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NJ Conservation wins Regional Excellence Award


New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Restored wetlands at Franklin Parker Preserve
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has recognized New Jersey Conservation Foundation for its successful wetlands restoration at the Franklin Parker Preserve, a former cranberry farm in Burlington County.

On Dec. 11, the DVRPC gave Regional Excellence Awards to New Jersey Conservation and four other organizations, leaders and programs that have contributed to the good of the greater Philadelphia area.

The Regional Environmental Program of the Year award went to New Jersey Conservation for its work at the 9,770-acre Franklin Parker Preserve in Woodland Township. Accepting on behalf of the foundation was South Jersey Metro Regional Manager Olivia Glenn.

The Franklin Parker Preserve property, adjacent to approximately 250,000 acres of state-owned public conservation lands, was purchased by the New Jersey Conservation in December 2003 after the owner decided he wanted it to be protected forever as a nature preserve.

New Jersey Conservation is now several years into a successful wetland restoration, the largest of its kind on the East Coast. What were once cranberry bogs - flooded and drained using man-made structures - are now natural functioning wetlands and stream channels. The restored wetlands provide habitat for more than 50 threatened and endangered species, including the bobcat, bald eagle and barred owl, as well as numerous rare plant species.

The preserve is open and accessible to visitors, and includes 28 miles of multi-purpose trails, interpretative panels, two observation towers, and numerous educational events.

Other Regional Excellence Award recipients were Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and "Pop-Up Parks" programs in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

"This year's Regional Excellence Award winners cover a wide spectrum of interests that play key roles in moving our region to a more sustainable, economically competitive future," said DVRPC Executive Director Barry Seymour. "DVRPC congratulates each award winner and thanks them for their commitment to making the Greater Philadelphia area an even better place to live and work."

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected 125,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about programs and preserves, go to or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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