Gloucester County’s Office of Land Preservation has preserved more than 17,000 acres of farmland and open space thus far and has no intention of slowing down. The farmland and open space preservation programs work to keep the county’s farms viable, the agriculture business vibrant and to prevent unnecessary development.
“The county has a rich, rich agricultural heritage,” said Ken Atkinson, the county’s director of land preservation. “It’s important on a lot of fronts. It helps preserve the agricultural business, the residents feel it’s important and it also helps alleviate tax burdens of additional development.” Since January 2011, the office has preserved 1,300 acres, bringing the total preserved land through the programs to 17,724 acres – 14,523 of farmland and 3,201 of open space – and there are currently 24 applications for farmland preservation being considered for 2012 and 20 submitted for 2013.