- Kate Munning
How Big is 3,414 Acres?
Nestled in the New Jersey Highlands sits 3,414 acres of watershed land which is a habitat to wildlife that is on New Jersey’s endangered species list. Bobcats, red-shouldered hawks and bald eagles. It boasts sixteen different mountaintops, nine ponds, more than 10 miles of trails and close to 20 miles of stream banks.
With 3,400 acres you can fit 4 Central Parks or 35 Malls of America.
And we just helped preserve it.
In one of the largest state-coordinated preservation efforts in New Jersey, Hudson Farm properties encompasses land in Byram, Hopatcong, Andover and Sparta. This multi-year effort was no small feat. The Land Conservancy initially suggested this project to the landowner in 2005 and the project was divided up into four phases. As we helped preserve the initial 220 acres on February 19, 2010, 69 acres of this was added to Byram Township’s C.O. Johnson Park and the Township will also hold a conservation easement on 151 acres.
On September 20, 2016, the second and third phases of the project concluded when we assisted the State of New Jersey acquire conservation easements on 973 acres in Hopatcong, Andover and Byram, adjacent to the larger property. With the recent acquisition, the total amount of land preserved totals 3,402 acres.
Additionally, this easement helps protect water quality to over 15 million residents in two states who rely on the Delaware watershed for drinking water. Part of the property will also be accessible to the public for recreational use. Once established, the trail system will provide 12.5 miles of hiking to outdoor enthusiasts.
It took the diligent work of several organizations that spent more than a decade to help preserve thousands of acres of watershed land. Although the time and effort it took was enormous, in return, generations will enjoy unspoiled forests that are teaming with wildlife, a variety of recreational activities to enhance the quality of life, and continued access to clean drinking water for millions of residents.
Although 3,414 acres is immense, preserving it is immeasurable.