To the Editor:
Wonderful news! The recent landmark acquisition of the famed Princeton Nurseries, spanning three counties, was five years in the making but will benefit the public for generations to come. As one who has been fighting to preserve our precious farmland and open space for over 30 years, I cannot overstate the significance of this purchase agreement. It is an unprecedented achievement that required ongoing cooperation and assistance of local, county and state government, as well as the Flemer family, the property’s owners.
Princeton Nurseries, once one of the largest functioning nurseries in the
The $28 million agreement finalizing transfer of the property uses more than $16.5 million in state, local and nonprofit open space funding sources for the outright purchases of land for a 512-acre state Wildlife Management Area. The State Agriculture Development Committee, (SADC), and its county and local partners provided another $11.4 million to purchase farmland easements on an additional 847 acres.
The DEP’s Green Acres Program and local funding partners closed the preservation deal with the Flemer family, which operated the property until a few years ago. Other partners in the purchase are
The rolling landscape and its naturally beautiful trees and vegetation will help connect thousands of acres of existing county park lands and greenways along Crosswicks Creek, an area rich in outdoor recreational opportunities as well as Revolutionary War history; including the historic
“The preservation of this land was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect 1,900 contiguous acres of valuable farmland and other natural resource lands in central
At the ceremony, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP), Commissioner Bob Martin noted that benefits of the acquisition include protecting air and water quality in the heart of the most densely populated state in the nation. Flemer family representatives expressed their gratitude to the people of
Portions of the land that will become a Wildlife Management Area and additions to the Crosswicks Creek Greenway will not be available for public use for at least a year while the Flemer family removes existing nursery stock and restores the land consistent with recreational uses and wildlife needs. The Monmouth County Parks System will be reviewing the county’s open space needs and potential future use of the land.
The portion being preserved as a state Wildlife Management Area and as additions to county park lands consists of grasslands, mature forests and forested wetland that will provide a great diversity of wildlife habitat and offer opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing and more. Some nursery roads will be developed into a trail system. The farmland portion will be a major addition to the permanent agricultural land base in an area where approximately 15,000 acres of farmland are preserved. The new park land will advance
Lillian G. Burry