Another section of scenic Washington Valley Farm in Morris Township is permanently preserved
Morris County Open Space Trust Fund Supported Purchase of Additional Vallevue Farm Acres
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Another 7.76 acres of the Vallevue Farm in Morris Township’s scenic Washington Valley has been permanently preserved through a funding partnership involving the County of Morris, the Township of Morris, the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) and the family that owns the land.
The property is being added to 21.5 acres of the farm already preserved in 2015.
The latest acquisition protects the Washington Valley viewshed, a six-acre meadow along Picatinny Road, and allows Morris Township to complete a loop trail around the property stretching from the Ted Largman Community Garden parking lot. It also provides a remnant farm pond that drains into Gillespie Brook, a tributary of the Whippany River, as a destination on the trail system.
The preservation cost was $1,042,800, which included $684,900 from the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund, $236,100 from the Morris Township Open Space Trust Fund, $100,000 from the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority and a $21,800 donation from the Rosenhaus family, which owns the Vallevue Farm.
“This continues a preservation effort recognized many years ago as important to protecting the character, environment and overall beauty of Morris County. The Washington Valley area offers everyone in the area, visitors and residents alike, more than just a glimpse of our historic and rustic roots. Anyone who walks the trails will also realize the environmental treasures being protected there through our open space planning,” said Stephen H. Shaw, Director of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners.
In 2015, the county, township and MUA preserved a 21.5-acre swath of the 58-acre Vallevue Farm using $1.6 million in open space funding. The property, historically used as a small family farm, is located in a historic and environmentally sensitive area of Morris Township, just two miles from downtown Morristown.
This farm links to 188-acres of open space acquired from St. Mary’s Abbey and preserved in 2009 by Morris County and Morris Township, part of which has since been added to and managed by the Morris County Park Commission as an extension to Lewis Morris Park. Much of the Washington Valley is surrounded by property preserved through the MUA, which purchased land in the region decades ago for a potential reservoir project that was later abandoned. The MUA continues to help preserve nearby environmentally sensitive property in this area.
The Vallevue Farm owners chose years ago to sell the acreage around their home for conservation and restrict development of the property they retained, preserving the historic footprint of the area as well as views of the property from across the valley.