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

44-acre property preserved in Raritan Township

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 09/08/15

New Jersey Conservation Foundation
RARITAN TWP. - A forested 44-acre property with the Plum Brook running through it has been permanently preserved by Raritan Township, in partnership with Hunterdon County, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the D&R Greenway Land Trust, NJ Water Supply Authority and the state Green Acres Program.

On September 3rd Raritan Township purchased the Kangas property, located on the south side of Plum Brook Road. The land adjoins existing township-preserved land and will be used for passive recreation such as hiking, picnicking and nature study. The land will also protect significant water supplies and natural resources.

According to Amy Greene, chair of Raritan Township's Open Space Committee, the property has some of the most intact, diverse native forest of any along the Plum Brook. Except for some recent minor logging, the forest does not appear to have been disturbed in the last 100 years.

The property includes high quality habitat for migratory birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and aquatic invertebrates. The habitat supports forest dwelling species like rose-breasted grosbeak, wood thrush, scarlet tanager, wood peewee and ovenbird. The diverse forest of oaks, tulip trees and black gum hosts many flowering shrubs and wildflowers.

"Residents will benefit from preservation of this significant forested property which adds to many other tracts of land protected in this rural part of Raritan Township," said Greene. "We are grateful to the Raritan Township Committee and our funding partners who recognized the natural resources and recreation value of this property. We appreciate Ted Kangas and Laurel Kerruish for making their property available for purchase."

The land was preserved using Raritan Township's funds from the state Green Acres Program, and grants from Hunterdon County to New Jersey Conservation Foundation and D&R Greenway Land Trust. NJ Water Supply Authority provided funding for required studies to facilitate the sale.

The parcel has an old dirt road running parallel to the Plum Brook, which offers access to the property for hiking and wildlife observation. It's part of a larger contiguous forest, including properties owned by Hunterdon County.

"Our residents continue to benefit from these coordinated efforts with Raritan Township and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority to protect and sustain the natural resources of our great County," said John King, Director of the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders. "Preservation measures that protect our stream corridors ensure water quality, now and for our future, safeguard the natural environment and provide opportunities for enjoyment to residents and visitors."

The Plum Brook is a pristine, Category 1 stream that flows into the Wickecheoke Creek, which in turn flows into the D&R Canal, a major water supply source for more than a million central New Jersey residents.

"We're very happy to help preserve this beautiful property," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "New Jersey Conservation Foundation has preserved extensive lands along the Wickecheoke Creek and we're always looking to save additional properties that protect our precious water supply."

D&R Greenway Land Trust has also preserved lands along the Plum Brook, further downstream in Delaware Township. "This property along the Plum Brook is of high ecological value and expands on lands D&R Greenway and Raritan Township have protected along the waterway," says Linda J. Mead, D&R Greenway President & CEO. "We are pleased to join with our partners to preserve habitat for salamanders and birds like the rose-breasted grosbeak that has been heard singing in the woods."

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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