D&R Greenway expands Cedar Ridge Preserve in Hopewell

Volunteers from the Princeton area’s Ernest Schwiebert Chapter of Trout Unlimited stand behind debris recently removed from newly preserved Koch property in Hopewell.

D&R Greenway Land Trust recently concluded the purchase of a small but important Hopewell property adjacent to Cedar Ridge, one of the land trust’s earliest and biggest preserves, at more than 200 acres.

The new 3-acre property, known as the “Koch property” on Stony Brook Road, has 650 feet of frontage on a key tributary stream of the Stony Brook.

The purchase raises to 20,865 the total acreage and to 308 the total number of properties permanently preserved by D&R Greenway since its founding thirty years ago. Partners in the project included the New Jersey Green Acres program and Mercer County.

“Cedar Ridge is one of our most important and popular preserves, providing public access to a network of maintained trails. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to extend the preserve along this lovely and crucial tributary to the Stony Brook,” said D&R Greenway CEO Linda Mead.

The property had a house on it that was destroyed in a fire. Rather than rebuild, the owners sold the property to D&R Greenway as permanent open space.

Stewardship assistance for the new property is being provided by a Princeton-based wildlife group, the Ernest Schwiebert Chapter of Trout Unlimited, whose president described the tributary as especially important to the health of the main stem of the Stony Brook.

“Spring fed and originating in the Sourland Mountain, the stream brings cool water to the Stony Brook that sustains critical animal species,” said J. Stewart Von Oehsen, president of the local Trout Unlimited chapter. “The confluence of this tributary and the Stony Brook is one of the most prolific fishing holes on the Stony Brook, including trout, blue gill, creek chub, small-mouth bass and even some large-mouth bass.”

By preserving additional frontage on the stream, Von Oehsen said it will be possible to better control erosion and reduce pollution from fertilizers and garbage. On a recent November morning, eight volunteers from his organization visited the property to clean up garbage and detritus left over from the previous home site.

D&R Greenway has now preserved 1.4 miles of frontage on this Stony Brook tributary, including Cedar Ridge lands owned outright, and upper headwaters protected through easement.  Last fall, D&R Greenway partnered with The Raptor Trust to release two rehabilitated screech owls on the site.

To learn more, please visit www.drgreenway.org.

About D&R Greenway Land Trust
D&R Greenway Land Trust is in its 30th year of preserving and protecting natural lands, farmlands and open spaces throughout central and southern New Jersey. Through continuous preservation and stewardship — caring for land and easements to ensure they remain protected and ecologically healthy in perpetuity — D&R Greenway nurtures a healthier and more diverse environment for people and wild species in seven counties. Accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, D&R Greenway’s mission is to preserve and care for land and inspire a conservation ethic, now and for the future.

Since its founding in 1989, D&R Greenway has permanently preserved 20,865 acres, an area 20 times the size of New York City’s Central Park, including 31 miles of trails open to the public.

The Johnson Education Center, a circa-1900 restored barn at One Preservation Place, Princeton, is D&R Greenway’s home. Through programs, art exhibits and related lectures, D&R Greenway inspires greater public commitment to safeguarding land.