Posted Friday, August 20th, 2010

Several Morris County freeholders were in Mount Olive on Aug. 10 where they presented the Trust for Public Land with a ceremonial check in the amount of $2.15 million.

The oversized check represents money from the open space portion of the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund used to help the nonprofit conservation organization preserve 129 acres of land in Mount Olive known as the South Branch Headwaters.

The property, south of River Road and north of Flanders-Drakestown Road, consists of an approved 17-lot subdivision in the Highlands Preservation Area.

Freeholder Jack Schrier, liaison to the county’s Preservation Trust Fund, said preserving the land is important because of its environmentally sensitive features, which include forested wetlands and streams.

“This property includes streams that feed into the headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan River, a drinking water source for 1 million New Jersey residents,” Schrier said. “Preserving it illustrates Morris County’s commitment to help protect critical water supply lands and preserve the county’s high quality of life.”

With the May 28 closing of this project, almost 2,200 acres of open space and farmland have been preserved in Mount Olive with the assistance of more than $10.8 million from the county’s Preservation Trust Fund.