Freeholders will purchase 44-acre tract for addition to Holmdel Park

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The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders will acquire land in Holmdel and add the parcel to Holmdel Park.

During a meeting on Feb. 19 in Freehold Borough, the freeholders voted to acquire 44 acres at 215 Route 34, near the state highway’s intersection with Pleasant Valley Road, from H.M.F. Associates and to add the tract to nearby Holmdel Park.

Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore said the property to be acquired has frontage on Route 34 and explained that the rear of the 44-acre parcel will connect to Holmdel Park across Holmdel Road (county Route 4).

According to a resolution, a formal offer of purchase in the amount of $2.332 million has been accepted. The offer is contingent upon a satisfactory title and environmental review of the land, and subject to adjustments made for acreage, taxes and other closing costs.

Freeholder Lillian Burry said the purchase of the property will preclude the development of housing at that location and ease congestion on Route 34. Burry said the tract will be preserved as open space.

A description provided by the Monmouth County Park System states that “Holmdel Park is one of Monmouth County’s most popular locations for active recreation and nature appreciation. Acquired by the park system in 1962, nearly one million visitors enjoy this 566-acre site yearly.

“This park features Historic Longstreet Farm, the David C. Shaw Arboretum, fishing, picnic areas, four tennis courts, two playgrounds, ice skating, sledding and 10 miles of trails, including a half-mile paved loop linking the Pond View and Forest Edge areas of the park with group picnic facilities and playgrounds.

“Walking trails wind through the shady woods and rolling hills. There is a fitness trail, too. The rolling terrain will challenge some hikers. Cyclists and equestrians are asked to use the trails in the Ramanessin section, but must remain on the roads in the northern portion. Enter from Longstreet Road (9.49 miles of trails),” according to the park system.

The funds for the purchase of the 44-acre parcel at 215 Route 34 will come from the Monmouth County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

The purchase of the property was recommended by the Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners for open space preservation, natural resources conservation and public park and recreational purposes, according to the resolution.