Forestland in fast-growing New Jersey township saved for water quality, wildlife

UPPER DEERFIELD TWP, NJ (June 2, 2016)—Forestland adjoining a beloved public beach and important tributary of the Delaware River is now protected forever, thanks to Natural Lands Trust, the Open Space Institute (OSI), and other partners.

Protection of the 119-acre property, previously approved for 339 houses, plays a critical role protecting the water quality of Cromwell Run, a Cohansey River tributary that flows along the project’s northern boundary. The project also shields land near Sunset Lake, a local park, and water quality at Stony Point Beach, a beloved community escape for generations.

OSI funded the project under its Bayshore-Highlands Fund because of the project’s critical role protecting the water quality, forest and wildlife habitat of Cromwell Run, a Cohansey River tributary that flows along the project’s northern boundary. The Initiative, funded by the William Penn Foundation, is dedicated to supporting projects that accelerate strategic land conservation in the New Jersey Bayshore and the Pennsylvania Highlands.

“When preserved intact, forests like the Deerfield Township project play a critical role in protecting drinking water for human health and communities,” said OSI Executive Vice President Peter Howell. “This project is a huge win for the residents of Deerfield Township, and is a shining example of the value of innovative and thoughtful partnerships in preserving the lands that matter.”

Susan Seybolt, Program Manager at New Jersey Green Acres stated that “this project is a great example of a wide range of entities (nonprofits and township, state and county governments) working together to achieve a common goal.”

James P. Crilley, Mayor of Upper Deerfield Township added that he was “extremely grateful for the participation of all of the entities in making this open space preservation possible. Finally after days, weeks and months of deliberation and determination, the “i’s” are dotted and the “t’s” are crossed as a 119 acre parcel of woodland is preserved as open space for current and future generations to enjoy.”

The $2.6 million property was purchased for open space preservation through a collaborative effort of Upper Deerfield Township, County of Cumberland, NJ DEP Green Acres Program, Natural Lands Trust, the Open Space Institute, Frank H. Stewart Trust and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

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