An attractive new sign and kiosk and a new gravel parking area invite the public to three new loop trails on Pennington Mountain. Cool woodlands and exceptional natural vistas on Woosamonsa Ridge Preserve are now easily accessible from Hopewell Township’s Woosamonsa Road. (Edited 8/24 to add: 170 Woosamonsa Road on your GPS) Significant partnership among D&R Greenway Land Trust, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) and the Township of Hopewell conserved what has been described as “a forested paradise.” Its black rock diabase foundation fosters vernal pools, which support frogs, toads and salamanders, some of which are threatened or endangered in New Jersey.
Nearly as important as the acreageitselfis the wide range of cooperation thatsaved the Jay and Amy Regan land in 2018.The Nature Conservancy and NJ Green Acres Program, as well as Mercer County’s Open Space Fund, initially provided preservation funding for Woosamonsa Ridge, D&R Greenway’s 300thpreservedproperty. These significant watershed lands provide regional residents with new opportunities to experience unique natural landscapes.Thispreservation resultis one of many proving that land preservation also creates and expands community.
“Hopewell Township values our beautiful and varied landscapes and we are always thrilled when new opportunities to explore these resources are opened,” said Mayor Kristin McLaughlin. “With the new kiosk and parking lot, Township residents, and others, haveanadditional outlet for recreation. TheWoosamonsaRidge Preserve is a stunning addition to the open space resources in Hopewell Township.”
The Preserve,with its new trailheadon the south side of Pennington Mountain, is remarkable for the purity of its waterways. Many creeks, including Jacobs,flow three milessouthwestto the Delaware River,recentlynamed River of the Year 2020 byAmericanRivers.The award recognized vast improvements inthe Delaware’swater quality, due in part to preservation along its tributaries.
Woosamonsa’slongest trail loop provides about an hour and a half,–each direction–, of nature at its sylvan best. The shortest may be completed in less than an hour. These pathways wind through thebucolicJacobs Creek Valley. Arrivalat thehigh point on theridge delivers spectacular views, until now more or lessreserved for the birds.
The property is co-owned and managed by D&R Greenway Land Trust and FoHVOS, in partnership withthe Township of Hopewell.Volunteers ofthe two non-profits, comprisingthe NJ Trails Association,havebuiltnewcompellingpaths and improved historically used trailsthat now await the public.Hopewell Township provided the new parking area onWoosamonsaRoad,marked by a signature preserve sign.D&R Greenway created and installed the sign and accompanying kiosk, with its descriptivetrail map.
Linda Mead, D&R Greenway President& CEO, is delighted to welcome hikers to thisvastforested property, preserved in 2018.“If Forest ‘Bathing’ in leafy woods, singing along with rocky brooks, seeking beautiful wildflowersandbirdwatchingappeal to you,then the new trails onWoosamonsaRidge Preservearethe place to go. Its pristine waterways nourish the Delaware River,the only undammed river east of the Mississippi. Saving green land, land that supportssignificantlife,keeps tributaries and our boundary river,healthy. Welike toremind visitors, Preserved Land + Water = Life.”
“TheWoosamonsaRidge Preserve openingadds momentum toour earliestvision of a contiguous‘emerald necklace’of preserved land around the Hopewell Valley,” said LisaWolff, Executive Director ofFoHVOS. ”We are so pleased to be working with partnerswhoshare ourambitions,” she continues.“We recently acquired a neighboring property and are working closely with others to makeWoosamonsaRidge and its surrounding area the crown jewel of Hopewell Valley.”
D&R Greenway Land Trust, an accredited nonprofit, is close to reaching a new milestone of 21,000 acres of land preserved since 1989.By preserving land for life and creating public trails, it gives 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. Through strategic land conservation and stewardship, D&R Greenway combats climate change, protects birds and wildlife, and ensures clean drinking water for future generations. D&R Greenway’s mission is centered in 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 toCOVID.Visitwww.drgeenway.orgto learn about the organization’s latest news and virtualprograms.D&RGreenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, Princeton NJ 08540
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) FoHVOSis an accredited nonprofit land trust dedicated to conserving Hopewell Valley through efforts to preserve land, protect natural resources, and inspire a new generation of conservationists. RecentFoHVOSinitiatives have secured outdoor learning areas for all Valley public schools, provided habitat for pollinators, birds and threatened species, and co-founded an Outdoor Equity initiative that includes over 20 Mercer County organizations – reinforcing their motto NatureForAll. Since our inception, we have preserved over 8,000 acres of land and inspired thousands of partners and volunteers. To learn more aboutFoHVOS, visitwww.fohvos.orgor call 609-730-1560.
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