Letters and Commentary

September 7, 2012
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A Vote for Kyrillos Because of His Jobs Plan

To the Editor:

I read recently that Senator Joe Kyrillos put forth a jobs plan as part of his campaign for U.S. Senate platform.

I read his plan and liked how he focuses on the American worker. We need to build things in America again and Joe gets it. Bob Menendez doesn’t have a plan and I have yet to hear him even address the unemployment rate.

I’m supporting Joe Kyrillos for U.S. Senate in November because it is obvious that he is working to produce a positive outcome in our economy.

Janet Gallo


Acquisition of New Parkland to Benefit Future Generations

To the Editor:

Wonderful news! The recent landmark acquisition of the famed Princeton Nurseries, spanning three counties, was five years in the making but will benefit the public for generations to come. As one who has been fighting to preserve our precious farmland and open space for over 30 years, I cannot overstate the significance of this purchase agreement. It is an unprecedented achievement that required ongoing cooperation and assistance of local, county and state government, as well as the Flemer family, the property’s owners.

Princeton Nurseries, once one of the largest functioning nurseries in the United States, spans 1,900 acres in Central New Jersey within Monmouth, Mercer and Burlington counties. It will now be forever preserved as a wildlife habitat and farmland, providing significant additions to county parks and greenways along historic Crosswicks Creek. Monmouth County will gain 450 acres of green space. The majority of the land is in Upper Freehold Township in Monmouth County, with additional parcels in Hamilton Township in Mercer County and North Hanover Township in Burlington County.

The $28 million agreement finalizing transfer of the property uses more than $16.5 million in state, local and nonprofit open-space funding sources for the outright purchases of land for a 512-acre state Wildlife Management Area. The state Agriculture Develop­ment Committee and its county and local partners provided another $11.4 million to purchase farmland easements on an additional 847 acres. Monmouth County contributed $8.5 million from its Open Space Fund, which was set aside in anticipation of the purchase.

Having represented Monmouth County in the negotiations since Day One, I can attest that this outstanding accomplishment was truly an example of different levels of government and the private sector working together for the common goal of preserving our precious resources to benefit everyone!

The DEP’s Green Acres Program and local funding partners closed the preservation deal with the Flemer family, which operated the property until a few years ago. Other partners in the purchase were Monmouth County, Burlington County, the Monmouth County Conservation Foundation and Upper Freehold. D&R Greenway facilitated initial discussions between the state and the Flemer family. The preservation agreement was reached with three Flemer family businesses – Wm. Flemer’s Sons Inc., Cross­wicks Farms Inc., and Allentown Tree Farm, known collectively as the Flemer Entities. The closing took two days and included the signing of 93 individual deeds held by Flemer family members and others with interests in the property.

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The rolling landscape and its naturally beautiful trees and vegetation will help connect thousands of acres of existing county park lands and greenways along Crosswicks Creek, an area rich in outdoor recreational opportunities as well as Revolutionary War history, including the historic village of Walnford.

“The preservation of this land was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect 1,900 contiguous acres of valuable farmland and other natural resource lands in central New Jersey,” said Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher at the recent signing ceremony attended by the family and stakeholders. “This project – one of the largest joint preservation projects in the history of the Farmland Preservation and Green Acres programs – will forever ensure plentiful opportunities for agriculture to grow, and for every generation to enjoy the bounty this land has to offer. It would not have been possible without the Flemer family’s commitment to preservation, and the cooperation and support of all the preservation partners.”

At the ceremony, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP) Com­missioner Bob Martin noted that benefits of the acquisition include protecting air and water quality in the heart of the most densely populated state in the nation. Flemer family representatives expressed their gratitude to the people of New Jersey for their support.

Portions of the land that will become a Wildlife Man­age­ment Area and additions to the Crosswicks Creek Greenway will not be available for public use for at least a year while the Flemer family removes existing nursery stock and restores the land consistent with recreational uses and wildlife needs. The Monmouth County Parks System will be reviewing the county’s open space needs and potential future use of the land.

The portion being preserved as a state Wildlife Management Area and as additions to county park lands consists of grasslands, mature forests and forested wetland that will provide a great diversity of wildlife habitat and offer opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing and more. Some nursery roads will be developed into a trail system. The farmland portion will be a major addition to the permanent agricultural land base in an area where approximately 15,000 acres of farmland are preserved. The new parkland will advance Monmouth County’s park acreage to 15,906; closer to the ultimate goal of 19,099 acres for residents to enjoy.

Lillian G. Burry
Monmouth County Freeholder


Help Crop Walk Help Others

To the Editor:

In six weeks, on Sunday, Oct. 21, we head out on our 32nd Red Bank Area Crop Hunger walk! Last year this 5-mile Sunday afternoon walk going from Red Bank Regional High School through three towns in the Two River area, brought out about 1,000 participants, raising well over $126,500 in sponsorships and collecting 11,000 pounds of food staples. Together we helped our hungry neighbors around the block and around the world.

Recruiters from faith congregations, public and private schools, and civic groups hope for another record food collection on Crop Walk Day, and increased funds to help our 17 local partner programs in their daily challenges, as we set our goal for 6 tons of food and $130,000. The major drought covering 70 percent of our USA grain producing areas, has driven up food and fuel costs making it more difficult for those already struggling to purchase basic needs.

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Walk Season will kick off with our recruiter rally on Sept. 10, hosted by the Red Bank First Baptist Church. Sponsor sheets, signs, and education materials will be given out so that groups can gather walkers and runners, and encourage ways of raising money and collecting food for the big Walk Day.

Crop Walk, the community hunger appeal of Church World Service, also makes possible a quick response to events such as last year’s Hurricane Irene, which devastated the northeast, causing mountainsides to slide down, drowning farms, and destroying bridges and homes with its raging waters, This year’s Hurricane Isaac has created disaster areas in several states to add to the woes of major drought and hail stone damage around the country.

For walk information go to our website www.redbankcropwalk.com or email us. Walk Day is fun for the whole family, with music, clowns, community garden tables and advocacy tables, an art contest, and refreshments. You will feel good at the end of the day!

Janie Schildge
Walk Coordinator

Thanks to Library Patrons for Help in Food for Fines Week

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Monmouth County Library Commission, I congratulate the charitable work of the eighth-grade students in Brielle in collecting food for the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean counties and the powerful example they set as an inspiration not only to the young people in our county, but indeed, for us all.

This past year, recognizing the severe economic condition, the Monmouth County Library System expanded its Food for Fines Week program, which had been conducted for many years, into a month long program in all 13 branches. Almost 11 tons of food for distribution was donated as a result of the generosity and caring of the residents of our great county.

The Monmouth County Library will continue to be a leader in the county in supporting this most humane endeavor to ensure that there is a well-provisioned Foodbank to answer the dire appeal of the hungry amongst us.

Renee B. Swartz, Chair
Monmouth County Library Commission



Two River Moment

This undated photo shows a training run at Monmouth Park in Oceanport. The racetrack’s history began in 1870 with the first of three tracks. Horseracing eventually became so popular at the site that by 1890, a second track was built on a tract adjacent to the first. When state laws banned pari-mutuel wagering a few years later, the track was closed. It was reopened in its present location more than 50 years later on June 19, 1946. Monmouth Park is owned by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which purchased the track in 1986, This photograph is courtesy of Dorn’s Classic Images.

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