More Open Space Saved In Town

Manchester Town Hall (Photo by Micromedia Publications)

  MANCHESTER – There seems to be a whole lot of land preservation going on in the township.

  Mayor Robert Arace recently announced that 24.83 acres on Pasadena Road in the Whiting section of the township was made possible for preservation through the efforts of the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund program. The County agreed to the program’s recommendation to purchase it for $250,000.

  Mayor Arace remarked that “preserving this land represents the administration’s commitment to environmental conservation and protecting natural resources, which have been significant concerns for Manchester residents.”

  The mayor acknowledged the significance of preserving the beauty and ecological balance of the Pinelands, and that this acquisition demonstrates a further commitment to that goal.

  “I’m thrilled to share that the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Program has acquired another valuable piece of land. Our commitment to preserving Manchester Township’s unique open space and forests has led to this successful acquisition. We’re thrilled to ensure that this land remains untouched and protected,” he said.

  Mayor Arace stressed that his administration is proud of this acquisition and looks forward to “continuing healthy growth in Manchester.”

  The Ocean County Board of Commissioners approved the preservation purchase at its June 21 meeting. The 24.83-acre parcel located on Pasadena Road is in the area known as Roosevelt City. The property is a part of outreach efforts to acquire land near other protected land, a part of a 1,760-acre Structural Management acquisition.

  According to Ocean County the application to the program was originally submitted in December 2021 and went through several attempts at negotiation until the latest offer was accepted in late May 2023.

  Preservation of this parcel enables the County to expand its Roosevelt City fuel break initiative which was a wildfire mitigation project fully funded by the Department of Defense, Readiness and Environmental Protection integration.

  “This property is surrounded by more than 1,200 acres of existing county natural lands in the Roosevelt City section of Manchester Township,” said Ocean County Commissioner Virginia E. Haines, Liaison to the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee.

  “Preserving this land is beneficial to our efforts in maintaining open space and also allows us to expand our wildfire mitigation activities, which ultimately will help protect our residents and their property,” she added.

  Properties under the Natural Lands Trust Fund Program are preserved as open space and are open to the public for passive recreation. Properties are generally left in their natural state.

  Manchester Township also recently approved a resolution supporting the acquisition of land in another section of Manchester by Ocean County through the Natural Lands Trust Fund program.

  That open space purchase includes property along Ridgeway Road near Hope Chapel Road that had been purchased by a developer along with four separate properties that, according to Ocean County land records, were planned for single-family homes.

  The properties to be purchased include 89.57 acres at 3500 Ridgeway Road, near Quarry Road, which is across the street from a future Ocean County park.

  This land had been bought by a developer earlier this year. According to county land records, the second property – which adds up to 34.5 acres on Cherry Street – was previously owned by developer US Homes.

  A third property involves 3.43-acres on Route 547, just south of Ridgeway Road.

  It is unknown currently as to just how much Ocean County plans to pay for these properties but the land acquisitions add to the township’s and Ocean County’s open space inventory.

  The land provides a habitat for numerous plant and animal species and according to a statement from the mayor, “the commitment to preserving natural lands and advancing environmental stewardship aligns with requests from the community on social media and Town Council meetings for responsible growth as neighboring towns continue rapid development projects.”

  A map of all properties under review with the Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee is available at