Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) announced that they have acquired 10 acres of open space in Chatham Township, New Jersey. This acquisition increased the organization’s land holdings to a total of 86.5 preserved acres in the Great Swamp watershed.
The property is located at the end of Evergreen Road in the Black Brook sub-watershed, one of the 5 sub-watersheds of the Great Swamp. It is connected to a large amount of preserved open space that includes the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and a 3.5-acre tract of land known as the Hoag property that GSWA acquired approximately 20 years ago. In addition, it is adjacent to wildlife travel corridors and a population of endangered Indiana Bats.
“New Jersey is the most developed state in the United States and is on course to be the first state to reach full build-out. At that point, most new development will be redevelopment,” said Hazel England, GSWA’s Director of Education, Outreach, and Land Stewardship. “As an accredited land trust, part of GSWA’s mission is to preserve and steward open space. We are thrilled to add on to that small 3.5-acre parcel, turning it into a 13.5-acre property that we can steward and improve habitat.”
Purchased by the Kent family in 1947, the property at the time was a young deciduous floodplain forest – a mix of young forest and wetlands. It has since grown into a maturing deciduous forest with a heavy understory of invasive species.
“The property is ripe for restoration as a future project for us,” stated Ms. England. “Just knowing this piece of land is preserved and a part of the open space in Chatham Township is very satisfying.”
Sally Rubin, Executive Director of GSWA, expressed gratitude to the Kent family for their generous donation of land. If anyone is interested in preserving property in the region, please reach out to Great Swamp Watershed Association.
The organization also owns and stewards the 73-acre Conservation Management Area (CMA), a wooded, natural area on Tiger Lily Lane in Harding Township. The CMA has nearly 3.5-miles of boardwalk and mulched trails that are open to the public for walking, hiking, and nature study.
Those interested in donating land to GSWA should contact Sally Rubin at firstname.lastname@example.org