The Carter Road property, known as the Mount Rose Preserve, was preserved on April 17, 2015 by a partnership of more than a dozen public agencies and nonprofit organizations, as part of an innovative project to convert a 1950s corporate campus into a public park. In addition to New Jersey Conservation Foundation, partners included Mercer County, Hopewell Valley Citizens Group Inc., Hopewell Township, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS), NJ Green Acres Program, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Hopewell Borough, Pennington Borough, Friends of Princeton Open Space, D&R Greenway Land Trust, Lawrence Township and Princeton.
On Sunday, April 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the public is invited to get to know the new Mount Rose Preserve on Carter Road at an open house on part of the preserve located directly across the street from a building at 350 Carter Road.
The free event will introduce the community to this former corporate park, which was preserved a year ago and is being converted into a public park. Fun activities for all ages include tours of the property, wildlife demonstrations, children’s art activities by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, music by the Mountain View Band and an announcement about future plans for the preserve.
“We hope everyone in the community will join us to visit these preserved lands and learn about plans to transform them into a place where the public can come to exercise and enjoy nature,” said Michele S. Byers, Executive Director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation, one of the groups leading the land preservation project.
The land was originally developed as a multi-building Western Electric/AT&T corporate park, and most recently belonged to Equus Capital Partners. Equus and its predecessor, Berwind Property Group, proposed to redevelop the property for more than 800,000 square feet of commercial space, potentially adding up to 4,000 vehicles a day to rural Carter Road.
The Mount Rose Preserve land, part of a corridor of preserved farmland and open space between Hopewell Valley and the Sourland Mountains, is now owned by New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Hopewell Township, and will be managed in partnership by NJ Conservation, Hopewell Township and the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (“FoHVOS”).
In addition to providing critical habitat for threatened and endangered species, it will provide a key link for the northern loop of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (“LHT”), a 22-mile regional trail system dedicated to walkers and cyclists.
During the past year, much progress has been made on the Preserve. An abandoned conference center on the property was demolished, and plans for the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail are moving ahead quickly. In addition, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space are developing a long-term management plan for the new preserve.
The April 24 open house is sponsored by New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Hopewell Valley Citizens Group and the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space.