By: Follow South Jersey Staff
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Vacant for a number of years, the Stafford Farm, a 248-year-old, roughly 70-acre plot of preserved agricultural space located at the intersection of Evesham and White Horse Road in Voorhees has been newly acquired with plans of bringing agriculture back to the site.
Bill Green, an entrepreneur and Camden County native, recently acquired the property after purchasing it at auction last October.
The Stafford Farm was previously owned by its namesake, the Stafford family, until 2004, before being sold to Voorhees Township, the State of New Jersey, and a nonprofit organization. Under the ownership agreement, the farm was designated as a preserved agricultural space, preventing the land from being bought and used for other commercial purposes or wholesale development.
Green becomes only the fourth owner of the farm in its two-and-a-half century history. The land originally belonged to then Continental Army General, George Washington, who gave it to Lt. John Stafford, his personal guard.
Camden County Commissioner Jeff Nash, liaison to the Parks Department, highlighted the rich history of the farm and the excitement of seeing new agricultural progress on the site.
“We are so glad that this incredible, storied property will be in the hands of someone who understands its history and plans to return it to its original use,” Nash said. “Preserving this beautiful open space and horse farm was a top priority for the Board 17 years ago. By bringing agriculture and horses back to the farm, we’ll not only be welcoming a successful entrepreneur back to the county, but we’ll see the creation of a resource that members of our community can learn from and experience for years to come.”
Green expects to quickly restore the horse track and bring horses back to the property. Additional investments will be made to replace and remove certain existing structures, fencing, and barriers, as well as to begin cultivating additional agricultural resources.
Green talked about acquiring the property and his vision for the future of the farm.
“Acquiring the farm is a passion project for my family and I, and we can’t wait to return this beautiful farmland to the community,” Green said. “This is an investment that we plan to keep making for years to come, and we hope to be able to bring groups from community in and share it with them once the process is farther along. I am incredibly thankful that the state and the county preserved this land for the last decade and a half.”
This iconic property has been a substantial piece of green space in the center of Camden County over the last two centuries and has become an asset to the special quality of life residents enjoy in the surrounding communities.
“I have had the pleasure of meeting Bill Green and speaking with him on more than one occasion,” said Voorhees Mayor Michael Mignogna. “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 on the corner of Evesham and Springdale Roads. The scenic vista has returned.”
Mayor Susan Shin-Angulo said how important the farm is to the area..
“Stafford Farm is an important piece of our region’s history and we are thrilled to hear that it will be returned to its original roots under a new owner,” Shin Angulo said. “I want to welcome Bill to the neighborhood and wish him the best of luck with this exciting new venture.”
State Sen. Jim Beach explained the land is more than just a farm, but critical to the county and the garden state.
“I am thrilled that the new owner will make investments to preserve and honor the integrity of Stafford Farm,” Beach said. “Restoring this property to its original use is a tremendous gift to the community, one that will impact the Camden County landscape for generations.”
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