West Windsor Council approved an ordinance November 29 that will allow for the permanent preservation of a 12.7-acre property along the Big Bear Brook.##M:[more]##

The ordinance authorizes a contract with the Friends of West Windsor Open Space (FOWWOS) to take over ownership of the non-profit group’s 55 percent share in ownership of the parcel. FOWWOS is a group founded by township residents in the 1990s committed to the preservation in open space in West Windsor.

The property, located along the Big Bear Brook, is owned by Diane Rogers, Rhea Rogers, and Katherine Hammond. The brook flows from East Windsor through Washington Township and into the Millstone River at Grovers Mill in West Windsor. The brook is about eight miles long.

Officials from the county, West Windsor, East Windsor, and Washington Township formed a partnership in 1999 to preserve land along the Big Bear Brook corridor.

Last month the Mercer County Board of Freeholders approved a deal with FOWWOS and the Delaware & Raritan Greenway to buy the property for $1.1 million. The county will contribute $500,"000 toward the cost, the Greenway $600,"000, and FOWWOS $23,"000 in state Green Acres funds.

After the purchase, the county will retain the rights to 45 percent of the property and the remainder will be owned by FOWWOS. Council’s resolution allows the township to take controlling interest of the property — a common practice with all properties acquired by FOWWOS in the past.