Stewardship is an essential part of the Hunterdon Land Trust’s mission. We are committed to caring for the ecological, historic and scenic features of the properties we manage and to providing responsible public access.
At the Hunterdon Land Trust, we understand that preserving land is only one step in an overall conservation program. Even before a property is acquired, we begin planning for its long-term management by:
• identifying conservation values such as water quality, biological diversity and opportunities for public use;
• identifying conservation threats such as overgrazing by deer, invasive plant species, and harmful practices like dumping or off-road vehicle use;
• assessing the cost of proper stewardship.
Shortly after acquiring a property, the Land Trust prepares a written management plan that documents its present condition and lays out future conservation goals. Some properties require intensive restoration in order, for instance, to re-establish healthy plant and animal communities or to return streams and wetlands to their natural state. Other properties, acquired in good condition, require only passive management to preserve existing conditions.
These are some of the larger stewardship projects we’ve worked on in the last few years:
Quakertown Preserve Wetlands Restoration
Dozens of volunteers pitched in with Land Trust staff to complete a major wetlands restoration project that removed a man-made pond and thicket of invasive plants and revegetated the area with native species.
Walnut Brook Wetlands Restoration, Dvoor Farm
The Land Trust and other partners assisted the NJRD&C to stabilize the eroded banks of Walnut Brook at the Dvoor Farm and Minebrook Park. More than 3,000 trees and shrubs were planted and a three-acre wetland was built.
Milford Bluffs Meadow Restoration
The Land Trust and NJ Natural Lands Trust planted a native warm-season grass meadow at the Milford Bluffs Preserve to create habitat for threatened and endangered birds such as vesper sparrows and bobolinks.
Dvoor Farm Grassland Restoration
Carefully scheduled mowing is the method being used in a multiyear effort to restore native grasses and wildflowers to a 20-acre hayfield at the rear of the Land Trust’s historic Dvoor Farm. Trails will connect the parcel to adjacent Minebrook Park.
Mimi’s and Peter’s Trail, Lockatong Preserve
The Land Trust teamed up with County Park staff to clear a scenic trail and install picnic tables, kiosks and a small footbridge. Other stewardship activities include a plant survey, invasive species removal and planting blight-resistant chestnut trees.
Delaware River Stewardship Project
With support from the National Park Service, the Land Trust has embarked on a comprehensive stewardship program to coordinate parkland management, improve public access and protect native species within the river corridor.
To learn more about our preserves, go to Visit a Preserve for descriptions, maps and photos.