On January 6, 2004, the historic 140-acre Stafford Farm in Voorhees Township was purchased by our township, the State Agriculture Development Committee, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Program, the Camden County Open Space Preservation Trust Fund, the William Penn Foundation and private donations to the Trust for Public Land. The purchase agreement provided that 70 acres would be permanently preserved as open space and 70 acres would continue to operate as a working farm.
Prior to 2004, many developers had made offers to purchase the property, located at the busy intersection of White Horse and Evesham Roads. Proposals included an all-residential development or a mixed commercial/residential development, which would have dramatically increased traffic and compromised the site’s beauty.
The land was originally given to the Staffords after a family member served as a bodyguard for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The site was once used as a safehouse for escaped slaves in the Underground Railroad network. Since then, generations of township residents have cherished the sight of the trotters training on the farm. The land is a historic gem and one of the few picturesque, scenic resources left within the rapidly developing area.
While half the property will always remain as open space, the other half was preserved for agriculture and in 2005 the farm portion was sold to Ken and Amy Kazahaya.
On March 5 of this year, the Kazahayas sold this portion of the property to Bill Green, who grew up admiring the property. He especially enjoyed watching the horses pulling harness carts around the half-mile track. Green grew up in Marlton, then raised his family in Voorhees and Cherry Hill. Green is only the fourth owner of the property since 1773.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Bill Green and speaking with him on more than one occasion. He is genuinely excited about owning the historic property and intends to invest a significant amount of time and money in improving the site and preserving its beauty. He was particularly anxious to restore the public’s view of the scenic farm and removed trees that had been planted on the corner of Evesham and Springdale Roads. The scenic vista has returned.
Among other improvements, Green plans to refurbish the half-mile horse track so horses can once again use it, replace 6000 feet of horse fence, build a new barn for the horses and build a pole barn to store feed.
Green intends to keep Stafford Farm in his family for generations to come and is passionate about the project. Once the facelift is complete, he looks forward to inviting community youth groups to enjoy such a beautiful agricultural experience.
On behalf of the Voorhees Community, I welcome Bill Green and thank him for his passion for our historic Stafford Farm!
** On-line registration for the 2021-2022 Voorhees Township Public School kindergarten full day program opened on March 1. Any child who will turn 5 on or before Oct. 1, 2021 is eligible for kindergarten admission in Sept. 2021. Beginning March 1, pre-registration can be completed at genesis.voorhees.k12.nj.us/genesis/openReg. After the pre-registration is completed, a staff member will contact for you for additional information.
**The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club is holding a shredding event on May 1, from 9a.m. to noon at Tab Shredding, 341 Cooper Rd. West Berlin. The cost is $30 for up to 3bags/boxes plus $10 for each additional bag/box up to 10. All proceeds will go to charity. Masks and social distancing will be maintained.
** There are everyday heroes among us and each year the Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club honors some of them. This year, the Club’s Community Service Awards Program takes to video in its first virtual awards presentation. Please watch the 2020 Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club’s Community Service Awards program honoring winners Chrissy Blizzard-Wrobel, The Food Bank of South Jersey, Helen Haley and Jordan Grabelle. Please take a few moments and watch the program at https://vimeo.com/514305277.
** Voorhees Township is offering discounted tickets to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood. Tickets are available in the Municipal Clerk’s Office at Voorhees Town Hall. Prices vary according to the type of ticket and several options are available to residents and non-residents. For more information about tickets, visit www.voorheesnj.com.