FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 02/22/11
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ Feb. 22, 2011
FRANKLIN TWP. – New Jersey Conservation Foundation assisted in preserving a 60-acre farm in the Muscontcong River Valley in Warren County, the latest of many farms that have been saved in this pastoral region.
Apple Valley Farms on Asbury-Bloomsbury Road was permanently preserved through a partnership between New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Warren County, Franklin Township and the Land Conservancy of New Jersey. Owned by William Leavens, the farm includes 45 acres planted in soybeans and other vegetable crops, and10 acres of woods with a stream running through it.
A farmland easement that restricts the property to agricultural use in perpetuity was purchased for $420,000. The preserved farm will remain in private ownership, with Warren County holding the easement.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation contributed $191,000 from its federal Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program grant fund, which has been used to secure agricultural easements on thousands of acres of farmland throughout New Jersey.
“We’re pleased to help preserve Apple Valley Farms,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “Preserving this farm will help maintain the rural and scenic character of the Musconetcong River Valley, and the easement will preserve the soils for future farming and food production.”
Apple Valley Farms is bordered by preserved farmland to the north and the state’s Musconetcong Wildlife Management Area to the south. Nearby are the Musconetcong River and several other parcels of preserved farmland and open space.
A private nonprofit, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has assisted Warren County in preserving several other farms in recent years.
In 2009 and 2010, the Foundation used its Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program grant fund to help preserve four Warren County farms: the 139-acre Truszkowski farm in Franklin Township, the 108-acre Prant farm in Allamuchy Township, the 78-acre Demeter farm in White Township and the 56-acre Schuster farm in Greenwich Township.
Since 2005, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has been awarded more than $22 million in Farm and Ranch Lands Preservation Program funds by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than any other New Jersey nonprofit.
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 more than 120,000 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.orgor call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).