Signs show pride in preservation

Staff Writer

Signs show pride in
Staff Writer

EDISON — With open space a scarce commodity in the local area, officials decided to show signs of pride in the land already preserved.

Mayor George Spadoro last week unveiled a sign designed to mark each parcel of open space preserved in the 32-square-mile, 19,000-acre township.

The mayor kicked off the sign dedication at a preserved 6.31-acre lot off Meyer Road in Piscataway Township.

Of 10 2-by-4-foot signs, crafted with white metal and green lettering, eight were installed April 1 at the entrance to some of the total 542.78 acres preserved throughout the township, a prepared statement from the mayor’s office said.

Including county, state and municipal parks, the Edison Greenways Group Inc. estimates that there are about 1,000 acres of open space in the township — almost double what has been preserved using the township’s 1 cent per $100 of assessed property value dedicated open space tax.

The new signs will eventually mark every individual preserved spot as an "Open Space Preserve" that "has been permanently preserved for recreation and open space by the residents of Edison," the mayor’s office statement added.

Calling the township’s open space record under his reign a successful one, Mayor Spadoro called attention to 441 acres of the total 542.78 preserved during his 10-year tenure.

Approved by voters in 1998 and enacted in 1999, the township’s 1-cent open space tax, he said, significantly boosted the township’s ability to preserve space permanently.

"Working with this council, we put in place a local open space tax approved by the voters to give us the resources to keep protecting open space," Spadoro said. "The one thing we needed to do was let the public know what land has been persevered. Creating and placing these signs to designate our open spaces not only promotes these preservation successes to our residents, but also lets them know where their money has been spent to save open space in Edison."

The signs, he added, will serve as a reminder to residents that there is open space in Edison to be preserved and the effort is ongoing.

"I urge Edison residents to look for these signs," Spadoro said. "It will allay concerns that these undeveloped tracts may be slated for building by developers and will show everyone where their money has helped improve our quality of life. More of these signs will come as we continue to expand our open space program."