News

18 acres added to preserved greenway in Hunterdon

Oct 30, 2019

RARITAN TWP. – A greenway of preserved open space and farmland along the picturesque  Wickecheoke Creek in Hunterdon County just got bigger.

On Oct. 3, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its partners preserved 18 acres of woodlands and farm fields off Rake Road, at the headwaters of the Wickecheoke Creek.

New Jersey Conservation purchased the land from Ellen and Mark Hollenback for $171,325, using funds from the state Green Acres Program, Hunterdon County, Raritan Township and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.

“It pleases me to know that the land is being preserved for all time,” said Ellen Hollenback. “My husband and I are both environmentalists, and this just seemed like the right thing to do.”

Permanently preserving the land helps protect water quality and wildlife habitat. Ellen Hollenback said she and her husband have spotted a wide variety of wildlife on the property, including bobcats, foxes, coyotes, mink, fisher cats and possums.

The property is open to the public for passive recreation, including hiking and nature observation on existing trails.

“The Hollenback property links other preserved properties along the Wickecheoke Creek,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “We’re very grateful to the Hollenbacks and all the funding partners who made this acquisition possible.”

The purchase was funded with grants to New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Raritan Township from Green Acres and Hunterdon County. The New Jersey Water Supply Authority helped with indirect costs, including surveys, appraisals, environmental studies and subdivision expenses.

“The Green Acres Program congratulates New Jersey Conservation Foundation on this important acquisition,” said Martha Sullivan Sapp, Director of the Green Acres Program. “We have had a long partnership with New Jersey Conservation, and this additional 18 acres will further our shared recreation and conservation goals.”

“Hunterdon County is pleased to help in the efforts by New Jersey Conservation Foundation to preserve land along the Wickecheoke Creek,” said Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt.  “Preserving the Hollenback property really is a showcase in the protection of the valuable headwaters and habitat of Hunterdon County, alongside the passive recreational opportunities available for county residents to enjoy.”

“Raritan Township has been and will continue to preserve land for the right reasons,” said Mayor Jeff Kuhl. “It is wonderful that we can do this with partners such as New Jersey Conservation, Green Acres and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority at little to no cost to our residents.  This property addition helps us preserve the environment and provide clean water.  We would like to thank New Jersey Conservation for their partnership in the past, now and in the future.”

The Wickecheoke Creek Preserve is an ever-expanding patchwork of nearly 3,800 acres of preserved open space and farmland along the pristine Delaware River tributary. It provides important wildlife habitat, and the creek flows directly into the Delaware & Raritan Canal, a source of clean drinking water for over a million New Jersey residents.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since its inception in 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected 125,000 acres of open space, farmland and parks. For more information about New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its programs and preserves, visit www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LANDSAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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By Michele S. Byers,
Executive Director