May 28, 2021, Princeton ~ Just in time for Memorial Day, 2021, D&R Greenway announces another preservation success with acquisition of 10 acres of land owned by Nutan Singh in Hopewell, New Jersey. In December 2020, the land trust purchased a conservation easement on this same land, dedicated to preservation by Nutan Singh in memory of her late husband, Anil. After completing a subdivision of the conservation land from the residential property, in May 2021 D&R Greenway purchased the eased land to extend its Woods Brook Preserve. D&R Greenway now owns this property that permanently protects both sides of the Stony Brook in this scenic area.
With the new addition of the Singh property, D&R Greenway’s Woods Brook Preserve is expanded to 40 acres. Nearby lands permanently preserved by D&R Greenway – its Olcott Preserve is across Stony Brook Road; and our popular Cedar Ridge Preserve on the north side of Route 518 in Hopewell – extend the contiguous preserved land in this area, on the edge of the Sourlands, to 345 acres.
Property owner Nutan Singh remembers fondly her husband’s love for his garden, and for being outdoors in the woods near the Stony Brook. She tells of how her husband Anil built a small “oven” out of stones, and how they would sit together by the Stony Brook enjoying tea.
In a letter to Linda Mead, D&R Greenway’s CEO & President, Nutan speaks about the preservation process and her memories of Anil: “As I have been working with you and your team for the last year, I am truly amazed at your passion and drive to carry out this noble work of preserving land. Similarly, with my husband Anil, I witnessed the same passion for land and natural beauty. He came from India to pursue his dream. With an educational background in agricultural and mechanical engineering, his graduate research at Rutgers focused on blueberries, from farming to harvesting. After moving to this property, he found his true calling, that of living on a farm. Anil’s obsession with farms and farm machinery was evident to all of our family and friends. We were harvesting potatoes, green beans, okra, bitter melon, and hot peppers for years in the garden, while also farming winter wheat and rye.
“Needless to say he was living blissfully on this property and spent most of his time outside savoring the natural beauty and wildlife it offers. Many times he would say he does not need to live in a house, he can just put a tent on the bank of Stony Brook (now part of the preserve) and live there forever! Again thank you to D&R Greenway for making this memorable for my family, friends and community.”
Native species of plants, wildlife and birds benefit from preservation. The Singh woodlands include habitat for migratory birds and New Jersey endangered species, such as barred owl, Cooper’s hawk, wood thrush, worm-eating warbler, Kentucky warbler, and wood turtle. This forest is composed of hickory, red maple, oak, tulip poplar, American beech and sycamore, as well as fragrant spicebush, first to burst with tiny chartreuse bloom in spring. This shrub is essential to the life cycle of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly.
Linda Mead, who cares for the land trust’s mission, “Preserving and caring for land; inspiring a conservation ethic,” has this to say about this new acquisition: “We are delighted to announce this vital connection to favorite nearby D&R-Greenway-preserved lands. The Singh woods will continue to be alive with the songs of birds. Nutan, in memory of her husband Anil, has created a green legacy that will live on for generations to come.”
Since its 1989 founding, D&R Greenway’s core mission has been saving land that protects water quality, throughout central New Jersey.
Land blessed with forested stretches along waterways filters pollutants before they can reach the water, protecting drinking water for people and animals. The Singh land permanently protects 770 feet along the Stony Brook’s banks. A tributary flowing into the Stony Brook on this land protects another 720 feet of waterway. Funding for the fee acquisition of the 10 acres was provided by D&R Greenway’s Revolving Land for Life Fund.
D&R Greenway Land Trust, an accredited nonprofit, has saved over 22,000 acres of New Jersey land since its founding in 1989. Preserving land for life and creating public trails grants everyone the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. The land trust’s preserved farms and community gardens provide local organic food for our neighbors—including those most in need. D&R Greenway’s strategic land conservation and stewardship combat climate change, protect wildlife, and ensures clean drinking water for future generations. D&R Greenway’s mission is connecting land with people from all walks of life.
D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center, home to its art galleries in Princeton, is currently closed to ensure health and safety due to COVID. Our outdoor trails and labyrinth are open. Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages and www.drgreenway.org to learn about the organization’s latest news and virtual programs. D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, Princeton NJ 08540. Best way to reach D&R Greenway Staff during the COVID pandemic is by Info e-mail, available on the website, or by calling D&R Greenway at 609-578-7470.