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106-acre farm preserved in Hunterdon County


New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Photo by Amy Hansen
DELAWARE TOWNSHIP - New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its partners have preserved a 106-acre farm near the historic hamlet of Locktown.

Using funds from the State Agriculture Development Committee and the federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, New Jersey Conservation Foundation purchased the development rights on the Conley farm on Whiskey Lane.

Although the farm will continue to be owned by the Conley family, its future use is permanently restricted to agriculture.

We're very pleased to secure a farmland easement on the Conley farm, as it was one of the few remaining farms of its size in Delaware Township that was not preserved,said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

The farm is adjacent to other preserved farms, and in the midst of a significant green belt of preserved open space and farmland. Preserving the Conley farm conserves prime soils and protects the headwaters of the Wickecheoke Creek, an important drinking water source that flows into the D&R Canal.

The Conley Farm is a perfect example of a high priority farm that we like to work with our partners to protect,said Carrie Mosley, State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, which administers the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program.

Ninety-six percent of the Conley Farm is occupied by prime soils and the farm also drains to a stream that has been designated as a Category 1 stream, meaning that it has been identified by the state as having exceptional water resource significance,Mosley added. Therefore, preserving this land for agriculture and farming using the required conservation plan is a great benefit to the Delaware River Watershed.

State Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher praised the preservation of the farm. The State Agriculture Development Committee was pleased to support the preservation of the Conley farm, which furthers all our ongoing efforts to ensure that we keep agriculture growing in Delaware Township now and forever,he said.

The Conley property contains a mix of farmland and woodlands. Sheep and honeybees are raised on the property, and fresh vegetables and jars of homemade honey are sold at a small roadside stand.

Preserving the Conley farm expands the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve, a green belt of preserved open space and farmland along the Wickecheoke. With its partners, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has helped preserve about 4,000 acres in the Wickecheoke Creek region since 1984.

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 or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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