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Wednesday, April 2, 2003

County to Add 326 Acres to Open Space Holdings

County Executive Dennis Levinson has announced plans to acquire two Egg Harbor Township properties that will add 326 acres to the county's Open Space holdings.

"Our goal is to acquire 500 additional acres of open space this year to add to the nearly 700 acres acquired over the past three years. We can not afford to sacrifice all our natural resources to development," he said. "Future generations depend on our foresight."

Both properties will be acquired with a combination of funding from state Green Acres grants and the Atlantic County Open Space Trust. A 55-acre property identified as Block 5101, lot 64, will be purchased for $661,500. It is adjacent to two previously acquired properties on Pine Avenue and will bring the total to 470 acres of contiguous open space in this area of Egg Harbor Township, one of three municipalities designated as Pinelands regional growth areas.

A second Egg Harbor Township parcel identified as Block 5001, lot 1 and a portion of Block 4901, lot 71, totaling 271 acres, will be purchased for $301,500. The majority of the property surrounds the county's John F. Gaffney Green Tree Golf Course with a smaller portion located on the Great Egg Harbor River across from Route 559.

"This property is one of several that the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association recommended for purchase," noted Levinson. "It will serve as natural protection for the river and its tributaries so that they can continue to be enjoyed by all."

For more information, please contact Joe Maher, Department of Regional Planning and Development, at (609) 645-5898.

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