In a major victory for nature lovers in Somerset County, we recently assisted the Borough of Bernardsville in acquiring a 5-acre property at 251 Claremont Rd. The property was owned by Walter and Susan Makoc, and it sits directly adjacent to the parcel known as Peter’s Tract, a previously inaccessible natural preserve.
The more than 30 acres of natural green space at Peter’s Tract has been relatively undisturbed for more than a century. It is home to a diverse array of trees, plants, and wildlife, including red foxes, white-tail deer, and many more. Although the Borough acquired the site many years ago, Peter’s Tract has remained inaccessible to the public due to the layout of the surrounding area. Now, this newly purchased lot will enable public access and provide additional space for parking and recreation.
“It is such a pleasure to have a project we have been working on for so long come to fruition. Everyone on the Open Space Committee is happy the residents of Bernardsville will be able to enjoy this property,” noted Pat Mcfadden, Open Space Committee Chair.
The current site at 251 Claremont Rd., valued at nearly $1 million, contains outbuildings and a pool, which will be removed to create necessary space for public access. Meanwhile, the Borough is considering whether to also tear down the house itself, or to keep it for support of new outdoor recreation activities. Praising the newly completed deal, Bernardsville Mayor Mary Jane Canose remarked, “I want to thank the Borough’s Open Space Committee and The Land Conservancy of New Jersey for their hard work and patience. Finding a way for the community to access and enjoy Peters Tract has been a goal for many years and both the Council and myself are excited to see it become a reality.”
We were happy to be able to work with the Borough of Bernardsville on this project and are looking forward to seeing how plans progress.