In an ongoing effort to stave off development and preserve South Brunswick's rural character, the Township Council last week approved the joint purchase of 36 acres of open space on Davidson Mill Road.
The township contributed $275,000 from the Open Space Trust Fund for the purchase, with Middlesex County matching South Brunswick's 20 percent contribution and the state chipping in the remaining 60 percent of the cost. The newly preserved Voight Farm lies adjacent to the recently preserved 229 acre Van Dyke Farm.
"These large parcels of land face development pressure," said Deputy Mayor Chris Killmurray. "More open space is something that's important for the township and the area as a whole."
The purchase followed the addition by the county in May of about 40 acres of open space from the Himmell Property. That parcel, located in the area of Broadway Road and Friendship Road, joins together with the existing Ireland Brook Conservation Area to create 484 acres of contiguous, undeveloped land.
County officials said the purchase fell in line with the Open Space Master Plan’s objective of pursuing properties that can be added to existing parkland.
“Since 1995, Middlesex County has made land preservation a top priority,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “With the support of constituents, both the Freeholders and the Middlesex County Improvement Authority have worked tirelessly to protect what remains of our undeveloped lands. In doing so, we’ve been able to preserve forever 7,457 acres of open space property to date.”
In the last 8 years, South Brunswick has added over 2,000 acres of open space.
"(The Open Space Trust Fund) is an important tool we have and that we should use," said Councilman Joseph Camarota. "Farms are disappearing. This (purchase) preserves farmland and stops development."
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