Great Piece Meadows History
1952- Wildlife Preserves was founded and incorporated by a group of philanthropic conservationists, including the organizations long-time President and Executive Director- ("Bob") Robert L. Perkins, Jr. of Tenafly, NJ. The fledgling corporation began fundraising from within and outside of New Jersey and started buying farm lots and meadowlands in the Passaic River Basin, including land in Little Piece Meadows in Fairfield and Great Piece Meadows in Fairfield, Lincoln Park, and Montville.
1981- Wildlife Preserves and the NJ DEP enter into a contract to cooperate to protect and preserve Great Piece Meadows (and Troy Meadows) as -quote- a "high quality natural area sanctuary" for the public benefit (December 2, 1981).
2003- The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) begins acquiring land on behalf of the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) in the Passaic basin flood plains through the "Passaic River Preservation of Natural Flood Storage Areas" (PNFSA) project.
(The PNFSA project was authorized by Congress in 1990-Water Resources Development Act, Section 101(a)(18), Public Law 101-640-and amended in 1992-Water Resources Development Act, Section 102(p), Public Law 102-580-and ratified in 1999 by the State of New Jersey as a non-federal sponsor.)
The USACE offers to buy Wildlife's land in Great Piece Meadows, Little Piece Meadows, Hatfield Swamp, and Troy Meadows for the PNFSA project.
2005- New Jersey Natural Lands Trust (NJNLT) and Wildlife Preserves entered into a "Management and Use Agreement for Great Piece Meadows" consisting of 472 acres of Wildlife's land and 832 acres of NJ DEP land. (September 28, 2005).
2006 and 2007- Wildlife Preserves sells 472 acres of land in Great Piece Meadows in Fairfield, Lincoln Park, and Montville through the USACE PNFSA project for a bargain price of $ 3,350 an acre with a Restrictive Covenant and a Management Agreement. The NJ DEP took title to the land and NJNLT accepted assignment of the land as the "Great Piece Meadow Preserve."
2007- NJNLT authorized Wildlife Preserves to enter into an agreement with the Township of Fairfield which in affect divides Great Piece Meadows into a Wildlife Management (hunting) Zone and a Wildlife Sanctuary (no hunting) Zone (September 27, 2007).
Fairfield and Wildlife Preserves entered into the "Great Piece Meadows Wildlife Management Agreement" (October 16, 2007).
Wildlife Preserves and the Fairfield Conservation and Sportsman's Association entered into the "Great Piece Meadows Wildlife Management Agreement" (October 25, 2007).
Through the cooperation of three prominent land owners of Great Piece Meadows in Fairfield Township, the meadows are separated into two zones, dividing and consolidating two conflicting recreational uses. A Wildlife Management Map is created delineating the boundaries of the two zones.