County to Receive Government Advocate Award for Land Preservation Efforts Heritage Collaborative Will Honor Gloucester County with the Whitman Preservation Award
(Camden, NJ)- Gloucester County's Land Preservation Program has been selected by Heritage Collaborative, Inc. as a recipient of the Whitman Preservation Award. Heritage Collaborative Inc. is a South Jersey advocacy organization.
The award will be presented at a ceremony held in conjunction with the 9th Annual South Jersey Walt Whitman Preservation Forum on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at Waterfront Technology Center, 200 Federal Street, Camden from 6 to 8 pm. Freeholder Deputy Director Robert M. Damminger, liaison to the Office of Land Preservation, and Ken Atkinson, Director of the County's Office of Land Preservation will accept the award.
"Gloucester County recognizes that agriculture remains a major industry and our residents feel that the rural heritage of our county is one of our greatest assets and must be preserved for future generations," Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney said. "It is an honor that our county's land preservation program has been selected by Heritage Collaborative for this award, since the Freeholders began the program more than 16,660 of farmland and open space has been preserved in Gloucester County," Sweeney said.
Freeholder Deputy Director Damminger said that the Gloucester County Office of Land Preservation had its most productive year in 2009 and settled or participated in the settlement of 35 properties totaling more than 2,268 acres of farmland and open space. These properties were preserved using a combination of state funds, Gloucester County Open Space Tax funds, and a $38 million dollar bond that the County Freeholder Board authorized in early 2009. These efforts helped to make Gloucester County's Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program the most successful county campaign in all of New Jersey in 2009.
"Even in this tough economic environment we have to be mindful that we have a window of opportunity to permanently preserve land. We are having a productive year and we anticipate preserving another 20 farms and 6 open space properties this year," said Deputy Director Damminger. "We are very proud of our farmers and our community for supporting them and the open space program," Damminger concluded.