Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

The Morris County Agriculture Development Board on July 2 permanently preserved Oakeside Farm, the first farm to ever be preserved in Rockaway Township.

The purchase by the Morris CADB restricts the land from non-agricultural uses, thus permanently preserving the 93-acre farm on Charlottesburg Road.

Oakeside Farm has been in the Oakes Family for 65 years and is currently operated as an equine and cattle farm. Several buildings on the farm are between 150 to 200 years old. Located in the Highlands Preservation Area, this farm also adjoins the Split Rock Reservoir.

The purchase was made in conjunction with a grant from the State Agriculture Development Committee, which provided 59 percent of the $2,578,086 acquisition price. The Morris County Preservation Trust funded the remaining 41 percent.

In contrast to open space preservation, the landowner retains ownership of, and may even choose to sell the preserved land with a deed restriction ensuring that the land will not undergo non-farm development.

Agricultural development of the farm is permitted and the type of farming activity can change in the future.

Oakeside Farm is the 105th farm to be permanently preserved in Morris County, bringing the total area for preserved farmland in the county to 6,778 acres or the equivalent of 10.6 square miles.