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East Amwell Farm Owners Donate Easements To State Farmland Preservation Program
For Immediate Release: February 17, 1998 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Art Brown, Jr., who serves as chairman of the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC), today welcomed the donation of the development easement on the East Amwell farm of Frederick and Gael Gardner to the state' Farmland Preservation Program (FPP). This is the second such donation by an East Amwell farmer in the last year. "1997 was a banner year for the Farmland Preservation Program," Brown said. "We preserved 8,636 acres of farmland, the largest one-year total in the program's history. "It was made an even more noteworthy year by the generosity of the Gardner and Rozenborg families whose love of the land and belief in the future of agriculture in the Garden State were clearly demonstrated by their easement donations," Brown added. "I know that the Gardner's hope their example will be followed by other landowners who can afford to donate their land' development rights to the Farmland Preservation Program. " Fred Gardner noted that there were several reasons for their decision to donate the development easement to the FPP. "The final, and, for us, most important reason is that, no matter who owns the farm years from now, we and our children will always be able to come back and recognize it as the home we have loved. "Some years ago, Gael went back to the first home she remembered, a farm in Connecticut, and found that it had been turned into a housing development," Gardner said. "We are glad that no one who has lived on this farm will ever have that experience." The Gardners raise sheep and hay on their 57-acre property and also board and train several horses. Their gift to the FPP was inspired by Suzanne Rozenborg, who donated the easement rights on her farm to the program last June. The Gardners'generosity saved the FPP approximately $350,000 and insure that the scenic property will remain farmland forever. Brown added that the two donations together saved the program approximately $700,000 which the SADC was able to apply to other easement purchases. As of today, 280 farms covering 43,479 acres in 15 counties had been permanently preserved under the FPP. This total includes 37 farms on 5,069 acres in Hunterdon County, of which 12 farms on 1,410 acres are in East Amwell.