HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP — State officials announced the preservation Thursday of 130 local acres, a project that they say will provide recreational opportunities and environmentally protect a stream that feeds into the Cohansey River.

The state Department of Environmental Protection used more than $1 million in Green Acres grants to finance purchase of the land, which is composed of woodlands, a former nursery and farmland adjacent to Bridgeton City Park.

The grants were given to Bridgeton, Cumberland County and the American Littoral Society, which DEP officials said worked in partnership with the township, the Open Space Conservancy and the William Penn Foundation. The land was bought from J.S. Hovnanian and Sons, a New Jersey real estate developer.

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“This project was a dynamic partnership among diverse groups with a common interest to preserve open space in southern New Jersey,” Mayor Bruce Hankins said. “We are thrilled to secure this funding on behalf of the people and the county. This land will be here for future generations to enjoy.”

The 130-acre site, which will be managed by the township, is adjacent to Barrett Run, a tributary of the Cohansey River that flows through Bridgeton City Park.

DEP officials said the property has the potential for passive and active recreational uses such as sports fields, hiking trails and general nature appreciation. Trails could link the area to Bridgeton City Park and other nearby parks, they said.

American Littoral Society Executive Director Tim Dillingham called the project a “model for land conservation in the Delaware Bayshore region.”

“It protects the Cohansey River, provides needed recreational opportunities and connects Bridgeton with its neighbor Hopewell,” he said.

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