Beaver Brook Land Acquisition Will Protect Drinking Water

Rockaway Township and The Trust for Public Land announced today the permanent protection of a 43-acre property on Beaver Brook in July. The Beaver Brook II parcel, located on Green Pond Road, was the highest conservation priority in Rockaway's Open Space Master Plan.

Rockaway Township asked The Trust for Public Land to assist in protecting the Beaver Brook II property in 2011. This acquisition built upon a long and successful partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Rockaway Township, where they have protected more than 1,300 acres. Conservation of Beaver Brook II links several previous The Trust for Public Land conservation projects, including a 300-acre addition to the State of New Jersey's Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area, a popular local hiking and hawk-watching destination.

The most compelling reason to conserve the Beaver Brook II property was its critical role in protecting the headwaters of Beaver Brook and its associated aquifer; part of Rockaway Township's drinking water supply. The property lies in close proximity to four water supply wells that feed the Rockaway Township Water Department, a system serving over 4,300 area homes.

"Mayor Michael Dachisen appreciates the strong partnership that was forged between the Township, Trust for Public Land, various County Agencies and the State Green Acres Program to get this project completed. Protection of the Beaver Brook aquifer has been a high priority for the Township which began decades ago. I'm very pleased that we've successfully acquired one of the last remaining sections of the brook for open space preservation, further protecting our municipal drinking water supply."

Anthony Cucchi, The Trust for Public Land's New Jersey State Director, said "We were delighted to work with Rockaway Township to protect this important water resource area. Through this investment in land protection by Morris County and the State of New Jersey, we are safeguarding drinking water quality and increasing access to open space and natural areas for the public's use and enjoyment."

The property was purchased from the estate of Victoria Pisarcik. Funding for the $850,000 acquisition was provided by the Morris County Preservation Trust, the Morris County Parks Commission, the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, and a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Program grant to Rockaway Township.

The acquisition includes a trail easement to the Morris County Parks Commission that will lead to the expansion, connection and improved access to the local trail system. In addition to the trail easement, both the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority and the Morris County Preservation Trust will hold interests in the property through a conservation partnership agreement and deed restrictions, respectively.

Founded in 1972, and operating from more than 40 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness—including 130,000-acres in New York State—and helped generate more than 34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.