Burden Hill/Stow Creek
Burden Hill/Stow Creek
New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s Burden Hill project area is located in the Delaware Bay Watershed region, which spans southwest New Jersey and is bordered by the Delaware River and Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and is best known for its vast wetlands and wildlife. The Delaware Bayshore region is under increased development pressure due to a rising demand for residential housing for workers commuting to Philadelphia and Wilmington, resulting in a decline in farm production and a loss of wildlife habitat.
In one unique 15,000-acre forest complex in the southwestern region of Salem County, known as Burden Hill Forest, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has preserved nearly 2,000 acres in partnership with the state Green Acres Program, expanding New Jersey’s Thundergut and Stow Creek Wildlife Management Areas in Alloway, Quinton and Lower Alloways Creek Townships. This region also includes our 750-acre Burden Hill Forest Preserve, which is available for passive recreation as well as seasonal hunting through special permitting.
The Delaware Bay soils are some of the most fertile and productive in the country and support the largest remaining contiguous farm belt in the state. Protecting the region from development is vital for the future of the region’s agriculture. The Bayshore also offers resting and feeding grounds for more than a million migrating birds each spring. The shorebird population that gathers on Delaware Bay each May and June is the second largest in the Western Hemisphere. American egrets, great blue herons and other water birds typically found in the region are declining due to loss of wetlands and the development of shoreline areas.
The Delaware Bay Watershed is also home to a diversity of plants and wildlife that make up and inhabit the vanishing upland forests. New Jersey Conservation Foundation is actively working to preserve these critical forest habitats that support migratory songbirds, several species of hawks and the American bald eagle.
Saving Burden Hill
New Jersey Conservation Foundation has led conservation efforts in the region for two decades, starting with the publication of Charting the Course for the Delaware Bay Watershed, the first comprehensive planning guide for the region. Some of our recent preservation activities in Burden Hill have included:
- Continued preservation of the Burden Hill Forest by expanding the NJCF Burden Hill Preserve with the acquisition of six acres of forested land in Quinton Township
- Facilitating the state’s purchase of an additional five acres in the Burden Hill Forest, providing enhanced public access to the Stow Creek Wildlife Management Area on Jericho Road in Quinton Township.
- Current acquisition efforts will result in the preservation of three additional forested properties in the Burden Hill Forest totaling approximately 200 acres.
To learn more about New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s preservation work in Burden Hill, please contact Fran Rapa, Regional Manager for Delaware Bay Watershed, at 856-823-1021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Michele S. Byers,