Friends of Princeton Open Space present $200,000 check to Mayor and Council
Announcement from Friends of Princeton Open Space:
Photo caption: Friends of Princeton Open Space Board President, Wendy Mager, presented Mayor Liz Lempert with a check for $200,000 at last week’s Council Meeting as reimbursement of funds for acquisition of 20+ acres for Mt. Lucas Preserve and 35 acres for Tusculum property, originally the farm of John Witherspoon.
Princeton, New Jersey – July 2, 2018 - On Monday, June 25, 2018, Wendy Mager, Board President of Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS), a nonprofit devoted to preservation and stewardship of land in Princeton, presented a check for $200,000 at the Princeton Council Meeting.
The explanation of the $200,000 is as follows: $50,000 is a reimbursement of funds that were “fronted” by the town of Princeton at the closing on 35 acres of fields and woods that are part of the historic Tusculum property, originally the farm of John Witherspoon.
“The bulk of the funding package for this acquisition came from grants from the state, county and private foundations. FOPOS was asked to contribute $100,000 of its own funds,” explained Mager. “At the last minute, the state declined to provide an additional $100,000 of direct funding that was needed to close, which one of the landowners was extremely anxious to do. FOPOS agreed to provide the crucial missing funding if it could repay the money to the town over time. $50,000 represents the final payment to retire that debt.”
The other $150,000 consists of funds from a Green Acres grant that FOPOS obtained, and contributed, to help create the Mt. Lucas Preserve. This Preserve consists of 25-forested acres with streams and boulder fields between Mt. Lucas and Route 206.
Mager continued, “it is difficult and expensive to develop this property, but it provides a crucial link in a much larger network of preserved land on, and immediately adjacent, to the Princeton Ridge. The grant is in addition to $100,000 of FOPOS’ funds and a $500,000 grant from the county that we contributed to the most recent purchase, as well as other funds we contributed for the earlier purchase of the Klepper property.”
“We are currently working with an experienced consultant to develop a proposed trail system for the Mt. Lucas Preserve to be enjoyed by its neighbors and by all residents of Princeton,” said Mager to Council.
2019 will mark FOPOS’ 50th year. The job of stewardship of Princeton’s passive recreation parks and maintaining trails will continue for the community to enjoy. Ms. Mager made a point to Council that there are key parcels of land, unsuitable and impractical for intense development, that FOPOS believes should still be acquired and preserved consistent with the town’s other obligations such as affordable housing.
Mager finished her remarks to Council, “the trustees of FOPOS acknowledge that land conservation is not the highest priority of every resident of Princeton, but we firmly believe that it remains important to a great many and that, even more significant, it has benefits for all.
About Friends of Princeton Open Space Founded in 1969, FOPOS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to acquiring open space in Princeton for preservation, protecting natural resources, maintaining accessibility to trails, and providing environmental education. As part of their mission, they work with groups in the Princeton region to support efforts to preserve and protect open space and the environment. For more information about FOPOS, visit fopos.org. For those interested in volunteer opportunities contact email@example.com.
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