Monroe Township closed on a 76-acre parcel of wooded land located on the western side of Perrineville Road, south of Union Valley Road.
The large parcel, previously owned by Galaxy Land Corp., served as a farm from the 1930s through the 1980s. Over the past 30 years, it has reverted to forest.
The Middlesex County Open Space Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund will fund the $395,000 purchase price via Resolution for County Grant No. R-6-2020-146 which passed on June 22, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, according to information provided by the township.
The deed to the land has now been transferred to the township.
“The acquisition of this beautiful piece of land creates a large forest that is preserved as open space for generations to come thanks to our strong partnership with Middlesex County,” Mayor Stephen Dalina said in the statement. “This former farm is one of the largest parcels we have secured for preservation yet.”
Dalina noted that the parcel is surrounded by preserved open space on three sides and creates a large forest, safe from development, that is unique to most, if not all, municipalities in the county, according to the statement.
“From improving the environment to enhancing quality of life for residents and visitors, the benefits of open space preservation cannot be overstated. That’s why we’ve made it a priority in Middlesex County to support the acquisition of open space whenever possible,” Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios said in the statement. “On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, I am pleased that we could support this acquisition through the Middlesex County Open Space Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, and I thank Mayor Dalina for his shared commitment to preserving open space throughout the county.”
“Middlesex County is committed to preserving open space throughout the county. The preservation of this 76-acre parcel in Monroe is our second significant investment in open space in Monroe Township in as many years and will benefit current and future township residents. It is an ideal use of this funding,” Middlesex County Commissioner Charles E. Tomaro, who chairs the county’s Infrastructure Management Committee, said in the statement. “Our ongoing partnership with Mayor Dalina and Monroe Township has been integral to identifying these opportunities for open space preservation. We look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”
In September 2019, Middlesex County purchased 59 acres of wooded land just south of this parcel for open space. The county paid $508,000 for the land. Together these acquisitions have preserved thousands of trees and a balanced ecosystem of forest and fauna, according to the statement.