SANDY PERRY, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
PHONE: 908-234-1225, EXT. 104
75-acre farm adds to Pilesgrove's preserved lands
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 10/18/16
PILESGROVE TWP. - Seventy-five acres of productive farmland, forest and a pristine stream were just preserved, adding to the township's growing list of permanently protected lands.
On Sept. 29, New Jersey Conservation Foundation purchased the development rights on the Timchal farm along Harrisonville Lake Road, ensuring it will stay farmland forever.
Located on gently rolling terrain, the farm grows corn, wheat, soybeans and hay. One hundred percent of its soils are the top quality for growing a variety of crops, classified as "prime" and "statewide importance."
"This is beautiful, productive farmland, and we're happy it will stay that way forever," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "We're very grateful to our partners for making this possible."
The farm is crossed by the Indian Run, a high-quality tributary of Oldmans Creek, a river system recognized as one of New Jersey's strongholds for federally protected bog turtles and endangered freshwater mussel species. Beyond the agricultural fields are woodlands that protect the stream and provide habitat for wildlife.
Owner George Timchal said he restored wetlands along the stream corridor and created a forest stewardship plan to protect the woodlands. The farm also includes a small pond.
Because of the woods, stream, pond and wetlands, the farm attracts a wide variety of birds and wildlife. "It's fairly well used by animals," Timchal said. "We have deer, lots of turkeys, a blue heron who comes to visit, and two pairs of wood ducks. We get raccoons and coyotes, and there's also an albino skunk."
Funding for the farmland preservation project was provided by grants from the State Agriculture Development Committee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service to New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and funds from Pilesgrove Township.
The Timchal farm is adjacent to the 102-acre Musumeci farm, preserved by NJ Conservation in 2009, and close to hundreds of additional acres of preserved land. Among those properties are the 71-acre Perozzi horse farm, the 65-acre Caltibiano farm and the 43-acre Sorbello farm, all preserved by NJ Conservation.
In addition, NJ Conservation assisted in the preservation of several other farms throughout the township.
"This year marks the 10th anniversary of our partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to preserve farms in Pilesgrove Township, and we're thrilled to help keep the 'garden' in the Garden State," said Greg Romano, NJ Conservation's assistant director and head of its land preservation program. "We look forward to continuing to preserve farmland in Pilesgrove, Salem County and the Delaware Bayshore region."
"We were pleased to help fund the preservation of the Timchal farm to further farmland preservation efforts in Pilesgrove Township and keep agriculture growing," said Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher, who chairs the State Agriculture Development Committee.
"The Natural Resources Conservation Service is pleased to work with New Jersey Conservation Foundation to preserve another property in Pilesgrove Township that protects New Jersey's best agricultural lands and plays a key role in the landscape of Salem County," said Carrie Lindig, New Jersey State Conservationist.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation 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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