We’re very excited to share a piece of news that has been a long time in the making! We have completed our first ever land preservation project that will become part of the National Park system. Together with the National Park Service, The Conservation Fund, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and the Victoria Foundation, The Land Conservancy preserved the 129-acre Vernon Township property in early July. This preserved greenspace will act as a buffer to protect the view from this part of the Appalachian Trail. This beautiful and heavily forested property abuts Wawayanda State Park and sits less than half a mile from the Appalachian Trail. It provides important wildlife habitat for a number of endangered species including the Northern Long Eared Bat, Northern Goshawk, Bobcat, Barred Owl and Wood Turtle. In addition, the preserved tract will protect water quality and drinking water in the New Jersey Highlands, with 30% of the property given an “A” ranking for its ground water recharge capabilities.
In more land preservation news, we preserved Tjalma Farm in Harmony Township on June 27th. This is the second of two Tjalma farming tracts we helped preserve, a total of 278 acres, that allows for the Tjalama family’s active farming operation to continue. Both farms currently grow corn and soy on a rotational basis and the land preservation will allow for an easy expansion of agricultural operations. The first Tjalma farm was purchased in 2007 as part of an agricultural easement project led by the Township and The Land Conservancy of New Jersey (then called The Morris Land Conservancy) and was the first project to be completed as part of the town’s Planning Incentive Grant with the State Agricultural Development Committee. Just across from the Delaware River, the picturesque Tjalma farms are adjacent to the Burke and Dinsmore Farms, and within a half-mile buffer of State owned Open Space and feature beautiful views of the surrounding landscape for future generations to enjoy. This property was preserved in partnership with Warren County and used funds from the State Agricultural Development Committee as well.