List and Description of Wildlife Preserves in New Jersey
Troy Meadows is located in Morris County, in East Hanover, Hanover, and Parsippany-Troy Hills, within the Whippany River Watershed in the Passaic River Basin. It is designated as a "National Natural Landmark," by the National Park Service, a "New Jersey Natural Area" and also a "Natural Heritage Priority site" by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
It has a biological value as wildlife habitat for ordinary, threatened and endangered species of fauna and flora, a recreational value for the people of the state of New Jersey, an open space value within a densely populated section of the state, and an economic value for the flood storage it provides.
The majority of Troy Meadows is privately owned by Wildlife Preserve while the state of New Jersey also owns areas within the meadows. The meadows are managed as a wildlife sanctuary by Wildlife Preserves and a Natural Area for the preservation of natural diversity by the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry.
Great Piece Meadows
Great Piece Meadows is located in the Township of Fairfield in Essex County, the Borough of Lincoln Park and Township of Montville in Morris County. It is within the Passaic River Watershed.
Great Piece Meadows is designated by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection as a "Natural Area," designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a "Priority Wetland," and classified by the NJ DEP as wetland of "Exceptional Resource Value."
Most of Wildlife's land in Great Piece Meadows was sold in 2006 to the NJ DEP under the US Army Corps of Engineers' "Passaic River Preservation of Natural Flood Storage Areas" project and the NJ DEP-New Jersey Natural Lands Trust (NJNLT) accepted management of the State land at Great Piece Meadows. Wildlife retained its land in Little Piece Meadows, mostly located along Big Piece Road in Fairfield.
NJNLT and Wildlife Preserves entered into a "Management and Use Agreement for Great Piece Meadows" and agreed to work together to co-manage the 1,300 + acre "Great Piece Meadow Preserve" for the protection of its natural, biological, and wildlife resources. Wildlife Preserves continues to manage land at the Great Piece Meadow Preserve as well as Little Piece Meadows.
Piece Meadows has a biological value as wildlife habitat for ordinary, threatened and endangered species of fauna and flora, a recreational value for the people of the state of New Jersey, an open space value within a densely populated section of the state, and an economic value for the flood storage it provides.
The Wildlife Preserves, Johnsonburg Preserve is located in Frelinghuysen Township in Warren County.
The Johnsonburg Preserve contains a natural pond known as Mud Pond which is considered a prime example of a limestone sink. Remnants of an old dairy farm are also found on the property. It contains an old log cabin and well maintained hiking trails. It is often used by the Boy Scouts of America for field trips, summer camping in the meadows and winter cabin camping. It adjoins the Nature Conservancy, Johnsonburg Preserve.
Directions for GPS users - The Johnsonburg Preserves' mailing address is: 12 Old Stage Road, Newton, NJ. Park anywhere on old Stage Road, do not block gate. Enter on foot and follow the road all the way past the cabin, past the old barns to the pond. There are trails up to scenic vistas overlooking the pond.
Goose Pond Preserve
Goose Pond Preserve is located in the Pine Barrens in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County. Probably the most important use of the property is as a botanical preserve in which a number of plant species are found that are limited in other areas. Goose Pond contains one plant species that is found nowhere else in the world. The pond is surrounded by pine forests and the preserve is surrounded by a NJ Wildlife Management Area.
Directions for GPS users - to find the Goose Pond, key in Walnut Street, Mays Landing, NJ.
Delaware Bay Shore Preserve
The Delaware Bay Shore Preserve (owned and managed by Wildlife Preserves, Inc.) is located in Fairfield Township in Cumberland County, NJ. It is a coastal marsh containing bay shore habitat, a critical resting and feeding area for migratory shorebirds, a spawning area horseshoe crabs, a nesting site for aquatic turtles, as well as a nesting area for American bald eagles. The Preserve also contains limited uplands between the marsh and the bay.
Tourists and students of natural history often visit the Preserve during the horseshoe crab spawning season. Researchers use the area to study the staging and migration of shorebirds, as well as the ecology of the marsh and marine wildlife there. The University of Delaware often holds outdoor classes and research studies on the Preserve. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) monitor and band nesting eagles on the Preserve.
Within the recent past some of the uplands along Beach Avenue have been altered during storm events and much of the peninsula at the end of Beach Avenue has been lost. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd washed away some of the sand dunes there, including a camping area and community boat docks that were used by the public. The loss was apparently exacerbated by the use of off-trail vehicles driving over the dunes. Enormous changes in the land have occurred since the USGS last published its Ben Davis Point topographical map in 1993.
In 2007, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) completed the "Seabreeze Shore Protection Project"- a seawall intended to stabilize the shoreline, prevent tidal erosion, protect the property and wildlife along the bay, including the realignment and rebuilding of Beach Avenue. By the end of 2007 the seawall had failed. In 2009/2010, the NJ DEP bought up all of the summer homes along Seabreeze and Beach Avenues with the intent of letting the land go back to nature.
Directions for GPS users - to find the Delaware Bay Shore Preserve, key in Beach Avenue in Bridgeton, NJ. Wildlife owns the land along Seabreeze Road and shorefront along Beach Avenue and well beyond the end of Beach Avenue.