D&R Greenway Land Trust owns and manages more than 50 properties in central New Jersey. As a regional land trust, we work to connect people with nature and provide appropriate public access for walking, hiking, bird-watching, environmental study and exploration. The Preserves are open dawn to dusk and easily accessible, walkable and clearly posted with signage explaining rules and regulations. D&R Greenway encourages responsible passive recreation on our preserves from dawn to dusk. If you have any questions, please call 609.924.4646.
In summer 2016 D&R Greenway acquired the Csapo property in Bordentown, preserving 60 acres of wetlands and 11 acres of upland woods, adding 71 acres of public access land to Abbott Marshlands. The freshwater tidewater infusion at the 3,000-acre Abbott Marshlands, two miles below head of tide at Trenton, supports a rich system of plants and wildlife, from the tiniest phytoplankton to the largest birds—sightings of bald eagles are not uncommon. Tidal freshwater marshes “are among the most productive ecosystems in the world,” says Rider University Botany Professor Emeritus Mary Leck, who has identified 159 species of plants on the Csapo property, including Green Fringed Orchid and American Chestnut. The Csapo tract is part of the Delaware River estuary, which is critical habitat for species under extreme pressure from development and pollution, including the endangered Atlantic Sturgeon and Shortnose Sturgeon.
The property adds public open space to the Bordentown Bluffs area of D&R Canal State Park. Paddlers can explore the site along the Crosswicks Canoe and Kayak Trail. It will be explorable on foot, as well.
In a state of 4.492 million acres, how significant can one acre be? The answer—in the case of the William Peters property—is that a single acre is important enough for D&R Greenway to preserve it. The newly preserved Peters site opens the way for a trail that will draw attention to a nearly forgotten settlement of free African-Americans: Honey Hollow, in Hopewell Township. Honey Hollow was the home of “free Blacks” beginning in the late 19th century. William Peters’ stone house along Church Road, between Washington Crossing State Park and Mercer County’s Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain, dates to Washington’s eponymous river crossing. “Many people in the preservation community tend to focus on preserving large tracts of land, but we cannot miss the opportunity to have that small transaction that makes a critical link or preserves a unique opportunity or habitat,” says D&R Greenway Vice President Jay Watson. “It is our collective hope to provide interpretive signage explaining this unique community with the intent of getting more people of color out onto our trails and diversifying the stories told in our landscape.”
For many years, Princeton residents John and Janet Powell enjoyed looking out their kitchen window onto open fields bordered by trees. They savored the beauty of “the red buds of the maple trees, lit like fire in the sun,” John recalls.
Now, their view has been preserved forever, and it can be enjoyed by everyone. D&R Greenway, working with Mercer County through its Open Space Program, has facilitated the preservation of the Powells’ property, an L-shaped site consisting of two lots along Snowden Lane and Poor Farm Road. Final closing is expected in spring 2017.
The site adds 4.3 acres to Mercer County’s Herrontown Woods Preserve: 142 acres of forest that is part of 590 protected acres within the Princeton Ridge Conservation Area.
Six lushly wooded acres lining a placid stretch of the Millstone River in Cranbury has now been preserved for the public to enjoy. Princeton Land Partners, a private landowner, donated the six acres to D&R Greenway, which will convey the land to Cranbury for connection to the Township’s Greenway. East Windsor has preserved open space directly across the river, creating a contiguous protected landscape. As a bald eagle circles silently overhead, a visitor might stop to contemplate the complex web of nature.
In addition to its value for wildlife habitat and recreation, the site protects water quality. The forested floodplain buffers stormwater’s effects on the Millstone, and more than half of the property is a designated wellhead protection zone for a public water supply.