A Passion for Preservation
An environmental consciousness and abiding respect for the land infuses every aspect of Stephanie and Bob Harris’ life. Stephanie is a founding member and currently vice-president of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, while Bob helped found a company that specializes in hazardous waste abatement and clean-up. That’s why preserving their 18-acre property, located in the foothills of the Sourland Mountains, became a priority for them. Their energy-efficient house features both passive and active solar collectors.
Their land is situated among eight adjacent preserved properties on the south edge of the Sourland Greenway. Its mix of open fields and woodlands provides essential habitat for birds and other wildlife. The land is part of the drainage area for the Stony Brook, an important source of regional drinking water. And the organic farm established by Bob and Stephanie Harris on their property is managed as a textbook example of sustainable agriculture.
D&R Greenway’s Land Preservation and Stewardship professionals developed a preservation solution consisting of a conservation easement on the property, permanently retiring the development rights. A public access corridor was included as part of the easement, creating trail possibilities that would link Hopewell Borough to the Sourlands. A stewardship plan was also developed to provide for habitat management as well as the implementation of sound organic farming principles.
“Stephanie and I try to live our beliefs,” commented Bob Harris. “The goal of a sustainable lifestyle is good stewardship which improves the land for future generations. Legally and irrevocably preserving our property was a logical next step for us.”
Thanks to the preservation efforts of Stephanie and Bob Harris, as well as their like-minded neighbors, the character and environmental stability of the Hopewell Valley is being protected to the benefit of everyone who lives in the region.