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Kathleen Ward, Development & Communications Director
PHONE: 908-234-1225, EXT. 105
KATHLEEN@NJCONSERVATION.ORG

New preserve in Hopewell Twp. named for Mount Rose

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 08/26/15

New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Mount Rose Preserve
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP - A newly-preserved property straddling Carter Road has been named the Mount Rose Preserve after a nearby historic village and rocky summit, and a management plan for the 320 acres is now in the works.

The land was permanently preserved last spring by New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Hopewell Valley Citizens Group with major funding from Mercer County, Hopewell Township, the New Jersey Green Acres program, and private contributions. The new preserve will provide passive recreation for local residents - including a critical link in the Lawrence Hopewell Trail - and prevent new development that could have added up to 4,000 cars per day to the area's rural roads.

"We're pleased to honor the historic roots of this beautiful area and call this property the Mount Rose Preserve," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "We're looking forward to the day when the community will be able to enjoy the Mount Rose Preserve trails, including an extension of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail."

Michael Van Clef, stewardship director for the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, this summer began collecting ecological data on the property during the first phase of a comprehensive management plan. He and an assistant are identifying plant communities and rare species, and evaluating impacts from invasive species and deer.

The next step in planning will be to seek local input from the community, including trail creation and maintenance, other public uses for the land, habitat restoration, and protection of rare species. As part of the process, stakeholders will be interviewed and a public meeting held.

To learn more about the Mount Rose Preserve management plan, as well as to help with fundraising for the stewardship of the preserve, contact Kathleen Ward at kathleen@njconservation.org or 908-997-0723.

Mount Rose refers to both a summit on the Rocky Hill Ridge and the historic town that was established in the early 1800s at the crossroads of Carter Road, Pennington-Rocky Hill Road, and Cherry Valley Road. Some of the buildings still exist and have been listed on the registers of historic places.

The Mount Rose Preserve was established in April, when New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Hopewell Valley Citizens Group led a partnership of a dozen public agencies and nonprofit organizations to acquire the former Western Electric/AT&T property.

The land - home to the first corporate park in the United States - was purchased for $7.5 million from owner Equus Capital Partners, formerly known as Berwind Property Group. The site had previously received preliminary site plan approval for 800,000 square feet of office space. Preserving the land settled years of litigation challenging the commercial development proposal.

Major funding partners in the land's preservation included lead funder Mercer County, Hopewell Township and the state Green Acres Program. Other partners included Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Hopewell Borough, Pennington Borough, Friends of Princeton Open Space, Princeton, D&R Greenway Land Trust and Lawrence Township.

Private funds were donated from the Robert Wood Johnson Charitable 1962 Trust, Mary Owen Borden Foundation, Bristol Myers Squibb and more than 150 local businesses, families and individuals. Additional funds came from New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Campaign for Conservation, which will be formally announced this fall.
Mount Rose preserve will be jointly owned and managed in a partnership with New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and Hopewell Township.

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 the Foundation's programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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