2014 Was A Banner Year for Open Space Preservation in West Windsor

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As 2014 drew to a close, longstanding efforts to preserve several parcels in West Windsor finally proved successful. Three parcels are about to be preserved, filling in important missing links in the township’s Greenbelt and open space inventory.

The Thompson tract, #34 on the open space inventory, is a 34.96 acre parcel off Princeton-Hightstown Road near Big Bear Brook. It had been approved for development of 16 single-family homes, which will now not be built. Although the Township had conducted negotiations with the owner of this parcel, and had reached tentative agreement on terms, the deal fell apart after objections were raised by the Citizen’s Rifle and Revolver Club, which abuts this parcel. When the tentative deal collapsed, FOWWOS President Alison Miller reached out to Mercer County. Fortunately, Mercer County stepped in and agreed to acquire the parcel under its open space and stream corridor protection programs. FOWWOS aided in this purchase by paying for the required survey and the Phase One Environmental Assessment. With the help of Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh, Mercer County officials, FOWWOS, and others, this beautiful mix of forest, farmland and stream corridor is now slated for preservation.

The Rosen tract, #51 on the open space inventory, is 27.01 acres bounded by Meadow Road, the Estates at Princeton Junction, and the Northeast Corridor Railroad. It is zoned for residential and office uses. Now, however, it will serve as a wildlife corridor and stream corridor protector, and become part of the West Windsor Greenbelt. The Township has no plans to develop this property for recreation purposes, but intends to let its wildlife grow naturally. The neighbors, and the great blue herons nesting in trees above Duck Pond Run, will surely appreciate the preservation of this parcel.

The Akselrad tract, #66 on the open space inventory, is 11.47 acres in an irregular oblong bounded by the Northeast Corridor Railroad and the Windsor Ponds townhouse development. FOWWOS facilitated this purchase by paying for the necessary appraisals. This property is heavily wooded, contains vernal ponds, and will be a welcome addition to the Greenbelt.

It is worth noting that acquisition of both the Rosen and Akselrad properties will save West Windsor money in the long run by ending litigation which has dragged on for years– a double benefit to the Township. More detail on these latest acquisitions is presented on our website, which also features an update of the heronry on Duck Pond Run.

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