Hunterdon Works Through Pandemic Obstacles To Preserve Open Space
Updated: Jul 20, 2021
Commissioner Shaun Van Doren Discusses How Hunterdon Works Through Pandemic Obstacles To Preserve Farmland and Open Space In 2020
Hunterdon County substantially added to its open space and farmland preservation inventories during 2020, overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing the County’s record of having preserved the most farms in the state, and reserving additional open space acreage in municipalities around the County, Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren reported at the final Freeholder meeting, in December. Van Doren, in a wrap up report on the County’s land preservation program, stated,
“Through funding the preservation of over 287 acres of farmland and over 562 acres of open space properties across the County, the Freeholder Board, working with our volunteers serving on the County Agriculture Development Board (CADB) and the Parks Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC), continued the county’s commitment to the preservation of open space and farmland.
Both the CADB and POSAC members overcame the hurdles of needing to social distance, while continuing to meet, telephonically, via the internet or even in person while social distancing, to review proposed preservation projects. Their perseverance throughout the year is appreciated.” Funding for the preservation of properties comes from a number of sources, including the County Open Space Trust Fund, the state’s Green Acres program and Agriculture Development Committee, federal U.S.D.A, municipal contributions, and non-profit land preservation groups.
Van Doren pointed out, “Funding partners assist not only to gain the preservation of properties, but also by providing additional monies they help to stretch the County’s Open Space Fund further.” Open space properties that were approved for preservation included;
Cisek property in Delaware Township 60.16 acres
Etzel property in Raritan Township 42 acres
Saums property in Readington 50 acres
Brownstein property in Raritan Township 32.6 acres
Culbertson property in Bethlehem 178 acres
Maritan property in Kingwood 105 acres
Curtis (Easement) property in Delaware Twp. 64 acres
Fitzgerald property in Readington 31acres