“South Branch Preserve – North Tract
Mt. Olive, New Jersey
Located at the corner of Wolfe Road and Route 46, the North Section of South Branch Preserve was preserved by The Land Conservancy of New Jersey.”
What You’ll Find
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey invites you to visit the North Tract of the South Branch Preserve, home to our Community Garden, Farm and Forest Restoration site.
The South Branch Preserve is home to an assortment of wildlife. Bird watchers, in particular, should not be surprised to encounter a variety of species: finches, warblers, cardinals, water fowl, and birds of prey. We welcome you to birdwatch from the wildlife blind we have installed.
From the parking lot take a moment to view our information kiosk and then follow our red blazed trail to the observation point where, off in the distance, rolling hills loom as a silhouette. The red blazed trail runs along the South Branch of the Raritan River, and the route is circular.
Parking Lot GPS Coordinates: 40°51’32.7”N 74°45’33.8”W
Parking Lot Address: 50-60 Wolfe Rd, Budd Lake, NJ 07828
What We’ve Done
- Planted 7,305 trees and shrubs on 37 acres of former corn fields;
- Established a 145 plot community garden;
- Initiated plans to transform four former corn fields into a butterfly meadow;
- Established a water quality monitoring station in partnership with the Raritan Headwaters Association for ongoing, water quality testing at the Restoration Site;
- Established The Farm at South Branch Preserve;
- Installed an apiary for bees on The Farm and 26 bluebird boxes on fence posts surrounding the site.
For Your Information
By planting thousands of trees and shrubs on former corn fields, we have restored 27 acres to native forest and provided a riparian buffer for three-quarters of a mile of the Raritan River.
A priority for The Land Conservancy is that a portion of all produce grown on these fields be donated back to the community to help people in the local community who are unable to afford fresh, local produce. Our community garden has resulted in 750 pounds of produce donation in the past two years to three local food pantries.
The Raritan Headwaters Association has over 20 years of water quality data for the River and our new monitoring station will add scientifically meaningful results to the restoration program at the Preserve.
The imminent butterfly meadow supports the declining monarch butterfly population, and the apiary will benefit The Farm and Community Garden, while helping educate our neighbors as to the benefit of successful bee production and cultivation.