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Monmouth Conservation Foundation to present special event on Oct. 24

Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) will present its first Scenic Drive and Wine Tasting event at the Cream Ridge Winery, Upper Freehold Township, on Oct. 24.

The foundation is inviting all community members to enjoy a self-guided scenic byway tour in the comfort of their own vehicle as they traverse the beautiful rural countryside during the height of leaf peeping season, according to a press release.

At the tour’s end, stop at the winery to relax and enjoy an outdoor wine tasting event featuring a live bluegrass band.

The scenic driving tour portion of the event runs from noon to 2 p.m., directly followed by wine tasting, entertainment, refreshments, and great produce and products from local farm vendors from 2-5 p.m.

Cream Ridge Winery is a boutique vineyard dedicated to handcrafted wines using only locally sourced ingredients. Attendees will enjoy a casual outdoor afternoon surrounded by the bursting fall color of the rural landscape of western Monmouth County, according to the press release.

Attendees will sample featured local wines, enjoy refreshments, listen to the bluegrass band and peruse the local artisan and farm vendors.

According to the foundation, this area of western Monmouth County is a leader in New Jersey for the most preserved park and farmland, making it the perfect showcase for the importance of land and historic preservation in Monmouth County.

The first segment of the event spotlights the spectacular countryside of Upper Freehold and charming downtown Allentown along the state designated Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway, for which MCF serves as a sponsor in partnership with Monmouth County.

The interactive byway experience includes tours of Historic Walnford (a country estate with a unique history, now a Monmouth County park); Historic Downtown Allentown (a vibrant downtown village district brimming with revolutionary era history and charm); and the Old Yellow Meeting House (the oldest Baptist meeting house in New Jersey, founded on land donated by the great-great grandparents of Abraham Lincoln).

In addition to these stops along the way, visitors will pass thousands of acres of permanently preserved park and farmland with pumpkin picking, fields of sunflowers and other rural autumn activities found in the area, according to the press release.

Attendees are invited to enjoy the byway tour anytime between noon and 2 p.m., followed by refreshments, live music and wine tasting beginning at 2 p.m. and concluding at 5 p.m., while supporting Monmouth Conservation Foundation’s mission to preserve land and protect waterways and wildlife.

Tickets cost $30 and sponsorship opportunities are available and can be found at www.monmouthconservation.org/scenicdrive or by calling 732-671-7000 and speaking with Kathie Kenney or Anne Delaney.

Monmouth Conservation Foundation is a county focused land trust founded in 1977. MCF has been preserving land and protecting the natural habitat of Monmouth County for 44 years, according to the press release.

MCF creates parks, saves open space, preserves farmland, safeguards waterways, teaches environmental sustainability and protects wildlife.

The Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway was designated as a scenic byway through New Jersey in 2006 as the result of a community-led effort administered by Monmouth County to ensure the agrarian roots and rich history of the area was forever preserved and available to the community, according to the press release.

More information can be found at http://njscenicbyways.com/byways/upper-freehold

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