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Tewksbury's 10-Mile Trail gets another link

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 09/26/17

New Jersey Conservation Foundation
TEWKSBURY TWP. - Imagine 10 miles of hiking and equestrian trails winding through rural countryside and connecting preserved parks and farms.

For decades, nonprofits and government agencies have been working toward a vision of a "greenbelt" widely circling the village of Oldwick in rural Hunterdon County.

This connective 10-Mile Trail vision recently moved a step closer to reality, thanks to a land and easement purchase by the Tewksbury Land Trust, in partnership with the New Jersey Green Acres Program, Hunterdon County and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

The Tewksbury Land Trust purchased 5.5 acres of farmland on the east side of Old Turnpike Road and a 2,100-foot pathway easement across an adjacent residential property.

"We're very excited to preserve this property and add another link to the 10-Mile Trail," said Laurence Ross, president of the Tewksbury Land Trust. "Once this is complete, hikers and horseback riders will be able to hop on the Kenny Trail near Homestead Road and walk through a greenbelt of preserved land all the way to the Oldwick General Store in the center of Oldwick."

"The Tewksbury Land Trust strongly believes that in order to encourage love and appreciation of our natural environment and resources, people must commune with nature and enjoy the quiet, peace and reflection that it provides. Trails allow people to enjoy the properties we preserve and to deepen their appreciation of the natural world," added Christopher Teasdale, secretary for the Tewksbury Land Trust.

Greenbelt Vision

The greenbelt vision emerged in the 1980s with New Jersey Conservation Foundation's preservation of the Cold Brook Preserve just north of Oldwick village. The preserve was turned over for public park purposes to Hunterdon County.
Since then, additional properties preserved include Tewksbury Land Trust's Lance Farm Preserve, Raritan Headwaters' Fox Hill Preserve, the township's Hell Mountain Preserve, New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Hill & Dale Preserve and the township's Whittemore Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Tewksbury Land Trust and its partners are now working to secure the remaining links between preserved properties needed to complete the 10-Mile Trail.

The newly-preserved land and pathway easement were purchased from David and Tara Klipstein, and connect to the Lance Farm Preserve off Fox Hill Road. In turn, the Lance Farm Preserve links to the Fox Hill Preserve and the preserved Sullivan and Whitman properties on Palatine Road.

Preservation Partners

Funding for the land preservation project came from grants to the Tewksbury Land Trust from Green Acres and Hunterdon County. Technical assistance was provided by New Jersey Conservation Foundation, which also last year awarded a Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grant to Tewksbury Land Trust for trail work on the easternmost part of the 10-Mile Trail.

"Green Acres is proud to provide grant funding to the Tewksbury Land Trust, in partnership with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Hunterdon County, toward the acquisition of this beautiful property which provides a critical link in Tewksbury Township's planned 10-Mile Trail," said Rich Boornazian, Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. "The preservation will allow for meaningful public trails and passive recreation through the bucolic scenery of the region for the enjoyment of generations to come."

"These types of innovative connections between preserved parks only serve to better allow the public to experience the beautiful parks in the area," said Hunterdon County Freeholder Director John Lanza. "It is exciting to see this trail come together as it expands access to and from the county's Cold Brook Preserve."

"New Jersey Conservation Foundation is thrilled to be part of this exciting effort to create a trail loop around Oldwick," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "Tewksbury Township has beautiful nature preserves and farm fields, and connecting them will provide incredible recreation opportunities for the community.

"I love the idea of starting out with coffee at the Oldwick General Store, walking 10 miles through some of New Jersey's most beautiful countryside and ending up with a drink back in Oldwick at the Tewksbury Inn," added Byers.

Trail Section Under Construction

The Kenny Trail - one section of the 10-Mile Trail - is currently being built on the Tewksbury Land Trust's Sullivan and Whitman properties. Plans call for finishing the last leg of the Kenny Trail and opening it to the public this coming year. The Tewksbury Land Trust recently secured a $98,150 matching grant under a new Green Acres stewardship grant program for improving trails, access, and natural resources within its managed preserves.

"The grant will go a long way in helping the Tewksbury Land Trust fulfill its mission to provide opportunities for passive enjoyment and wildlife habitat," commented Ross. The Kenny Trail is named for Ken Klipstein, former Tewksbury Land Trust president and current New Jersey Conservation Foundation president, to recognize his leadership in in bringing landowners together to preserve land.

The next step in the 10-Mile Trail plan is to preserve land on the opposite side of Old Turnpike Road, allowing links to the Hell Mountain Preserve, the Hill & Dale Preserve and the Cold Brook Preserve. A future trail extension could connect to the township's Whittemore Wildlife Sanctuary south of Oldwick.

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