HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J.—Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today joined Hopewell Township Mayor Vanessa Sandom, members of the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and D & R Greenway Executive Director Linda Mead to announce that Mercer County has signed contracts to preserve the Patricelli Farm and Country Properties LLC tract and reached an agreement to preserve the Huebner Farm.
“Whether guaranteeing that working farms will remain part of the fabric of Mercer County or setting the foundation for larger tracts of permanently protected land with public access, we will continue to do all that we can to keep Mercer County green and sprawl contained,” stated County Executive Hughes. “We stand at the 57-acre Huebner Farm, which will continue to be utilized as an active livestock farm and is contiguous to other previously preserved open space parcels.”
Mercer County has reached a tentative agreement with the Huebner Family to purchase the easement rights of the 57-acre farm for $821,250, with $328,500 funded by the County, and the remainder by the State of New Jersey.
Mercer County has already purchased the easement rights to the 27-acre grain-producing Patricelli Farm for $518,958, with $207,538 funded by the County and the remainder by the State. The 55-acre Country Properties LLC tract also has been purchased for $1 million dollars as part of a cooperative agreement between the County, the D & R Greenway, and the State of New Jersey, and is part of the much larger Hopewell Borough Greenbelt project.
Hughes was joined by Hopewell Township Mayor Vanessa Sandom, who remarked, “Farming has been an integral part of Hopewell Township for centuries, and preserving farming and open space are priorities for all the residents of this Valley. I look forward to continuing to work with Mercer County to ensure that Hopewell Township’s future will look a lot like its past.”
Additionally, D & R Greenway Executive Director Linda Mead attended the event, commenting that “in 2005 alone, the D&R Greenway Land Trust partnered with Mercer County on eight preservation transactions encompassing 301 acres.”
She added, “We applaud County Executive Brian Hughes for his leadership in land preservation and his willingness to collaborate to achieve our goals. ”