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Pike open space initiatives

February 8, 2012

The Pike County Commissioners heard several announcements about open space programs, farms and farmer’s markets at their meeting on February 1.

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy (DHC) publication “Shop Local Save Land,” a guide to farms and farm markets in Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties, will receive a new edition and the on-line edition has been updated.

“An exciting new feature is that the farmers and other vendors that are listed will be able to have access to the website and change their information themselves,” said Amanda Subjin, DHC stewardship and education coordinator.

The website for the program is www.shoplocalsaveland.com.
The publication, which is in its fourth printing, has been widely praised by consumers and visitors to the area. It contains information about farmers’ markets, organic farms, creameries, vineyards, orchards, sheep and alpaca farms, maple syrup producers, nurseries and community gardens. It lists farmers markets in Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties.

Jessica Grohmann of the Pike County Planning Department announced that the Scenic Rural Character Preservation (SRCP) Program would increase a grant award to $600,000 to pay for the conservation easement on the Beaver Run Hunting and Fishing Club property in Porter Township on Route 402. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) contributed $550,000 to the project.

“The property could have realized $2.4 million on the open market,” Grohmann said.

“The members of the club will still own the property but they give up any development rights through this agreement. The property will remain open in perpetuity,” she said. It is the role of the DHC to monitor the site.

The third announcement was the releasing of financial information on the SRCP program. The program, which was approved by voters for a bond issue of $10 million that allocated $8 million for open land acquisition and $2 million for planning, has spent $5,252,067 of the $8 million. That spending brought in $4,310,950 from the state in matching grants.