Cherry Hill has closed on its $3.8 million purchase of the historic Holly Ravine Farm to preserve it as open space.
“Our family is thrilled that the legacy of Holly Ravine Farm will be preserved forever,” Robert Gilmour said of the farm his family has owned since the 1930s. “We are confident that the township will be a good steward of the land and are happy to be part of creating a greener Cherry Hill.”
The sale was something residents fought for over several zoning board meetings last year, the same year a senior living facility was proposed for the property.
“This is a milestone in the history of Cherry Hill, and today’s actions ensure that the Holly Ravine Farm property will be protected from development and preserved forever,” said Mayor David Fleisher on the date of purchse.
Council also swore in two new members at its Jan. 22 meeting to fill the seats of Fleisher and Brian Bauerle. Daniel DiRenzo and Jill Hulnick were chosen from six names submitted by the township’s Democratic committee, three per open seat. Fleisher stepped down to serve as mayor, and while Bauerle won his election, he decided instead to serve as the administration’s chief of staff.
DiRenzo – who fills Fleisher’s seat – is a longtime township and a retired firefighter who has served as a captain and chief financial officer for the Cherry Hill Fire Department for 25 years. He is also a member of the township zoning board and is involved with the Erlton South Civic Association. DiRenzo has also served as the student support supervisor at Cherry Hill West. His term will expire on Dec. 31, 2025.
” … He epitomizes everything that Cherry Hill stands for and all that we are good at as a community,” Councilwoman Carole Roskophe said of DiRenzo.
Hulnick will fill Bauerle’s seat through Dec. 31, 2027. According to a township release, she is an independent consultant who works with businesses, nonprofits and government organizations. She also serves on the Jewish Federation’s Planning and Visioning Committee and the Jewish Community Foundation Grantmaking Committee.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve on council, not only to ensure that Cherry Hill remains an incredible place, but also to play a part in making every individual feel welcome, well-supported and – most importantly – connected,” Hulnick noted.
“I look forward to using my experience to help move Cherry Hill forward.”
Council then heard a presentation for the community energy plan led by a representative from Pennoni Associates. The plan is to help communities work together for a better environment by using the state’s energy master plan as a guide.
Statewide, New Jersey’s master energy plan has a goal of using 100% clean energy by 2050. The Pennoni representative noted that there is a plan to post a living document on the Cherry Hill website and have ongoing opportunities for the community to engage with the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy and increase the use of renewable energy.
The representative also highlighted recent legislation that requires commercial properties greater than 25,000 square feet to publicly report their energy and water use.
“Benchmarking is probably one of the most important aspects when embarking on efficiency and carbon reduction plans,” the representative explained. “You need to understand first how much energy is being used in order to identify targets for reduction. It just make sense.”
The full energy presentation is available on the township Facebook stream of the council meeting. The next council session will be on Monday, Feb. 12.