Goats And Sheep Assist At South Branch Preserve

Project Chew is a restoration project at South Branch Preserve that is being conducted by The Land Conservancy of New Jersey in partnership with Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary and the North Jersey Water Supply Authority.

The South Branch Preserve was established in 2010, with the primary goal of protecting the South Branch of the Raritan River, an important drinking water source for millions of New Jersey residents.

Over the next three years Project Chew will attempt to eradicate non-native invasive plants in this approximately 4 acre area of the Preserve, without the use of chemical sprays. The invasive plant species being targeted include mile-a-minute weed, mugwort, autumn olive, multiflora rose and oriental bittersweet. Our hope is that after three years of being impacted by our Chew Crew goats and sheep, the invasive plants will be largely decimated. Eventually we will begin planting native species which once established will shade out new invasive plants.

“We are very excited to have launched Project Chew at South Branch Preserve and enabled the reclamation of this 4 acre area that was overwhelmed by Mile-A-Minute weed without the use of chemical sprays,” said Sandy Urgo, Vice President of Land Preservation. “We appreciate the support and cooperation of our partners, Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary and New Jersey Water Supply Authority.  We hope our visiting public will be mindful of our Chew Crew animals, and will refrain from feeding them, since they have an important job to do. This is one part of a multi-pronged program aimed at reducing the presence of invasive plant species at South Branch Preserve.”

You can assist our efforts by learning about invasive plant species and planting only native plants at your own home, thereby doing your part to reduce the spread and threat of non-native, invasive plants. For more information about Project Chew or to donate or contribute to this project or other conservation and restoration efforts at South Branch Preserve, please visit our website www.tlc-nj.org or contact us at 973-541-1010.

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