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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

May 25, 2006

Contact: Karen Hershey (609) 984-1795   
Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994


(06/39) Trenton -- Emphasizing the importance of balancing open space preservation with active recreation, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today announced the acquisition of Cream Ridge Golf Course in Upper Freehold Township. DEP joined with Upper Freehold to purchase the 186 acre parcel, which will continue to operate as a golf course.

"With this acquisition, we have succeeded in preserving land that is part of a larger preservation area," said DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson. "The public can continue to enjoy a popular recreational pastime and also admire the spectacular view of open space, knowing that this large tract of land will not be further developed."

The newly acquired golf course adjoins permanently preserved farmland and is near Monmouth County's historic Walnford Park.

DEP and Upper Freehold Township purchased the property for $14,000,000 from the Miscoski family. DEP paid $10.5 million for the property with the township contributing $3.5 million toward the purchase. The property consists of a golf course with a club house, restaurant and a driving range. DEP's Green Acres local assistance program also provided a 50 percent matching grant to the township to purchase a 43 acre farm field which is adjacent to the golf course. The field will be owned and managed by the township and used for active recreation.

DEP's Division of Parks and Forestry will manage the golf course property and lease the operation of the golf course to the landowner for up to five years. DEP will look to the Cream Ridge leaseholder, Miscoksi, to pay taxes on the property and implement improved conservation measures relating to irrigation and fertilizer use.

"I commend the State of New Jersey for taking the lead in the preservation of this property in the heart of Upper Freehold Township," said Upper Freehold Township Mayor Steve Fleischacker. "This open space acquisition not only provides recreational opportunities for township residents, but will serve as the cornerstone of future planning efforts in the town. In addition, we are delighted that the golf course operator will continue to pay township taxes for the duration of the lease and that we will not feel any immediate loss with respect to tax revenue."

DEP's Green Acres program purchased two golf courses in 2005 and is presently negotiating to buy three more.

The DEP Green Acres Program purchases land to protect environmentally sensitive open space, water resources and other significant natural and historical open space. Land acquired becomes part of the statewide system of parks and forests, wildlife management areas and natural areas.

So far in 2006, Green Acres has preserved or assisted in the preservation of 4,540 acres of open space. Since its inception in 1961, the program has protected more than 600,000 acres of open space, in addition to providing funding for the development of hundreds of parks throughout New Jersey. New Jersey's statewide system of preserved open space and farmland now amounts to over 1.3 million acres.

To learn more about the Green Acres Program, visit DEP's Web site at:





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Last Updated: May 26, 2006