Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders have announced the expansion of Ramapo Valley County Reservation with the acquisition and permanent protection of an 18-acre property adjacent to the largest and one of the most popular county parks in Bergen County, the Ramapo Valley County Reservation. The Open Space Institute (OSI), a conservation organization that supports public efforts to protect the environment, facilitated this preservation of open space.
The newly-protected property, purchased for $1,350,000, consists of wetlands and open fields with views of the Ramapo Mountains. Funding was provided by the Bergen County Open Space Preservation Trust Fund and approved by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The property will preserve critical habitat and is available for science education to area school districts and colleges. The Reservation is located less than a half mile from Ramapo College, and is used by students for environmental-science based field projects. Adjacent to more than 200 acres of Bergen County’s first preserved farm, this property protects potential nesting habitat for wood and bog turtles. Both species are on the federal list of threatened wildlife.
“With nearly one million residents living in Bergen County, protection of our environment and its natural beauty and resources is critical. Our parks play an important role in keeping our communities healthy and providing access to open space,” said Bergen County Executive Tedesco. “This addition to one of Bergen County’s most popular parks is an investment in the quality of life for current and future generations of Bergen County residents.”
“When the Freeholder Board followed the will of the people by increasing open space funding, this is exactly what we had in mind,” said Freeholder Chairman Tom Sullivan. “People move to and stay in Bergen County for the quality of life, and acquiring and preserving an additional 18 acres for the Ramapo Reservation is a protection and demonstration of those values.”
“Protected land plays a critical role in improving the quality of life for residents of suburban New Jersey,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “This project will have lasting influence as future generations will use it to learn about our natural world and how to protect it. We thank Bergen County for their partnership, and their passion for land protection.”