The 97-acre Blue Rock Farm at a busy intersection in Bedminster Township, Bucks County, often called Kulps Corner, has been preserved under a conservation easement agreement for $1.36 million, according to the Heritage Conservancy, which helped assemble the deal.
The farm is at Routes 313 and 113, and includes 3,500 feet of road frontage the organization says helps shape the local landscape, and is facing development pressure. Located across from a Weis Market, it includes cornfields and a forest dominated by hickory nut trees.
The total price amounts to about $14,000 an acre. Contributing were:
Bucks County, $541,020.
Heritage Conservancy, $100,000.
“The preservation of Blue Rock Farm is a first for Bucks County,” John Ives, director of Agricultural Land Preservation and Municipal Open Space Programs for the Bucks County Planning Commission, said in a news release. “Four entities, including the state, county, township, and a nonprofit, partnered together to conserve this farm. The joint easement not only protects and retains farming operations, significant productive soils, and a large wooded area, it preserves the scenic vistas along Routes 313 and 113.”
The farm is owned by the Blue Rock Investment Corp., made up of seven siblings in the Rocco family. Kulps Corner, an unincorporated hamlet, was named after the Kulp brothers who worked the farm until it was sold in 1974 to Carmen and Rita Rocco. Carmen Rocco was a dentist and intended to move to the farm with the family, but those plans did not work out.
So the Roccos continued to live in Gwynedd Valley, Montgomery County, and gave the Kulps rights to continue to work the farm and keep it as active agricultural land, according to the news release by the Heritage Conservancy, a Doylestown-based nonprofit that has helped preserve 15,000 acres of land. The Rocco family, however, continued to visit the farm.
“He would have loved it if we could have built a family compound there and all lived together with our extended families, but that was not realistic,” Chip Rocco, son of Carmen and Rita, said. “This is a wonderful thing that we can do this. I know my Dad is loving it.” His mother is now 91.
The Heritage Conservancy said the quality of the soil and location of the farm made it a high priority for the organization. The farm “will serve as a gateway to the hundreds of acres of already preserved farms along Route 113,” said Kris Kern, an official with the conservancy.
The surviving Rocco family members hope to sell the land to a farmer so it can continue to produce agricultural products. Preserved land can be sold, but the restrictions on the land defined through the conservation easement remain.