HomeHopewell Valley NewsHopewell NewsSingh family donates land in Hopewell to D&R Greenway Land Trust in...

Singh family donates land in Hopewell to D&R Greenway Land Trust in honor of late husband

In this season of gifts, a green legacy was created on Dec. 18 that benefits song birds, wildlife and all who live in the Stony Brook Watershed.

D&R Greenway completed preservation of 10 bucolic Hopewell acres. Property owner Nutan Singh achieved this milestone in memory of her husband, Anil Singh. He loved caring for this land.

In the open fields that had been the site of his large garden, in season, asters, goldenrod, sedges, bottlebrush grass and rushes thrive. A wide section of the Stony Brook tumbles over rocks through native woodlands.

A Conservation and Public Access Easement on this land permanently protects 770 feet along the waterway and another 720 feet of tributary stream that joins the Stony Brook on this land.

Funding for this new acquisition was provided by Mercer County and D&R Greenway’s Revolving Land for Life Fund, thanks to a bequest from Gene Gladston who wanted to ensure that bird habitats would be protected.

As I have been working with you and your team for the last year, I am truly amazed at your passion and drive to carry out this noble work of preserving land. Similarly, with my husband Anil, I witnessed the same passion for land and natural beauty. He came from India to pursue his dream. With an educational background in agricultural and mechanical engineering, his graduate research at Rutgers focused on blueberries, from farming to harvesting. After moving to this property, he found his true calling, that of living on a farm. Anil’s obsession with farms and farm machinery was evident to all of our family and friends. We were harvesting potatoes, green beans, okra, bitter melon, and hot peppers for years in the garden, while also farming winter wheat and rye,” Nutan Singh wrote to Linda J. Mead, D&R Greenway’s president and CEO.

“Needless to say, he was living blissfully on this property and spent most of his time outside savoring the natural beauty and wildlife it offers. Many times he would say he does not need to live in a house, he can just put a tent on the bank of the Stony Brook (now part of the preserve) and live there forever. Thank you to D&R Greenway for making this memorable for my family, friends and community,” she wrote.

Preservation of this land harkens back to D&R Greenway’s founding mission to permanently preserve lands that buffer streams and protect water quality.  he new Singh Preserve protects the Stony Brook by maintaining forest cover along its banks, significantly reducing stormwater damage downstream, filtering pollutants and ensuring replenishment of the water aquifer.

The Singh woodlands include habitat for migratory birds and New Jersey endangered species such as barred owl, Cooper’s hawk, wood thrush, worm-eating warbler, Kentucky warbler, and the remarkable terrestrial wood turtle. This forest is composed of hickory, red maple, oak, tulip poplar, American beech and sycamore, as well as the fragrant spicebush, first to burst with tiny chartreuse blooms in spring. This shrub is essential to the life cycle of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly.

Mead remarked on the timing of this preservation success.

“The silver lining as we end this challenging year has been the opportunity to work with landowners who truly care about the gifts of nature. We are delighted to announce this vital connection to favorite nearby D&R Greenway preserved lands. Our Woods Brook Preserve adjoins on the south; the Olcott Preserve is across Stony Brook Road; and our popular Cedar Ridge Preserve is just across Route 518 from this property. We are grateful to Nutan Singh for her determination and generosity of spirit. She has created a green legacy in time for the holidays, in the footsteps of her husband Anil,” she said.

  • This article was provided by D&R Greenway Land Trust
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