SOUTH BRUNSWICK – County and local officials celebrated today the addition of a 40-acre property in South Brunswick to Middlesex County’s Open Space Preservation program. The Himmel property now joins the existing Ireland Brook Conservation Area to create 484 acres of contiguous, undeveloped land in South Brunswick.
“This acquisition helps us add to an already preserved site, the Ireland Brook Conservation Area,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, chair of the county’s Administration Committee. “In doing so, we expand a vibrant green corridor on which wildlife flourishes. We also add to our offerings for passive recreation, such as bird watching, hiking and fishing. As an avid fisherman myself, I am thrilled to know that within 40 minutes of my front porch, I have a new spot to enjoy one once of my favorite pastimes.”
One of the county’s Open Space Master Plan’s primary objectives is to pursue properties for acquisition that are adjacent to or that can be added to existing parkland.
Located in a semi-rural residential section of South Brunswick, the Himmel Property creates a contiguous stretch of preserved land between South Brunswick and East Brunswick.
The Board of Chosen Freeholder authorized the use of $850,000 from the County’s Open Space and Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund to purchase the land. The value was based on a lot-yield analysis that concluded the property had the development potential of a six-lot subdivision, with those lots ranging between 2.2 acres and 14.7 acres.
In an effort to offset acquisition costs, the county applied last fall to the State Green Acres Fund for financial assistance.
“Since 1995 Middlesex County has made land preservation a top priority,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “With the support of constituents, the Freeholders have worked tirelessly to protect what remains of our undeveloped lands. In doing so, we’ve been able to preserve forever 7,457 acres of open space property to date.”
Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante made an additional announcement this morning: The County also purchased a 35-acre parcel in the Township that will expand the Scotts Corner Conservation Area.
The property is the final piece of land formerly owned by the Boyko family. Between 2003 and 2006, the county added 124 acres of Boyko land to the Preservation Program.
“This news thrills me, and I can’t wait to start working on preserving more land throughout the County!” said Barrett, who added that this purchase also adds to existing open space.
The Scotts Corner Conservation Area provides a connection to: Rowland Park, the 80-acre South Brunswick Park, that was purchased with Funds from the county’s Open Space Trust fund
The 630-acre Plainsboro Preserve, a joint purchase made by the County and Plainsboro Township, that is managed by Plainsboro Township with NJ Audubon Society and South Brunswick’s 145-acre Sondek Park.