COLTS NECK – Along the developing Route 34 corridor in Colts Neck, the Monmouth Conservation Foundation has just ensured that a 41-acre farm will never be developed.
The farm, owned by the de Groot family, sits tucked away on the northbound side of Route 34. Together with the State Agriculture Development Committee, Monmouth County and Colts Neck, the farm was preserved, ensuring the fertile soils and open lands are available for future generations of farming, according to a press release from the Monmouth Conservation Foundation.
“We knew we wanted to see the land preserved,” said Claire de Groot, who made the decision to preserve the family farm, not once, but twice; first, when the family preserved 20 acres in 2005, and now with the preservation of the remaining 40 acres.
“New Jersey’s farmlands are some of the best soils for agriculture in the nation and Colts Neck boasts excellent farmland that is under serious threat of development,” said William Kastning, executive director of the Monmouth Conservation Foundation. “We would like to honor the decision of the de Groot family who chose to protect the land for future generations.”
The de Groot farm is the second land preservation milestone reached by the Monmouth Conservation Foundation in the past two months. Another farm in Colts Neck is expected to be preserved in October, according to the press release.
According to the foundation, when a landowner decides to preserve their farm, they sell their right to develop the property further, but still remain the private owner of the farm. The land is then permanently restricted with an agriculture easement to ensure it is never developed. There is no public access to the land without the farmer’s consent.
The foundation said farmland preservation provides a dual public benefit by ensuring that the agricultural soils and other natural resources found on the land remain intact for future use and by preserving the rural character of the area.