On March 30, we preserved the 63-acre Heere’s Farm in Harmony by acquiring a farmland preservation easement. Permanent preservation of this beautiful farm will help to ensure the viability of farming in Warren County well into the future.
The property, located at the end of Esposito Road, was preserved by Bob and Sharon Santini, whose family has been working with The Land Conservancy for over a decade to preserve farmland throughout Warren County. This most recent easement acquisition features a rolling landscape and spectacular views of the Delaware Water Gap. Adding this farm, which will continue to grow corn and soy as it has for many years, expands the preserved farm belt in this portion of Harmony Township all the way to the Delaware River.
“I am thrilled that we were able to work with the Santini family to protect this scenic and productive farm. Protecting this land will further expand a preserved farm belt in this part of the township, and in Warren County,” said Aaron Cela, a land preservation specialist with The Land Conservancy of New Jersey. “Together we’re ensuring the viability of farming in the area for years to come, as well serving to protect its rural character. Farming is an important part of Warren County’s heritage, and thanks to landowners like the Santinis it will be a part of its future as well.”
The farmland preservation transaction is in line with Harmony Township’s objectives as well. Abby Postma, chair of the Harmony Township Agricultural Advisory Committee, said, “We are thankful to our farmland owners and farmers who are on board and interested to preserve their farmland. Our township leaders, taxpayers, and community continue to support our efforts to protect our scenic open space and farming heritage. Thank you to the team at The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, which specializes in assisting towns to meet their preservation goals.”
Sandy Urgo, Vice President of Land Preservation for The Land Conservancy, acknowledged Warren County’s longstanding commitment to preserving the county’s agricultural heritage saying, “Without the ongoing, long-term support of Warren County, our efforts to preserve farmland in Warren County would not be so successful. We are grateful for the county’s leadership and partnership, and we believe that in addition to the cultural and agricultural benefits, this program is an economic engine in the county that helps it to thrive.”