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The original item was published from 6/23/2022 1:55:29 PM to 12/31/2022 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: June 23, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Burlington County Commissioners rename park to reflect farming history

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One of Burlington County’s most scenic parks is getting a new name that pays tribute to its farming history.

The Burlington County Commissioners approved renaming Laurel Run Park in Delran to Rainbow Meadow Park in recognition of the former peach farm that graced the property before the County preserved it and made it a park. 

The Rainbow Meadow Farm was owned and operated by the Anderson family for more than a century and featured acres of peach trees. Its farm market also sold various fresh produce, including Jersey corn, tomatoes and pumpkins.

“Farming is a huge part of Burlington County history and culture so it’s important to celebrate and recognize those roots,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Dan O’Connell. “Changing the park’s name to Rainbow Meadow is a way to honor that legacy and the important contributions made by all our county’s farmers both past and present.”

Nestled on the banks of the Rancocas Creek and alongside the Laurel Run stream, the Creek Road property was targeted by housing developers when the County purchased it in 2001 with Green Acres funding. The family continued to farm the property for five years until the County was ready to redesign the land into a park.

The 126-acre park specializes in passive outdoor recreation, such as hiking and wildlife watching. It features a one-mile trail through the property to the edge of the Rancocas Creek, as well as a picnic pavilion, grills and parking area. 

Burlington County is developing plans for park enhancements, including improved access to the Rancocas, new bathrooms and a regional trail connection.

In 2020, Burlington County Commissioners entered into an agreement with Farmers Against Hunger that allows the nonprofit to use a 3-acre parcel of the park and some of the former farm buildings for its operations and other activities to promote and educate the public about land stewardship and agriculture. As part of its mission, the group plans to develop working crop fields and teaching gardens on the property to grow produce to donate to food-insecure families in region.

“Burlington County is the only place in New Jersey where you’ll find a park with beautiful outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy that also hosts an organization dedicated to collecting, growing and distributing food exclusively for families in need,” said Commissioner Allison Eckel, the Board’s liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “Farmers Against Hunger is thriving in their new home and renaming the park honors both its agricultural past and present.”

 Rainbow Meadow Park Renaming 2022

Photo 1: Burlington County Commissioner Director Dan O’Connell holds a photograph of the sold sign that once advertised the Rainbow Meadow Farm on Creek Road in Delran with former farmers Mal and Ray Anderson. Burlington County purchased the farm in 2001 and made it into a County Park. On Wednesday, the Commissioners approved renaming the park Rainbow Meadow Park in honor of the property’s farming history. 

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Rainbow Meadow Park is a favorite for hikers and nature watchers. Among the species that have been spotted at the property are Merlin falcons and dickcissels.

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