We are proud to announce that The Land Conservancy of New Jersey has been awarded a grant to plant hundreds of trees at our new Yards Creek Preserve in Blairstown. This property consists of 122 acres of forested land along the eastern slope of the Kittatinny Ridge, with streams that drain into the Paulinskill River.
Located squarely in the Upper Delaware River Basin, this land is in one of the most important watersheds on the East Coast. Millions of people rely on the basin for clean drinking water, including the cities of Trenton, Philadelphia, and Wilmington.
The Roots to Rivers grant, awarded by the Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Watershed Institute and Sustainable Jersey, will enable us to reforest six areas, totaling 3 acres, that have been cleared for various reasons: a former house site, four plots used by hunters, and an old logging road. Responsibly managing the forests here will help in our efforts to repair the natural ecosystem there. Trees are one way to naturally restore the wetlands at Yards Creek, which are excellent habitats for wood turtles, support a significant amphibian population, and are enjoyed by black bears. There is evidence of red-shouldered hawks, timber rattlesnakes, and bobcats as well. The entire property is dotted with mature hardwoods like shagbark hickory, favored by the northern long-eared bat, which is classified as endangered in the state of New Jersey.
Tree planting will begin this fall, which we are all very excited about. You’ll be sure to see updates in a few months!