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The Open Space Institute Protects Scenic Bergen County Property for Habitat and Education

Photo Credit: Brett Cole

MAHWAH, NJ (May 9, 2018)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announces the permanent protection of an 18-acre property in northwestern Bergen County. Upon conserving the property, OSI conveyed the scenic acreage to the county as a new addition to the Ramapo Valley County Reservation. The property will preserve critical habitat and be used for science education by nearby Ramapo College.

The newly-protected property, purchased for $1,350,000, consists of wetlands and open fields with views of the Ramapo Mountains. Funding was provided by the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant from the Bergen County Preservation Trust. The Reservation is located less than a half mile from Ramapo College, and is used by students for environmental-science based field projects.

The property is a new addition to Ramapo Valley County Reservation, the largest and one of the most popular parks in Bergen County, NJ.
The property is a new addition to Ramapo Valley County Reservation, the largest and one of the most popular parks in Bergen County, NJ.
Photo Credit: Brett Cole

The property was conserved after Bergen County requested OSI’s assistance to purchase the property as an addition to the county park. Now located within the southeastern section of Ramapo Valley County Reservation, the land contains more than 1,000 feet of frontage on the Ramapo River.   

“Protected land plays a critical role in improving the quality of life for residents of suburban New Jersey,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “This project will have a lasting influence as generations of future college students use it to learn about our natural world and how to protect it. We thank Bergen County for their partnership, and their passion for land protection.”

“With nearly one million residents living in Bergen County, protection of our environment and its natural beauty and resources is critical. Our parks play an important role in keeping our communities healthy and providing access to open space,” said Bergen County Executive James Tedesco. “This addition to one of Bergen County’s most popular parks is an investment in the quality of life for current and future generations of Bergen County residents.”

Dr. Beth Barnett, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Ramapo College, shared, “Ramapo College supports this conservation effort and looks forward to the continued and expanded use of the Reservation by our students and faculty. In many ways, the Reservation serves as an invaluable extension of the classroom for our biology, sustainability and environmental classes.”

Adjacent to more than 200 acres of preserved farmland, the property protects potential nesting habitat for wood and bog turtles. Both species are on the federal list of threatened wildlife.

The largest and one of the most popular county parks in Bergen County, the Ramapo Valley County Reservation encompasses 4,000 acres and is located in the Township of Mahwah, bordering the 5,000-acre Ringwood State Park to the north and the 4,200-acre Ramapo Mountain State Forest to the south. 

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