FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 05/06/10
TEWKSBURY TWP. – As part of the celebration of its 50-year land conservation legacy, New Jersey Conservation Foundation will hold a hike at the Cold Brook Reserve on Saturday, May 22, followed by a country picnic.
The hike, which begins at noon, will be a guided ramble along the grassy trails at the 180-acre reserve, located on Route 517, just north of the Oldwick village crossroads. The hike is weather dependent and will include a children’s scavenger hunt.
The picnic will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Watts-Lacoux barn on King Street in Oldwick, and will be held rain or shine.
The cost of the hike and picnic is $10 for adult New Jersey Conservation Foundation members, $15 for non-members and $5 for children under 12. Reservations are required, and can be made by contacting Kathleen Thayne at Kathleen@njconservation.org or 908-234-1225.
The hike and picnic are co-sponsored by New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Hunterdon County Department of Parks & Recreation. The groups partnered to preserve the Cold Brook Reserve in 1984.
From the mid-1850s through the early 1970s, the property was known as the Van Doren family farm. But after farming the land for seven generations – first as a peach orchard and later as a dairy and crop farm – the family sold the property to pay estate taxes. A few years later the new owners proposed a 35-lot subdivision.
A community group mobilized to preserve the farm. The group sought New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s help, as the nonprofit had successfully saved other nearby properties, most notably the Great Swamp in Morris and Somerset counties.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation bought the farm from the developer and later resold it to Hunterdon County. Because of generous donations by residents – both cash and valuable conservation easements – the county became eligible for matching state Green Acres funds.
Today, the Cold Brook Reserve retains the same bucolic charm as when it was the Van Doren Farm. Public hiking trails meander among fields that are still planted with crops by a local farmer, and abundant edge habitat provides homes for wildlife. Horseback riding, cross-country skiing and mountain biking are permitted on the trails, which follow the path of old farm roads.
Since its founding in 1960, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has preserved more than 120,000 acres throughout the state, protecting natural areas, farmland and parks. For more information New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LANDSAVE (1-888-526-3728).
For more information about the Cold Brook Reserve, go to Hunterdon County Department of Parks & Recreation website at http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/depts/parks/guides/ColdBrook.htm .