MONROE – The township and Middlesex County are negotiating with Galaxy Land Corp. to purchase 76 acres of woodland to add to its open space inventory.

The township has had a goal to preserve 50 percent of its land.

The 76 acres on Perrineville Road south of Union Valley Road was a farm for 50 years before becoming woodlands during the last 30 years.

If a deal is reached, Middlesex County would use funds from its Open Space Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund to purchase the land on behalf of Monroe.

“We are committed to using the county’s open space fund strategically, ensuring it is used for maximum benefit,” said Freeholder Charles Kenny, chair of the county infrastructure management committee. “This 76-acre parcel in Monroe is a terrific opportunity and an ideal use of this funding.”

According to Monroe Council President Stephen Dalina, the county used its funds to purchase 59 acres of woodlands in the same area earlier this year.

“Not only do open space purchases avoid future development, but we are also preserving thousands of trees and a very balanced ecosystem of forest and fauna,” he said.

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Christopher Lang is a freelance correspondent for MonroeNow. Previously he was part of The Record-USA Today Network and served as an editor for a decade at NJMG.