“South Branch Preserve – South Tract
Mt. Olive, New Jersey

The core of the Preserve was preserved in 2010 through a partnership with The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, The Trust for Public Land, Trout Unlimited, Raritan Headwaters Association, Mount Olive Township, Morris County and New Jersey.

 What You’ll Find

The Land Conservancy of New Jersey invites you to the south tract of the South Branch Preserve where you will find a haven for avian life and pollinators alike.

The South Tract of the South Branch preserve contains forested wetlands and several small streams that eventually drain into the Raritan River.  While visiting it is likely you will encounter some of the residents: Great Blue Herons, Wood turtles, and Red-shouldered hawks.

You will also discover that the varied topography and soil conditions within the South Tract create a mosaic of many small groupings of trees such as oaks, maples, hickories, birches, and elms.

The south section of the South Branch preserve features an information kiosk located at the parking lot. Our red blazed trail begins at the parking lot by ways of an access gate into the deer exclosure fence.

Parking Lot GPS Coordinates: 40°49’58. 40°49’58.6”N 7445’08.4”W
Parking Lot Address: 10 Shop Ln, Flanders, NJ 07836

What We’ve Done

  • Implemented a restoration plan to return the property to its natural state;
  • Removed two detention basins;
  • Demolished concrete headwalls and a home foundation;
  • Removed seven stream culverts;
  • Reconstructed stream beds with rocks and boulders from the site;
  • Built a deer exclosure fence;
  • Planted native trees, shrubs and grasses.

For Your Information  

Known as the South Section, this 135-acre property had been partially developed for sixteen homes. 

The restoration project was undertaken by a unique private/public partnership between The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, the National Forest Foundation, and the El Paso Corporation as part of its philanthropic stewardship program. This innovative project was completed in only four months.

Fourteen vernal pools were created through the removal of the two detention basins which slow the movement of water and provide outstanding new wildlife habitat.

The deer exclosure fence was built around more than 100 acres of the site to restrict deer from over-browsing and provide protection for both new plantings and existing forest resources.

The entire site was seeded with native grasses to hold the soil and allow the more than 1,000 native trees and shrubs planted on the site time to sprout.