated parcels to large farms and forests. The foundation acquired 1,031 acres, secured an easement on 48 acres, and helped partner groups preserve 1,065 acres of farmland and open space.
The final three preservation projects, completed during the last week of 2010, included a 101-acre tract in the Pine Barrens of Ocean County, a 16-acre property in Hunterdon County and two wooded properties totaling 6.5 acres along tributaries of the Maurice River in Cumberland County.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s 50-year total of preserved land now stands at well over 120,000 acres, or 87 square miles.
“We’re very pleased to be able to make a significant impact in the nation’s most densely populated state,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director. “We completed more land preservation projects in 2010 than in any other year in our history.”
Among the past year’s highlights were:
Preserving an ecologically-sensitive 476-acre property in Mannington Township, Salem County, including productive farmland, woods, tidal marshes, freshwater wetlands and a forested island.
Transferring a 62-acre preserved farm in Washington Township, Warren County, to a couple pursuing a unique dairy venture: raising water buffalos whose rich milk is used to make gourmet mozzarella cheese
Adding several new parcels to the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve in Hunterdon County, a 2,500-acre green belt that proves public recreational opportunities, protects a pristine water supply resource, and provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species.
Arranging for donations of 15 small properties in the Forked River Mountains of Ocean County, part of the Pine Barrens.
Helping a Bergen County group, the Concerned Citizens of Allendale, save an historically-significant Revolutionary War era house and adjoining wetlands next to the town’s 107-acre Celery Farm Natural Area.
Acquiring 283 acres of wooded property in Morris County, including a 221-acre tract in Washington Township that includes tributaries of the South Branch of the Raritan River, an important water supply source; and 62 acres in Rockaway Township.
Dedicating a 4,000-acre preserve in the Pine Barrens to Candace McKee Ashmun of Basking Ridge, a conservationist who has been instrumental in protecting land and natural resources across New Jersey for more than six decades.
Another highlight was the 50thanniversary celebration on Oct. 30 in Morristown, when New Jersey’s six living former governors were honored for their environmental legacies.
Thomas Kean, James Florio, Christine Todd Whitman and James McGreevey accepted their awards in person at the black-tie dinner and were “interviewed” by former New Jersey Network anchor Kent Manahan, while Brendan Byrne and Jon Corzine sent representatives. Also honored was former Congressman Peter Frelinghuysen, whose son Rodney – the current congressman from the same Morris County district – was also present.
In January, New Jersey Conservation Foundation will complete several more land preservation projects carried over from 2010.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation was founded in 1960 as the Great Swamp Committee, to prevent the Great Swamp in Morris County from being developed for a major international airport. Since then, it has grown into New Jersey’s largest land preservation organization. For more information, visit www.njconservation.orgor contact firstname.lastname@example.org 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).