April 10, 2007

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia 908-527-4419



County preserves 18 acres in Clark, Westfield, Union bringing total inventory to more than 300 acres

ELIZABETH---Freeholder Dan Sullivan, chairman of the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, today announced the County’s impending purchase of three more properties in Union County to be preserved.

The properties, totaling a little more than 18 acres, are: the “St Agnes property” located on Madison Hill Road in Clark (13.69 acres for $8 million), the former Schwarz Farm on Old Raritan Road straddling Clark and Westfield (4.25 acres for $3.6 million), and a piece at 1287 Wildwood Terrace in Union (a little more than .60 of an acre at $417,000).

With the prospective purchases, the County now expands its open space inventory to more than 300 acres preserved since the creation of the Trust Fund in 2000, Sullivan noted.

“Every acre of green space is precious in Union County, which is located in one of the nation’s most densely populated regions,” Sullivan said. “I am pleased to announce these latest prospective acquisitions which will leverage and complement existing park and green space.”

Two of the properties, the Schwarz Farm and the St Agnes property, would allow the County to assemble a contiguous pathway from Esposito Farm Park, to the Hazelwood Cemetery property, to Milton Lake, and the Clark Reservoir.

The County has now preserved a total of six properties alone in Clark, totaling 193 acres, with the largest property being the 150-acre reservoir.

What follows is a description of the three latest purchases:

Wildwood Terrace, Union
The property at Wildwood Terrace is of interest to the County of Union because it is contiguous with the Elizabeth River Parkway, and allows for a greater expansion of greenway along the river. The County is now in its due diligence phase, and can anticipate closing by September, 2007.

Schwarz Farm, Clark & Westfield
The property, at Old Raritan Road in both Clark and Westfield, was a working farm, and is of interest to the County of Union in its quest to preserve open space, but also due to its location on the Clark Reservoir.

St. Agnes property, Clark
Located on Madison Hill Road, the County is in its due diligence phase, and can anticipate closing by September, 2007. These pristine acres stretch from Madison Hill Road to the Clark Reservoir, and provide a vital link to the Clark Reservoir.

The county has no immediate plans for development of this site, Sullivan noted.

“We look to this land as a crucial environmental connection with the reservoir, and we delighted to be able to preserve this important open site,” said Sullivan.