At the intersection of Drakes Corner Road and Province Line Road in Princeton is a tranquil woodlot that was Joan and William Roth’s bit of heaven on earth for many years. The Roths lived on this 17 acre property where they enjoyed an active country lifestyle in harmony with their natural surroundings. Avid hikers and observers of wildlife, the Roths spent many happy hours walking the pathways and trails they had established on their property, which linked to the trails of Princeton’s Woodfield Preserve.
As the Roths began to plan for their retirement they decided to move into New York City in order to take full advantage of its many cultural attractions. It was important to them that the land they were leaving behind, that they lived on, cared for and loved for so many years remain unchanged. They also wanted to find a way to share the special qualities of their land with others.
D&R Greenway’s professional staff and technical advisors worked closely with the Roths to devise a solution that enabled them to meet their financial objectives and their desire to keep their property in its natural state. With the assistance of D&R Greenway, the house and five surrounding acres were subdivided from the original property and a conservation easement was placed on that land. This property was subsequently sold to a conservation buyer, with a real estate agent handling the transaction. The remaining 13 acres were sold to D&R Greenway Land Trust in partnership with Friends of Princeton Open Space, through a bargain sale agreement that provided substantial tax benefits to the Roths. Together D&R Greenway and Friends of Princeton Open Space will own and manage this beautiful wooded preserve.
Ultimately, through this preservation agreement the Roths realized both of their goals – achieving the retirement lifestyle they wanted and the permanent protection of their land.
This preservation benefits the residents of three townships – Princeton, Lawrence and Hopewell – in two significant ways. First and foremost, open space and wildlife habitat were protected and the environment and biodiversity of our region was safeguarded. In addition, the property’s location, at the juncture of the three townships, will provide opportunities for linkages into regional trail networks.
The Roths were delighted with the resolution provided by D&R Greenway. According to William Roth, “D&R Greenway made the entire experience as simple and pleasant as possible. Even more important, they helped us keep our beloved property intact. Now, even though we will be based in New York, we can still enjoy walks in “our” woods – and so can all our friends and neighbors.”