D&R Greenway Land Trust this month concluded the purchase of a 38-acre land preserve on Van Dyke Road in Hopewell. Acquisition of property owned by the Maziarz family is situated between two of the land trust’s popular preserves: Cedar Ridge and the vast Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve. With its protection secured, D&R Greenway is now only one property away from linking these two preserves and adding to more than seven miles of connected trails through the Sourlands.
The newly preserved land will help protect wildlife movement between these lands that provide wooded Sourland habitat for fox and bear and for neo-tropical migrant songbirds that breed in the area in summer. Bird species identified on the property include the red-shouldered hawk, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees, Carolina wren, tufted titmouse, white-throated sparrow, and white-breasted nuthatch. This land also protects the headwaters of the Stony Brook.
The purchase raises to 20,903 the total acreage and to 309 the total number of properties permanently preserved by D&R Greenway since its founding thirty years ago. Partners in the project include Mercer County and the New Jersey Green Acres program.
“Creating connections between preserves is a high priority for D&R Greenway. The Maziarz acquisition helps create another wildlife corridor between the region’s biggest preserve, the Sourlands, with one of our earliest preserves, Cedar Ridge, which is used for hiking and birdwatching,” said D&R Greenway CEO Linda Mead. “This land further contributes to the Stony Brook greenway, which is the first greenway project we took on beginning in 1990 with the first property we acquired.”
Securing protection involved subdividing a home that was part of the original property so that it could remain as a private residence. “Many times, landowners are interested in preserving their land while still remaining in their home or selling their house separately from preservation,” said Mead. “The ability to partner with D&R Greenway to accomplish the subdivision creates a win-win, with the preserved land enhancing the desirability of the private homesite and the land contributing to an important regional ecosystem.”
D&R Greenway’s stewardship team will begin controlling non-native, invasive plant species in order to protect natural forest regeneration.
To learn more, please visit www.drgreenway.org.