Upper Hanover, Oley Farms Preserved from Development

HARRISBURG PA – Agricultural parcels in Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties – including two in Upper Hanover and Oley townships, respectively – were among 32 farms covering a total of 2,264 acres that were officially preserved and saved from future development Thursday (June 16, 2022) by the state Land Preservation Board.

Board members voted to invest nearly $8.2 million in state, county, and local dollars to safeguard portions of Pennsylvania’s prime farmland. As a result, the state to date has preserved a total of 6,076 farms and 613,884 acres in 58 counties from commercial, industrial or residential development, it said.

Among properties preserved across 18 counties were:

  • In Montgomery County, the New Goshenhoppen United Church of Christ Farm #2, a 20-acre crop and beef farm in Upper Hanover Township, representing investments of $181,871 by the state, $2,013 by the county, and $27,615 by the township;
  • In Berks County, the Kathy Levan Farm, a 163.6-acre crop farm in Oley Township; and the Allen P. and Mary J. Grube Farm, a 132.7-acre crop farm in Centre Township. They represent investments of $603,159 by the state, and $148,150 by the county; and
  • In Chester County, the Jacob Lantz Farm, a 56.6-acre crop, horse and beef farm in Honey Brook Township, representing and investment of $264,402 by the state.

The Montgomery County purchase won the praise of state 131st House District Rep. Milou Mackenzie, who said she was “very grateful for this investment, as it’s crucial we protect our farmland and agriculture.”

By selling their land development rights, landowners preserve their farms and protect their future, according to the state Agriculture Department. Pennsylvania partners with county and sometimes local governments and non-profits to purchase development rights.

“Saving farmland protects the beauty and productivity of our state, the health of our environment, the vitality of our economy, and our ability to feed a growing population,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said.

Photo by The Post