HARDWICK, NJ (May 17, 2023)—The Open Space Institute (OSI), The Land Conservancy of New Jersey (TLCNJ), and Ridge and Valley Conservancy have announced the creation of a new nature preserve in northern New Jersey. The protected lands of the nature preserve will safeguard forests critical for wildlife habitat and clean drinking water within the greater Delaware River Watershed.
The new “Millbrook Seeps Preserve” spans 36 acres and was in danger of development before its protection by TLCNJ and OSI. The project marks the seventh property in the Paulins Kill watershed saved by TLCNJ with support from OSI.
“The Open Space Institute is exceptionally proud of our role supporting the creation of the Millbrook Seeps Preserve, which is instrumental in safeguarding critical clean drinking water resources within the Delaware River Watershed,” said Bill Rawlyk, OSI’s Mid-Atlantic Field Coordinator. “We applaud TLCNJ and the Ridge and Valley Conservancy’s vision and commitment to protecting these critical lands for clean water.”
Forests in the Millbrook Seeps Preserve filter the headwaters of Blair Creek, a tributary of the Paulins Kill River, which flows into the Delaware River Watershed. Located along the Kittatinny Ridge in an area known as “Bobcat Alley,” the land is home to diverse and sensitive species including not only bobcats, but also amphibians such as spotted and Jefferson salamanders.
OSI supported the creation of the Millbrook Seeps Preserve through its Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund, made possible by the William Penn Foundation’s Delaware River Watershed Initiative. Launched in 2014, the Fund has protected more than 21,000 acres of forested land to filter the Delaware River Watershed, source of drinking water for approximately 15 million people — including residents of Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and New York City.
The protected property was part of the estate of former resident Clegg Stewart, with the help of his daughter Deborah Arace.
“My father loved that property from the moment he purchased the first lots in 1978,” Arace said. “What a great way to honor a loved one, to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy these 36 acres of woods and nature in New Jersey.”
With its creation, Millbrook Seeps Preserve will be owned and managed by Ridge and Valley Conservancy.
In addition to OSI’s Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund, the Millbrook Seeps Preserve project was supported by Green Acres, the Open Space Institute, William Penn Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy.