Green

Partnership Preserves 172 Acre Landmark Lana Lobell Farm

0b021aae8b6943cf7a69_Lana_Lobell_Farm_Bedminster.jpg
Lana Lobell Farm in Bedminster New Jersey. Credits: New Jersey Conservation Foundation
0b021aae8b6943cf7a69_Lana_Lobell_Farm_Bedminster.jpg

BEDMINSTER, NJ – The township’s agricultural and equestrian heritage just got a shot in the arm, with the permanent protection of the 172-acre Lana Lobell horse farm, a local landmark since its days as a breeder of champion harness racehorses.

On Jan. 29, Somerset County purchased the development rights for $5.87 million, ensuring that the Rattlesnake Bridge Road property–which includes a mile of frontage along the Lamington River--will remain farmland forever. The land had been approved for a subdivision of nine estate homes in 2007 but never sold.

The partnership was coordinated by New Jersey Conservation Foundation on behalf of Bedminster Township, and included Somerset County, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State Agriculture Development Committee.

Sign Up for E-News

“This farm has it all. It’s got great soils, it’s a scenic landmark at the gateway to our community and it protects the Lamington River,” said Bedminster Mayor Steve Parker. “We’re very pleased to see it preserved, because once farmland is gone, it’s gone for good.”

“It’s an important conservation project, from both a local and regional perspective. The value of this easement is only enhanced by its location and high visibility to all those traveling through Bedminster Township,” said Somerset County Deputy Freeholder Director Peter Palmer, liaison to the county Agriculture Development Board. “The county has had its eye on this property for more than a decade, and we’re very pleased that this preservation opportunity came along.”

“This beautiful farm has been a top preservation priority for decades,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “We are immensely grateful for all of the partners who worked together so hard to complete this project and secure the scenic beauty of this region.”

The Lana Lobell property is surrounded by nearly 4,000 acres of preserved land in Bedminster, Branchburg and Readington townships, including Somerset County-owned land on the other side of Rattlesnake Bridge Road. In addition to the county open space, the newly-preserved land abuts preserved farms directly to the north, and across the river in Readington Township.

Lana Lobell will remain in private ownership, but the agreements put in place last week – known as easements - mean it is permanently restricted to agricultural uses. The property is owned by Lobell North LLC and Lobell South LLC, and currently used as a riding stable and for growing hay.

The Lamington River is a top trout production stream, meaning its waters are exceptionally clean. It flows into the North Branch of the Raritan River, a vital part of central New Jersey’s drinking water supply.

“We at the Natural Resources Conservation Service look to preserve properties like Lobell because of the great environmental value they offer,” said State Conservationist Carrie Lindig.  “The Lobell Farm is a large parcel that is 80 percent prime soils and lies adjacent to a Category 1 waterway, the Lamington River. Preserving this farm is significant for the health of the watershed and beneficial for the local residents."

 “The State Agriculture Development Committee was pleased to partner in this acquisition, which will keep this valuable property in agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher. “The property has held an important place in harness racing history as well and will now be forever preserved.”

Breeder of Champion Racehorses

In its heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s, Lana Lobell Farm was one of the nation’s top producers of Standardbred racehorses. Its annual yearling sale attracted high-profile buyers from around the world, and horses bred there included four winners of the Hambletonian, harness racing’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby.

The four "Hambo" winners were Speedy Crown in 1971, Steve Lobell in 1976, Speedy Somoli in 1978, and Mack Lobell in 1987.

But the prestigious horse operation came to an end in 1997, when the former owner filed for bankruptcy. It appeared that Lana Lobell’s days as a farm might be numbered, as the property changed hands twice, with one owner proposing a golf club and the other proposing a residential development.

"I am pleased to learn of the community's successful efforts to conserve the Lana Lobell Farm in Bedminster Township,” said Congressman Lance, who provided invaluable assistance to the project.  “The Lana Lobell Farm is beautiful property that holds a significant place in New Jersey's rich equine history.  Today's announcement will help protect the high water quality of the Lamington River and preserve the rural character of the area."

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

It’s Official: Closings, Cancellations and Postponements and No Call in Warren, Watchung Hills Sending Districts and North Plainfield

February 7, 2018

WARREN, NJ - School is open on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The Watchung Hills girls basketball game scheduled against Phillipsburg on Wednesday has been postponed since Phillipsburg has called a snow day. 

In anticipation of inclement weather, the following senior centers operated by the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services will be closed Wednesday, ...

Warrenbrook Senior Center Closes in Anticipation of Storm, No Meals on Wheels

WARREN, NJ - In anticipation of inclement weather, the following senior centers operated by the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 7: Hillsborough, Montgomery, Quail Brook, Warrenbrook and the Senior Wellness Centers in Bernards and Bridgewater.

There will be no Meals on Wheels deliveries on ...

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future in North Plainfield

February 15, 2018

Councilwoman Keiona R. Miller will host the 2nd Annual North Plainfield Community Black History Month Event: ‘A Celebration of Black History.’

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  The Honorable Ronald L.  Rice, New Jersey State Senator and Chair of the New Jersey State Legislative Black Caucus.

SPECIAL ...

Watchung Student and Team Take Second in State CyberPatriot Competition

NEW JERSEY -- Three students from Scotch Plains-Fanwood -- along with others from Watchung, Edison, and Maplewood -- successfully completed the CyberPatriot (Cyber Defense) competition.

Anushka Kumar, of Watchung, is a sophomore at Watchung Hills Regional High School.

The students were  comprised of two teams: 1) high school students and 2) ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Tue, March 13, 9:30 AM

Congregation Beth Israel , Scotch Plains

Crisis listening line volunteer listening and ...

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ad6c3c447b5accf3e1a1_3ef0aae34bda175becfa_ptp_save_the_date_-_p1

Fri, March 16, 7:00 PM

The Grove, Cedar Grove

Susan G. Komen North Jersey

Giving Back Other

Obituaries

South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

February 16, 2018

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

February 12, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

WHRHS Boys Basketball: Watchung Hills Routs Somerville, 82-54

WARREN, NJ -  Six Warriors scored in the double digits to lead the Watchung Hills boys basketball game over Somerville on Saturday, 82-54.

Mike Hopwood led Watchung Hills with 17 points, Dan Pilsbury added 14 points and eight rebounds, Steven Bressler sunk 15 points, Gavin DeFuria added 13 points, Micheal Bressler got 11 points and 10 assists and Chad Martini chipped in 10 points and ...

Somerset County Preparing for Construction of Finderne Avenue Bridge, Beginning Feb. 20

February 16, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Finderne Avenue bridge, between Union Avenue and Foothill Road, will be under construction from Feb. 20 for about nine months, according to a release from Somerset County.

The bridge will be constructed in three separate stages, with one lane northbound and one lane southbound being maintained, aside from intermittent single-day closures as required. In addition, ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Missing Township Teen

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

SCBP Names Somerset County's Outstanding Citizen

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has selected Alina V. Klein, vice president and senior consultant for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Bedminster as the 68th Somerset County Outstanding Citizen.

The Outstanding Citizen award recognizes a single person for their community and professional activities that have contributed to making Somerset County a special ...

SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Memorial Library Branch Main Level to Close for Renovations

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The main level of SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Memorial Library will be closed to patrons February 12 through March 3 for renovations. The lower level of the branch, also known as the children's area, will remain open to the public.

“This is the first phase in an effort to create a more welcome and modern library space for our patrons,” ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

February 18, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Travels’ Pick 2 For 1 Valentine’s Day Special on Comedy and Music Tickets at the Wellmont

TAPintoTravels - We seldom post these deals last minute, but it seems to good to miss.  It’s even better that a number of great events are at the Wellmont in Montclair.

Here are our picks to take your significant other out for a night on the town:

The Muscial Box - a Genesis tribute band is performing decades worth of the band’s vast repertoire.  They ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

February 18, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...