SANDY PERRY, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
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44 wooded acres preserved on Schooley's Mountain
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 08/22/12
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP - The green belt of preserved land on Schooley's Mountain is growing, thanks to New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its partners.
Ferns in the woods on Schooley's Mountain
New Jersey Conservation Foundation, a private nonprofit organization, just purchased a 44-acre property off Zellers Road. The parcel is surrounded by more than 1,000 acres of preserved farmland and open space.
"We're very pleased to add this property to the impressive inventory of preserved land in the Schooley's Mountain area, and make it available to the public for passive recreation like hiking and nature observation," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
The property was purchased for $370,000, using funding from the Morris County Preservation Trust, the Victoria Foundation, the state Green Acres Program and the Washington Township Land Trust.
The Teetertown Brook, a pristine, trout-producing tributary of the South Branch of the Raritan River, flows through the property. The South Branch is a drinking water supply for more than 1.5 million New Jersey residents.
"The Morris County freeholders are delighted to partner in this project with these groups who value, as we do, the preservation of open space and the protection of our essential water resources," commented Freeholder Ann Grossi.
The wooded property includes habitat for several endangered and threatened species, including the bobcat, barred owl and longtail salamander.
The Newark-based Victoria Foundation, in addition to providing funding toward the purchase of the property, also gave $10,000 to assist with the stewardship of the land.
"Victoria Foundation is firmly committed to open space preservation and stewardship, particularly for protecting water quality," said Dale Robinson Anglin, senior program officer with Victoria Foundation. "We are pleased to continue our long-term partnership with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation to preserve this critically important property."
The property is located near the Columbia Trail and Hunterdon County's Teetertown Preserve, and is a short distance southwest of New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Drakestown preserve, also in Washington Township.
It is located in the "Special Environmental Zone" designated in the Highlands Regional Master Plan, meaning it has the highest priority ranking for preservation.
"The Washington Township Land Trust is delighted to use part of our state Green Acres grant toward this purchase of this property, which will provide recreation while protecting wildlife habitat and our water supply," said Karen Richards, president of the land trust.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation's mission is to preserve land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, the Foundation has helped preserve more than 120,000 acres of open space and farmland. For more information on the Foundation's programs and preserves, visit www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).
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