Open space purchase secures 26 acres in Monroe

MONROE – Middlesex County has increased its open space inventory to more than 8,000 acres.

The most recent purchase is 26.1 acres along Gravel Hill-Spotswood Road in Monroe.

A joint purchase, the Board of Middlesex County Chosen Freeholders allocated $400,000 from the county’s Open Space and Recreation and Farmland and Historic Trust Fund and Monroe Township contributed $50,000.

“This is a great milestone for the program, and we are committed to maintain the balance of development and open space here in Middlesex County,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said.

“Like the 106-acre Story Farm we purchased in January, the new land has ties to the Battle of Monmouth. American patriots passed through it on their way to that important Revolutionary War battle,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Charles E. Tomaro, liaison to the county’s Open Space and Recreation Advisory Committee. “Preserving history, as well as our environment, is always a priority for Middlesex County. We’re proud that this purchase allows us to accomplish both goals.”

Monroe Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro said the town’s partnership with the county has been mutually beneficial.

“As a result, the township has been able to preserve thousands of acres, prevent potential development and protect much of the semi-rural landscape of our community. This latest acquisition will bring us one step closer to our goal of preserving 50 percent of Monroe’s approximately 43 square miles,” he said.