J.G. Townsend, Jr. & Co. Gives Over $227,000 to Delaware’s Open Space Fund

Date Posted: Friday, December 28th, 2012
Categories:  Department of Agriculture Forest Service News

“J.G. Townsend, Jr. & Co. Provides Financial Boost for Open Space Preservation in Sussex County”

J.G. Townsend, Jr. & Co.’s Board of Directors gathered at their Georgetown offices to present a ceremonial check for $227,581.73 to Delaware’s Open Space Program.  On hand were (from left) John G. Townsend, IV, Bill Lingo, Paul Townsend, Bryce Lingo, John Lingo, Derrick Lingo, and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture E. Austin Short, who gratefully accepted the donation on behalf of the State of Delaware. (Not shown: Board member Eugene H. Bayard, Esq.)

The charitable gift of over $227,500 by Georgetown-based J.G. Townsend, Jr. & Co. to the State of Delaware Open Space Program will help fund future land preservation efforts in Sussex County. The donation fulfills its pledge to donate $1,050 per acre from the State of Delaware’s purchase of 216 acres of forestland from the firm that are now part of the 12,255-acre Redden State Forest. The purchase highlights the latest chapter in what has become a beneficial partnership between the public and private sectors: one of the existing Redden State Forest tracts is already named the J.G. Townsend Tract in honor of former Delaware Governor and U.S. Senator John G. Townsend – an important figure in the political and agricultural history of the First State.

“We are very grateful to the Board of Directors of J.G. Townsend, Jr. & Co. for allowing us to conserve this important forestland for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations of Delaware residents,” said Michael A. Valenti, Delaware’s State Forestry Administrator.

“This large donation to Delaware’s Open Space Preservation Fund will directly support our state’s conservation efforts in the immediate future. It’s also equally important to acknowledge the unfailing support of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, which has provided well over $14 million to help protect almost 3,000 acres as part of the Green Horizons Project,” Valenti added.

The 216-acre acquisition marks one of the latest phases in the Delaware Forest Service’s long-range effort to permanently protect working forests in Sussex County before they are converted to other uses.  The $1.54 million acquisition was purchased with $1.15 million from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program and $385,000 from the state’s open space preservation fund. The forestland will be managed by the Delaware Forest Service for a variety of public benefits, including wildlife habitat, timber production, water quality, hunting, and recreational opportunities.

GREEN HORIZONS PROJECT: Completed Forest Legacy Tracts in Delaware as of December 31, 2012

No. Name Type Acres Total U.S. Forest Legacy Funds
1 Green Horizons Phase I Easement 908 $4,800,000 $1,994,000
2 Green Horizons Phase II Purchase 448 $3,030,000 $1,975,000
3 Green Horizons Phase III Purchase 88 $1,500,000 $986,000
4 Green Horizons Phase IV Purchase 240 $3,700,000 $1,970,000
5 Green Horizons Phase V Purchase 348 $3,981,903 $2,000,000
6 Green Horizons Phase VI Purchase 377 $2,700,000 $2,000,000
7 Green Horizons Phase VIIa Purchase 216 $1,540,000 $1,155,000
8 Green Horizons Phase VIIb Purchase 339 $2,680,000 $2,010,000
Completed Projects Total: 2,964 $23,931,903 $14,090,000

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