Plymouth Helps Preserve Last Township Farm
The last remaining farm in Plymouth Township will be preserved permanently thanks to a coordinated effort between Plymouth Township, Montgomery County and the state.
The Plymouth Township Council approved a farm conservation easement for Maple Acres Farm, which is located at 2656 Narcissa Road. Plymouth Township, along with the county and state, are contributing funds to purchase the development rights for the roughly 26-acre property. Doing so requires that it remain a farm or preserved open space forever.
“This is a big win for Montgomery County, but an even bigger win for Plymouth Township,” Plymouth Township Council Vice Chairman Chris Manero said.
Plymouth Township is chipping in about 15 percent of the total purchase price, or $134,919. The state is funding the bulk of the cost at $556,712.96; and the county is contributing $247,940.59. The $939,572.55 total is based on an appraisal of the property. Each entity contributes a percentage of the cost.
Council Chairman Marty Higgins, who began his role on council nearly six years ago, said preserving Gary McKeown’s farm has been a priority since his second year on Council. The cost to preserve Maple Acres as compared to farms in other parts of Montgomery County was dramatically higher, which caused the project to be put on a backburner several years ago.
“Slowly over time things got better,” Higgins said of the property making its way back on the preservation priority list. “I don’t think anybody can disagree that saving this farm … is a huge win for all the residents of Plymouth Township.”
Touting Maple Acres as the grower of the “best sweet corn,” Councilwoman Karen Bramblett said she was glad to see “prime land for development” preserved in perpetuity. When factoring in the 67 acres of recreation at neighboring Harriet Wetherill Park, Bramblett noted a “huge amount of land will be forever preserved as open space.”
“We all wanted it, we all worked hard for it,” Bramblett said. “The state, the county and the township agree that preserving a small, but very special farm is a wonderful thing.”
Contact: Theresa Katalinas