Montgomery Township has purchased land that will add 36 acres of woodlands to the Cherry Brook Preserve. The new parcel, purchased from Thompson Land for $2 million and previously approved for residential development., is located to the south of the existing preserve.
The purchase will provide a new recreational access point along Cherry Hill Road to the 400-acre Cherry Brook Preserve. The preserve is one of the largest and most valuable contiguous pieces of open space and wildlife habitat remaining in southern Montgomery.
“Our Cherry Brook Preserve is critical for preserving Montgomery’s rural character and for providing pathways and recreation options for our residents. Look for upcoming enhancements to the local pathway system that will hopefully connect all the way to our commercial district near Route 206,” said Montgomery Township Committeeman Ed Trzaska.
The acquisition will expand the swath of uninterrupted forest in the Cherry Brook Preserve. It will also allow for the creation of a new parking area and access to the existing trails network. The Cherry Brook Preserve offers many passive recreation opportunities, such as walking, hiking, fishing, birding, tracking, and cross-country skiing. Motorized vehicles are not permitted at the preserve.
More than $1.6 million came from Williams -Transco as compensation for the new transmission line in town in 2015. Township officials negotiated compensation from Transco for permanent easements and temporary workspace needed to construct the new, controversial gas pipeline. The remaining funds came from the township’s open space trust fund.
With the closing of this land, the Township has preserved more than 200 acres of additional open space since 2016 and more than 700 new acres since 2011. Officials said several more open space deals are in the works.