As more housing developments and malls continue to pop up and rob New Jersey of its rural character, the township is celebrating the addition of 76 acres of open space from two recent purchases.
The Township Council last month approved the joint purchase with Middlesex County of 36 acres of open space on Davidsons Mill Road known as the Voight Farm. That followed the addition of about 40 acres of open space in May after the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the acquisition of the Himmell Property. That property, located in the area of Broadway Road and Friendship Road, now joins together with the existing Ireland Brook Conservation Area to create 484 acres of contiguous, undeveloped land.
A dedication ceremony is planned for the Himmell Property on Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. to celebrate the title acquisition by the county.
"This fits in with Ireland Brook Park. We can start calling it the Davidsons Mill Road greenway," said Councilman Charles Carley at Tuesday's council meeting.
The township contributed $275,000 from the Open Space Trust Fund for the 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.
The county approved the $850,000 purchase of the Himmell Property after applying to the Green Acres Fund for financial assistance.
“By preserving the Himmel Property we allow for an uninterrupted sprawl of open space,” said former South Brunswick Deputy Mayor and current Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante, liaison to the County’s Open Space Advisory Committee. “At the same time, we stymie potential development, which can typically become a burden on local infrastructure, not to mention taxpayers.”
Township officials touted the success of South Brunswick's open space program as a means to stave off developers and to preserve the township's rural character.
"We've had a lot of success in the entire town with open space and with this particular area," said Deputy Mayor Chris Killmurray. This is another piece of the puzzle. I applaud the property owners for exploring (farmland preservation). It's important to folks in our area and the entire town."
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