Morris County Celebrates 40 Years of Farmland Preservation with Interactive Story Map


Explore the 142 Permanently Preserved Farms and the Rich Heritage of Agriculture in Morris County in an Informative Online Audio and Visual Format.

Morris County is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Farmland Preservation Program with an interactive, online story map of all 142 farms preserved over the years. 

This story map offers background information, photos, and geographic data on each site. The Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation created the map to celebrate the milestone of preserving over 8,200 farm acres across Morris County.

Clydesdale horses are raised on 114 acres of preserved farmland at Wachtell Farm in Washington Township.

The Morris County Farmland Preservation Program uses grant funding to purchase development rights from willing farm owners, thereby preserving the land while allowing farmers to continue owning and operating their farms. The Cupo Farm, a 14-acre farm in Washington Township, was the first to be preserved in 1987, and the program has since grown to become exceptionally successful, with nearly $81 million committed by Morris County and $84 million funded by the state of New Jersey.

Planning and Preservation Director Joe Barilla introduces the Farmland Preservation story map at the Commissioners Public Work session.

“This has been an exceptionally successful and well-received program, with nearly $81 million being committed by Morris County, in addition to another $84 million funded by the state of New Jersey, to assist in the preservation of 142 farms since the inception of the program,” said Commissioner Stephen Shaw, the board liaison to the county Office of Planning and Preservation.

The story map provides visitors a glimpse into the success of the program as well as the diverse beauty of Morris County agriculture and all it stands for: honoring sectors such as vegetable, fruit, livestock, equine, dairy, hay, grain, and greenhouse operations and conservation.

Beef cattle graze on 184.74 acres of preserved farmland at Highland Farm in Chester Township.

“It is not just about preserving land; it is also preserving a way of life. With this program, the farmland remains in private ownership. Many of these farms would not be able to survive as farms if not for this program,” stated Commissioner Shaw

The program has preserved farming lifestyles, a heritage of agriculture in Morris County, conservation efforts, and the future prospects for a variety of agricultural operations to continue.

Aerial photo of Windfall Farm in Washington Township, where 114.5 acres have been preserved.

“We hope Morris County residents can use this story map to see the many permanently preserved farms, which ensure that agriculture will continue to flourish and contribute to the high quality of life in Morris County,” said Joe Barilla, Director of the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation.

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