The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders is purchasing land in Freehold Township and in neighboring Jackson in Ocean County and adding the parcels to Turkey Swamp Park.
Turkey Swamp Park, which is located in Freehold Township, is operated by the Monmouth County Park System.
During a meeting on April 3, the freeholders passed a resolution authorizing the acquisition of six lots – four lots in Freehold Township and two lots in Jackson – totaling 35.79 acres and known as the Reagan property.
The freeholders said they were acting on the recommendation of the Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners.
The four lots in Freehold Township are on Drift Road, Jackson Mills Road and Ely-Harmony Road (2). The two lots in Jackson are on Chandler Road (Ely-Harmony Road is Chandler Road in Jackson).
The freeholders said a formal offer of purchase in the amount of $537,500 has been accepted by the property owners. The offer is contingent upon satisfactory title and environmental review of the properties, according to the resolution.
The funds to purchase the land will come from the Monmouth County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
The freeholders said the land is being purchased for county open space preservation, natural resources conservation and public park and recreation purposes.
According to the Monmouth County Park System website, Turkey Swamp Park is a 2,270-acre wooded park. A major attraction is the 17-acre lake for fishing, boating and ice skating. The park also features miles of trails, campgrounds, an archery range and playgrounds.
According to the website, “much of the park is forested by pitch pine and oak trees with an understory of bracken fern, pepper bush, blueberry, and catbriar. Many plants and animals associated with the New Jersey Pine Barrens can be found here.”
The website states the park “was named ‘Turkey’ after the historical label for Adelphia (a section of Howell) and ‘Swamp’ because the thick forest with its high water table forms sphagnum bogs wherever the land dips. The core of the park (lake, picnic areas and campgrounds) was purchased in 1963, while the addition of adjacent land in the 1970s and more recently gave the park its present configuration.”
The main park area is located at 200 Georgia Road in Freehold Township.