County, town preserve former golf course property
TRENTON—Mercer County and Robbinsville Township announce the recent preservation of the 158-acre former Miry Run Golf Course property in Robbinsville, currently known as the Spring Garden Country Club property. The property was preserved with a grant from the Mercer County Open Space Assistance Program and with additional funds from the Township.
Located along Sharon Road and Spring Garden Road, the property is near the Robbinsville Town Center and adjacent to the Trenton Robbinsville Airport. It is also adjacent to other Township-preserved lands and contains wetlands and a tributary of the Miry Run and Mudd Run streams. The property will be owned and managed by Robbinsville as a new park. The Township plans to create trails from the former golf cart paths and provide other passive recreational opportunities on the property.
“Mercer County is pleased to provide financial assistance to Robbinsville for preservation of this locally important property,” County Executive Brian M. Hughes said. “Open space and parkland provides measurable health and wellness benefits and improves the quality of life for all County residents.”
“Thank you to Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and the Freeholders for joining Robbinsville residents in support of our mutual open space goals and initiatives,” Mayor Dave Fried said. “The Township’s hyper-aggressive open space policy has resulted in over 1,100 preserved acres since the start of our administration in 2005, and we are proud to have such dedicated partners to help us create a landscape we can all be proud of.”
The County’s Open Space Assistance Program is funded by the Open Space Trust Fund and provides grants to municipalities and non-profit organizations for the preservation of locally significant open space properties. The grants currently provide up to 40 percent of the appraised value of a property, up to $1.6 million for each project. Projects in urban areas can receive up to 50 percent of appraised value. The grant program is administered by County Planning Department staff and grant applications are initially recommended for approval by the County’s Open Space Board, made up of County employee and citizen representatives. The County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders gives final grant approval.
The County’s Open Space Assistance Project Agreement with Robbinsville, which was approved by the Freeholder Board on April 25, is for $536,000, which represents 40 percent of the appraised value of the property.
The Trust Fund was established by voter referendum in 1989 to provide funding for open space preservation. Currently, 70 percent of the funds are dedicated to preserving parks, open space and farmland; 20 percent to recreational development and historic preservation, and 10 percent to ecological stewardship. Since 1989, 22,800 acres have been preserved by the County, including 5,700 acres preserved through grants under the County’s Assistance Program.