93 Acres of Schooley’s Mountain Forest Preserved
LONG VALLEY, NJ, May 5, 2006 – The Township of Washington and the Washington Township Land Trust today announced the preservation of 93 acres along Califon Road on Schooley’s Mountain, permanently protecting beautiful forest and critical water resources, and providing opportunities for public recreation.
This project adds to a cluster of over 1,100 acres of protected forest and farmland that stretches across Schooley’s Mountain and spans municipal boundaries into Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County. In addition, this land protects the water quality of the South Branch of the Raritan River and the Spruce Run, two of the area’s most important trout production streams and drinking water sources.
This property is part of one of the most important forest patches in Washington Township”, according to Keith Hayes, Washington Township Land Trust President. “This largely unbroken forest covers a significant portion of Schooley’s Mountain between Long Valley and Califon, and provides exceptional habitat for wildlife species that are losing habitat throughout the region.”
The 93-acre property was purchased from Dr. Bernard Covalesky of Randolph for $1,050,000. Washington Township Land Trust contributed $350,000 in NJ Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Program Funding, and a Washington Township added a $700,000 grant from the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund.
“Washington Township has a long history of supporting land preservation”, said Kevin Walsh, Vice Mayor and former Chairman to the Township Open Space Committee. “By tapping into public funding sources and partnering with the local Land Trust, we were able to stretch our precious open space funds and protect this critical property at little cost to the local taxpayer.”
The Township and Land Trust will jointly own and manage the property, and will make the property available to the public for hiking, wildlife viewing, and other passive recreational pursuits. Plans are being made to establish a hiking trail.
Covalesky Nature Preserve. Block 51, Lot 24
Owned by: Washington Township Land Trust and Washington Township
Location: Califon Road across from the soccer fields
Acres: 93.5 acres in natural condition. This is a forested property with large wet land areas. Old farm roads are still somewhat visible.
Access: Entrance is the remnants of an old driveway across from and south of the soccer fields.