Ashland Woods Protected for Voorhees Township

January 3, 2012
Voorhees Township, New Jersey

 Nearly 20-acres of forested property
south of John T. Hale, Sr. Memorial Park in Voorhees Township has been
purchased for conservation, the Township, The Trust for Public Land, and Camden
County announced today. The public has been using the property, known as
Ashland Woods, for passive recreation and connections to existing open space
and recreational facilities for over forty years. Ashland Woods also borders
the south branch of the Cooper River.

“I am
extremely pleased with this purchase. Local residents have known for years that
the Ashland Woods property represents a unique ecological oasis in an otherwise
overdeveloped area,” said Ed Hale, Chair of Voorhees Environmental Commission.

Voorhees
Township, concerned with new development, invited The Trust for Public Land
(TPL), a national conservation organization, in July 2010 to connect with the
landowner about a conservation purchase. TPL has previously helped protect more
than 210 acres in Voorhees Township. TPL secured an option on the property in
December 2010 and has directed the deed to Voorhees Township.

“Ashland
Woods is a great destination to enjoy nature and protecting it is key for both
connecting to other parks and recreation facilities and protecting a local
water resource,” said Anthony Cucchi, New Jersey state director for The Trust
for Public Land. “We are grateful to Voorhees Township for their determination
in seeing this project through, and thank Camden County and the State of New
Jersey for their commitments and support.”

Ashland
Woods is key to both Voorhees open space goals and also Camden County’s Open
Space plan. It also supports a broader River to Bay Greenway plan developed by
The Trust for Public Land in partnership with local communities to span more
than 70 miles and connect the Delaware River with Barnegat Bay. One vision for
Ashland Woods is to apply for grant funds to construct a footbridge over the
south branch of the Cooper River to link park opportunities in Somerdale
Borough and Voorhees township. 
Across the South Branch in Somerdale Borough is Kennedy Boulevard
Recreation Area, which will be renovated in the near future.

“Voorhees
Township is pleased to once again partner with the State of New Jersey and the
County of Camden to forever protect 20 acres of land in our community from
development. Since 2003, Voorhees had preserved 223 acres of land for open
space,” said Mayor Michael R. Mignogna.

Funding for
the $1.6 million purchase included funding from the Voorhees Township Open
Space Trust Fund, the New Jersey Green Acres Program and $650,000 from the
Camden County Open Space Trust Fund.

The Trust
for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that
conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas,
ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has
helped protect 3 million acres nationwide, including more than 24,000 acres in
New Jersey. TPL depends on the support of individuals, corporations, and
foundations.