Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

The Morris County Agriculture Development Board has announced the permanent preservation of the 127th farm in Morris County, with the enrollment of an 8-acre apple and pumpkin farm in Chester Township onto the county’s preservation roster. 
 
Morris County Preserves its 127th Farm -- Parks Farm in Chester Township
The Parks Farm
 
The latest preserved farm, owned by the Parks Family, is located on old Route 24, and in an area of the county in close proximity to other preserved farms and open space parcels. It was originally purchased by William F. Parks in 1906.

The voter-approved Morris County Open Space, Farmland, Floodplain Protection and Historic Preservation Trust Fund provided 100 percent of the $570,333 easement acquisition price.   

The purchases by the Morris CADB restrict the lands from non-agricultural uses, thus permanently preserving the 8-acre farm. This is the 21st preserved farm in Chester Township, according to Katherine Coyle, director of the Morris CADB.    

 
Morris County Preserves its 127th Farm -- Parks Farm in Chester Township
John Cesaro
 
“The county’s continuing efforts to preserve our prime agricultural properties benefits our economy, benefits the farm families who have given so much to this county, and benefits the quality of life in Morris County,’’ said Freeholder John Cesaro who is the county governing board’s liaison on preservation issues. 

Preservation of the Parks Farm brings the total area of preserved farmland in the County to 7,771 acres or the equivalent of 12 square miles, which is about the size of Long Hill, which is the 15th largest municipality in Morris County.

There are three more farms targeted for preservation in 2015, including one each in Mount Olive, Chester Township and Washington Township.

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

Morris County Preserves its 127th Farm -- Parks Farm in Chester Township

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

The Morris County Farmland Preservation program began with the permanent preservation of the Cupo Farm, a 14-acre farm in Washington Township, on December 28, 1987. Since 1987, an additional 125 farms have been permanently preserved.

Washington Township ranks 1st in farmland acreage in the county with 10,815 acres. Chester Township is second in the county in the number of preserved acres and ranks 2nd in farmland acreage with 3,888 acres. 

Also, there are preserved farms in Boonton Township, Chester Borough, Denville, Harding, Lincoln Park, Long Hill, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Montville, Randolph, and Rockaway Township.

For more information on farmland preservation in Morris County, visit: http://morrisplanning.org/divisions/PresTrust/Farmland/index.asp