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SANDY PERRY, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
PHONE: 908-234-1225, EXT. 104
SANDY@NJCONSERVATION.ORG

33-acre family farm preserved in Hunterdon County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 11/16/15

New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Photo by Scott Breeman
DELAWARE TWP. - A 33-acre farm in the same family for generations has been preserved through a partnership with New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Hunterdon County, the State Agriculture Development Committee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Delaware Township.

Preservation of the Yard family farm, which grows field crops, adds to a green belt of thousands of acres of preserved farmland and open space in the Wickecheoke Creek region of western Hunterdon County. With its partners, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has preserved almost 4,000 acres in the region since 1984.

Preserving the Yard farm maintains the rural and scenic character of the Delaware Township and protects water quality in the Raritan River, a major water supply source.

The family has agreed to an impervious cover limit, which will ensure that the farm will remain open and pervious for water recharge and will preserve the soils for future farming and food production. More than 80 percent of the farm's soils are "prime" or "statewide important," the two highest quality ratings.

"Hunterdon County and Delaware Township have preserved land in partnership with New Jersey Conservation Foundation for more than 30 years, and we're excited to help preserve the Yard Road farm," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "We look forward to preserving more land in Delaware Township in the future."

Hunterdon County purchased the development rights on the farm using funding from the State Agriculture Development Committee and a portion of New Jersey Conservation's grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The preservation project was initiated at the request of Delaware Township, which preserved the adjacent 42-acre Lovenberg farm a year ago.

Jim Borders, the township's open space chairman, explained that the Lovenberg farm was also part of the Yard family's holdings, and that the township pitched the preservation of the two farms together as one package.

"They're both beautiful pieces of property and the Yards are an old family in town," said Borders. "We thank New Jersey Conservation Foundation for its part in this preservation project. Without that federal money, the township would have been on the hook for a substantial amount of money."

"This really adds an important piece to our preservation portfolio," Borders added, noting that 22 percent of the land in Delaware Township - or 5,180 acres - has been preserved.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private, member-supported nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, it has protected 125,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundation's programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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