SUCCESS!! 20 MORE ACRES ON THE RIDGE PRESERVED
At Princeton Council’s February 8th meeting at 11 p.m., before a room filled with supporters of protecting the Princeton Ridge, Councilwoman Jo Butler added her vote to those of Council members Heather Howard, Jenny Crumiller and Lance Liverman to pass the bond issue needed to close the deal for 20 acres between Mt. Lucas Road and Route 206. The acreage is contiguous with substantial existing preserved open space, and provides a critical east-west link on the Ridge, which is so important to wildlife habitat, water quality and flood protection as well as carbon sequestration.
The large Council chamber was filled with environmental and open space advocates, from young Sonja Michaluk, who came with her dad and explained about the importance of vernal pools on the site to wildlife and the impact of development on water quality (she’s been doing testing on the Ridge for three years); to folks in their sixties, seventies and eighties who recalled past critical decisions to preserve land and how much it meant to them; to members of the Citizens Finance Advisory Committee; to two former mayors. The Director of Statewide Land Acquisition for New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Executive Director of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association also came and spoke in support. Not one person spoke against the proposed acquisition.
We are very grateful to all citizens and FOPOS members who came to the meeting and/or contacted Council members. We also thank the many donors who enabled us to put $100,000 of private funds into this transaction, along with a $150,000 State Green Acres grant and a $500,000 grant from the Mercer County Open Space fund. We thank the Council members who voted in support, and look forward to working with all Council members to address issues of how our Open Space Tax trust fund is used.
This was a great win for Princeton!