Monroe preserving horse farms

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MONROE — Through the Middlesex County’s Farmland Preservation Program, the township is doing its part in preserving horse farms.

The Township Council is expected to approve a resolution on Nov. 8 to allow an existing conservation easement to have farming and horses on a four-acre section of the tract.

The entire property that is being preserved is 17-acres on Spotswood-Gravel Hill Road.

“New Jersey has a proud and lengthy history in the equine field,” said Monroe Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro. “It’s because we’ve taken great measures to preserve horse farms like these that we maintain that reputation in Monroe to this day. We are pleased to be working with the county and the state and leveraging their resources to benefit our residents.”

The move will put the township close to 8,000 acres of preserved property in the township.

For the township’s part, Monroe has agreed to pay 20 percent of the total $400,000 cost to preserve the property, with the state and Middlesex County contributing the remaining amount.

“Middlesex County is committed to preserving our agricultural history and saving our precious open lands from commercial development,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “We are happy to be partnering once again with Monroe Township and the state to make this the 55th farm to enter our Farmland Preservation Program.”

Freeholder Deputy Director Charles E. Tomaro, liaison to the Open Space and Recreation Public Advisory Committee said the county’s Farmland Preservation Program could not be as successful as it is without the dedication of local farmers.

“We greatly appreciate what [farmers] do to keep this strong tradition alive,” he said.

Monroe Councilwoman Miriam Cohen said the preservation of 17-acres on Spotswood-Gravel Hill Road in the township is another step forward as the township is making great strides in its efforts to preserve 50 percent of the community.

“Our hope is that our efforts today will serve the future generations,” she said.

This is the second farm Monroe Township has preserved. In 2008, Superior Horse Farm, a 9-acre tract on Old Forge Road, was also preserved through the State, County and Township Joint Farmland Preservation Program.