County Deeds 17 Acres of Open Space to Monroe Township The Addition of the Land Will Create an 89 Acre Greenway of Open Space
(Monroe Township, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholders deeded over 17 acres of permanently preserved open space to Monroe Township today.
The addition of the property, known as the Fera, property is located directly across the street from a 35- acre parcel that the County and Township cooperatively settled in 2008, and the 36-acre Owens Park, creating a greenway of 89 acres of contiguous open space. The property is also less than a quarter mile from the 92-acre Mary Duffy Park which the County and Township cooperatively settled in 2002.
"The addition of this land is a great asset to Monroe and the County. Creating such a large greenway is important to the future of our environment and our quality of life," said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney. Freeholder Deputy Director Damminger said that the addition of the 17 acres pushes the countys preserved land totals to 16,178 acres. "Gloucester County is working to preserve an additional 100 acres of open space and 1,500 acres of farmland before the end of the year. Seventeen acres might not sound like a lot, but they add up. Every time we add acreage to our inventory we are making an investment in our future," said Damminger, Liaison to the Office of Land Preservation.
Monroe Mayor Michael Gabbianelli said, "This is an investment in open space
for future generations. It is a perfect example of local and county government
working together to ensure there will be less development thereby reducing the
potential for housing growth, which has a direct positive impact on infrastructure,
schools and therefore taxes. The project works well within our plans for future
recreational growth of which this area is a major component."
The County acquired the land through the County's Open Space Fund for
$400,000; with the Township paying $100,000, and the County paying
$300,000.00. The County will seek a reimbursement from the State for 50% of the
Freeholder Jean DuBois said she was grateful to the Fera Family for agreeing to
sell the property into the Open Space Preservation program. Both Greg Fera
and Wayne Fera, the Executors of the Estate, attended the Deed ceremony
"It can be very tempting for families to sell land like this to developers or hold it
for future speculation when the economy turns around. But it is truly a testament
to a family to preserve their land forever from development so that it can be
enjoyed by everyone," stated Freeholder DuBois.