On , the Morris County Freeholders voted to provide $2,880,000 in funding for the preservation of Primrose Farm Estates in Harding Township. Primrose Farm Estates is a 69.7-acre property where the development of 5 home sites is eminent. It is part of a multi-year project that preserves 115 acres of contiguous land in Harding Township.

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This property is less than 12 mile upstream of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. It straddles the Upper Passaic River to the south and Primrose Brook to the north, which are both Category One Trout Production waterways. The property also consists of former agricultural fields, grasslands, upland and wetland forests, and riparian habitat along both Primrose Brook and Upper Passaic River. It supports a seasonal population of Indiana Bats and preserves a rich mosaic of habitats that benefit many species. Preservation of this parcel will provide recreation and educational opportunities for area residents.

“We are grateful to the Morris County Freeholders for their support of this important project”, said Harding Land Trust President, David Shepperly. “This was the largest allocation of funds from the Morris County Preservation Trust this year and we are pleased that the County recognizes the importance of preserving this property.”

Philip Nicolas, the Project Manager for Trust for Public Land, led the negotiations for the project. “The leadership from Harding Township Committee was critical to the success of this project in addition to the landowners who have endured a long negotiation and have given a number of concessions to make preservation possible”.

The Harding Land Trust applied for the County grants to support both Phases of the project. Tina Bologna, Executive Director for the Land Trust explained, “Last year the County awarded $2,450,000 million towards Phase 1, which was $1 million short of what we requested. Harding Township stepped up to meet the challenge of addressing the shortfall. We are appreciative that Morris County met our full request this year and we are confident that we can raise the remaining funds to acquire this project on schedule.”

Harding Township Mayor, Marshall Bartlett agrees. “This project met the criteria of our local Open Space Trust and our residents demonstrated that there was strong support for the preservation of this property”.

Other partners contributing funds for this project include Great Swamp Watershed Association and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Program.

The mission of the Harding Land Trust is to acquire, conserve and manage scenic, natural and historic lands in Harding Township in order to maintain the existing rural character of the Town for present and future generations. Working with its neighbors, the township and its conservation partners, Harding Land Trust has preserved over 300 acres of scenic and environmentally sensitive land. Since 1990 it has worked to acquire property and conservation easements within the community. By preserving open space, the trust seeks to protect the character of Harding’s countryside and ensure the integrity of its water resources.