Ten wooded acres, home to barred owls, wood turtles and numerous songbirds, have been donated to New Jersey Conservation Foundation by Barbara and Michael Blumenthal. The couple donated the property on Ridgeview Road on November 11 to ensure that it stays in its natural state forever.
“It’s nice that this property is in the hands of New Jersey Conservation Foundation so it will be protected and nobody will ever build a house there,” said Barbara Blumenthal.
Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation, thanked the Blumenthals for their generosity.
“This property contains beautiful wildlife habitat, and we really appreciate the Blumenthals’ action to ensure it is preserved and protected,” she said.
Lisa MacCollum, assistant director of land acquisition for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, toured the property last spring and was impressed by its diversity of wildlife and plants.
Among the 15 migratory bird species she observed, there were black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler, black and white warbler, northern parula, ovenbird, woodthrush, scarlet tanager, turkey, and red-eyed vireo. She also noted a red fox, and native plants including showy orchis, spicebush, jack-in-the pulpit, trout lily, wood geranium, Christmas fern, and sensitive fern.
“Many of the birds we saw are neotropical migrants that have come from South America to nest here in our temperate forests,” MacCollum said. “While some of these birds may nest here, many will use it as a stopover and will continue farther north to breed. They depend upon forested areas such as this to feed on insects to fuel their journeys.”
According to the Blumenthals, the property is also home to barred owls and wood turtles, both threatened species in New Jersey.
The Blumenthal property adds to a growing list of preserved lands in the environmentally-sensitive Princeton Ridge area. Nearby properties preserved by New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its partners include the 4.3-acre Klepper property, preserved in 2013; the 14-acre Ricciardi property, preserved in 2011; and the All Saints property, preserved by the D&R Greenway Land Trust in 2011.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected 125,000 acres of open space – from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundation’s programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).