Ocean County has made its largest open space purchase in history.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines announced the purchase of almost 8,000 acres in Lacey and Ocean Townships, known as the Forked River Mountains.

Haines said

This environmental gem will now be preserved in its natural state forever.

If you're like me, you've never even heard of the "Forked River Mountains". I tend to think of New Jersey as a pretty flat state until you head northwest into the Appalachians, but the Forked River Mountains rise almost 200 feet above sea level.

It may just be the hippie in me speaking, but I am totally in favor of any preservation of nature. I get that NJ is densely populated, but when you drive around Lakewood or Toms River or wherever and see new construction going up all over the place, it's good to know that the County is making strides to ensure that at least some parts of nature will remain untouched for the future.

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