FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 03/14/11
STOCKTON– A 15.5-acre property along the Delaware River bluffs that could have become four building lots has instead been preserved as permanent open space.
Using a combination of grants and donations, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority purchased the property near the intersection of Route 29 and Worman Road for $554,000.
The property is located behind the historic John Prall house, a circa 1795 stone building on Route 29 that is owned by New Jersey Conservation Foundation and used as a regional office.
The acquisition expands the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve, a green belt of preserved open space and farmland along the stream for which it is named, and will allow connections to be made between existing public hiking trails.
“We’re thrilled to be able to add this beautiful property to the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “It had preliminary approval for four building lots, so it could have very easily been developed. We’re very grateful to our partners and donors for making this acquisition possible.”
Funding for the property’s purchase and stewardship came from the New Jersey Water Supply Authority ($262,250), the state Green Acres program ($131,125), the Hunterdon County Open Space Trust Fund ($100,860), and substantial private donations from nearby residents Dr. David and Karen L. Holmes and Suzanne Perrault and David Rago.
“The Authority is pleased to help preserve this parcel using funds provided by its water customers and financing through the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program,” said Henry Patterson, Executive Director of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority. “Protection of this property will contribute to the health of the D&R Canal, a drinking water source for more than 1 million central New Jersey residents.”
"The New Jersey Conservation Foundation is to be congratulated for its foresight and longstanding efforts in creating the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve. This particular parcel is very unique, with a fabulous overlook of the old quarry pond," said Pam Thier, program development specialist with the Green Acres program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“This property is a major save in a small community like Stockton. It is a great use of our Open Space Trust Funds,” said Hunterdon County Freeholder Ron Sworen. “The non-profit grant program is one of the best ways Hunterdon County is able to help preserve land. It allows us to work with knowledgeable partners like New Jersey Conservation Foundation and municipalities to acquire important parcels.”
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).