If you climb the hill at the trailhead of the Thomas Saeger Preserve, and cast a backward glance, you will likely stop in your tracks: The forested hillside opposite Shire Road in Holland Township is just that stunning. Now, thanks to Hunterdon Land Trust and several partners that vista will remain as is for future generations to enjoy.
The 135-acre Silva Farm connects previously preserved lands, forming a corridor that stretches roughly 2.5 miles from the tip of the Kolonia North Preserve to the bluffs of the Delaware River. The acquisition brings the total number of preserved acres in Holland Township to more than 2,400.
“I love how it’s sandwiched between two preserved properties,” said Jacqueline Middleton, HLT’s director of land acquisitions.


“It touches the Holland Township Preserve, it touches the Thomas Saeger Preserve, and those two connect with Kolonia — north and south,” said longtime HLT Trustee Larry LaFevre, whose involvement in the project dates back to 2002 when he first visited the farm with former Board of Trustees President John Gattuso. “It connects with two other farms and other preserved open space. It completes the corridor from Anderson Road all the way to the Delaware.
“It felt like fortune was smiling upon us — that’s the way I look at it — because not only is it going to be preserved but it’s also going to stay in the family,” LaFevre said. He noted that a fourth generation of the Silva family will farm the land.
 “It’s beautiful flat farmlands, and it has one of the oldest barns in town,” LaFevre added.
“We were thrilled to work with Holland Township, the State Agricultural Development Committee and and Hunterdon County to help preserve this farm,” Middleton said.
The Maritan and Silva preservations both fall under the aegis of the National Park Service’s Lower Delaware Wild & Scenic program, which aims to protect the natural, cultural and historic value of the Delaware River.