Our Mission and History
D&R Greenway Land Trust is central New Jersey’s nonprofit land preservation organization, founded in 1989 through the collaboration and vision of four organizations: the Stony Brook – Millstone Watershed Association, Friends of Princeton Open Space, Regional Planning Partnership, and the Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission. Founders, including Jim Amon, Rosemary Blair, Dennis Davidson, Sam Hamill, and Bob Johnston, realized that our region’s open space was threatened with extinction. Their vision of an organization dedicated to the preservation of our remaining natural areas led to the creation of this small grassroots organization that completed the first nonprofit acquisition using Green Acres funds in 1992.
Originally named Delaware & Raritan Greenway, we changed our name in 2004 to better reflect our preservation work as a land trust, and to account for the expansion of our work beyond our traditional focus along the Delaware & Raritan Canal.
We permanently preserve watershed lands and large-scale landscapes, thereby preventing the loss of open space to development. Our operating region consists of over 1,500 square miles, encompassing portions of the Delaware, Raritan and Millstone River watersheds and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. This includes Mercer, Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Burlington and Monmouth counties. We have broadened our work to include preservation of farm land in Salem County in the area of Mannington Meadows.
We serve as the continuing steward on many preserves and easement lands. We lead the list of nonprofits in New Jersey to successfully complete land transactions with State Green Acres funds. In 2008, D&R Greenway worked in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to preserve the 1,900-acre Seabrook Farm in Salem County. In 2009, two more farms around the Mannington Meadows were preserved. We have a staff of nine full-time and six part-time professionals. There are many volunteers working on various events and stewardship projects. In 2010, D&R Greenway closed on the 340-acre, St. Michael’s property in Hopewell, New Jersey. D&R Greenway is working on-site to enhance the woods, meadows and fields for agriculture, native seed propogation, community gardens and wildlife habitat.
D&R Greenway Land Trust sponsors offer many exciting educational and professional programs at the Johnson Education Center, its home in Princeton. New Jersey.
Funding Land Preservation
Land acquisition dollars are accessed through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)Green Acres Program and the State Agricultural Development Committee (SADC) – both funded by the Garden State Preservation Trust (GSPT); county and municipal open space funds, and, in some cases, donated by foundations and individuals. Our operating budget is funded entirely through private donations from individuals, local businesses, corporations and foundations. These critical operating funds are contributed through sponsorships, special events and galas, annual donations, Taplin Circle membership, and bequests.
Background Information and Press Releases:
D&R Greenway Land Trust also provides technical assistance to citizen groups and municipalities in creating local greenways throughout many counties. We consider it a vital component of our mission to provide education and promote awareness about the need to preserve land appropriately, how to conduct transactions, and how to be good stewards of the land. The Johnson Education Center is helping us take this goal a step further by providing adequate space and tools to create better conservation programs across the State of New Jersey. In addition, we are working hard to foster the development of trails and parks that enable individuals to enjoy the land we’ve worked so diligently to preserve. To ensure the accomplishment of these goals, we have developed a stewardship program to actively manage land our preserved lands for wildlife conservation and as valuable bird habitat. We have created two organizations for which we provide staff support and guidance: New Jersey Trails Association and Friends for the Marsh.