Monday, February 27, 2017

Millstone Valley

The Weston dam on the Millstone River will be removed in May, 2017, funded by some $$'s left over from the massive Cyanamid superfund clean-up.
This will alleviate flooding in Manville,
 After about 250 years this dam removal will also enable migratory fish, such as shad, to swim up the Millstone and its Beden Brook  and Six Mile Run tributaries to hopefully spawn.
The next impediment to the migration is the Carnegie dam. A fish ladder there could open up the upper Millstone Watershed.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Water Quality

Stakeholder Meeting for NJ Integrated Water Quality Report - Feb 23rd, 1PM - 4PM. Duke Farms, - Coach Barn. Enter via East Gate off Route 206.   The Sustainable Raritan River Initiative (SRRI) is working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Division of Water Monitoring and Standards to engage Raritan stakeholders to participate in a prioritization process and strategy for restoration, protection and enhancement of waterbodies in the Raritan Water Region (watershed management areas 07, 08, 09, & 10) to inform the forthcoming 2016 New Jersey Integrated Water Quality Report.  
The agenda for this next meeting includes a presentation of the preliminary water quality assessment for the Raritan Water Region, an update on restoration candidate watersheds, and information on the 2017 funding cycle.  You can access background information about the project on the SRRI website at:  There is no charge for the meeting but space is limited; make your reservation today!  Please note this event is at the Coach Barn - not the Visitors Center. Enter the property through the East Gate off Route 206.  Contact Sara Malone at for more information.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Walking tour of D&R Canal slated Feb. 25

Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m.
D&R Canal Watch guided 5.6-mile walk between Griggstown and East Millstone with 3.5-mile option.  Meet 10 a.m. at the Griggstown Causeway, Franklin Township.
 Further information: Pamela V’Combe at 609-635-2783 or

The Delaware & Raritan Canal Watch will hold another in a series of interpretive walking tours of the D&R Canal on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The walk will explore the section of the canal between Griggstown and East Millstone, a distance of 5.6 miles. Participants will have the option of walking part way to Blackwells Mills, 3.5 miles.

The walk, through a lovely section of the canal park, will be led by Canal Watch board member Pamela V’Combe.

Meet 10 a.m. at the parking lot on the Griggstown Causeway between River Road and Canal Road, Franklin Township. Carpools will be arranged to allow a one-way walk.

For further information and weather-related updates, call Ms. V’Combe at 609-635-2783 or
The nonprofit D&R Canal Watch helps promote, enhance and preserve the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Meadows Foundation Presents

Sat. Feb 18, 2017    2pm    215 South Middlebush Rd, Somerset, NJ

Tim Cohen, teacher and school historian at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, will discuss the book he has just completed chronicling that school’s 250-year story. His talk will pay particular attention to the ways in which the school’s story has mirrored changes in the larger local community over the years. In keeping with Black History Month, he will discuss Rutgers Prep’s historic relationships with New Jersey’s African American community, including an examination of its founders’ attitudes toward slavery and the school’s pioneering traditions of ethnic and cultural diversity.
This lecture, part of our Fireside Chat series, will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 from 2-4pm at the historic Wyckoff-Garretson house, 215 South Middlebush Road, Franklin Township, NJ. The fee for attending is $10 and includes light refreshments. Meadows members in good standing will receive a coupon for $5 off any future Meadows event.  You may pay dues or attain membership when you arrive.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Christine Retz at
You may print the flyer for this event (pdf):  250yrsSomerset 02182017
You may print the flyer for this event (jpg): 

Sourland Mountain Preserve

Acreage Added to Sourland Mountain Preserve

Post Date:02/15/2017 11:47 AM
    A Feb. 9 closing was held on 58.25 acres of land being deeded to the Somerset County Open Space Preservation Program.

    Located at the intersection of Pleasant View Road and Route 601 in Montgomery Township, the property was purchased from owner W. Bryce Thompson IV for $1,980,704. Montgomery Township has agreed to contribute 30 percent of the purchase price towards the county’s acquisition of the property from its Open Space Trust Fund.

    “This is another win for the environment in Montgomery,” said Freeholder Mark Caliguire, county open space liaison. “The preservation of this property and other open agricultural land along the lower flanks and foothills of the Sourland Mountain are important. In addition to creating a transition between suburban development and the pristine environment of the Sourland Mountain, they allow for the creation of habitat for many grassland bird species.

    “The acquisition of the Thompson property is another in a long line of successful partnerships between Somerset County and its municipalities,” Freeholder Caliguire said. “Preservation is most effective when groups work together to contribute resources and funding toward the common goal of preserving the rich cultural and environmental resource of the Sourland Mountain region.”

    "We are pleased and proud that this beautiful farmland with its open vista of the Sourlands has been saved for posterity,” said Montgomery Mayor Ed Trzaska, township open space liaison. “It is truly exciting to close this deal in partnership with Somerset County. Montgomery’s open spaces are integral to its identity; protecting our rural character is one of our core principles. Many thanks to our Freeholders – especially Freeholder Mark Caliguire for leading the process for the county team."

    In 2012, the county purchased 256 acres from Carrier Clinic (175 acres in Montgomery and the remainder in Hillsborough), which is adjacent to the Thompson property.  Montgomery Township is now working to acquire an additional 15 acres nearby on the opposite side of Route 601, as well as several other tracts of land throughout the community.

    The property is primarily an open farm with areas of woodland. The acquisition helps to preserve the bucolic character of the area at the base of the Sourland Mountain, which is a mix of farms and wooded preserved land.  The preservation also serves to provide a buffer between the largely undeveloped land to the south in Montgomery and the residential development to the north in Hillsborough.  The parcel was preserved in perpetuity as open space and is now part of the county’s Sourland Mountain Preserve, bringing the total preserve area to 6,170 acres.

    The property will remain largely in its existing state and the current agricultural use will continue. Somerset County and Montgomery Township will work together to determine future possible passive uses on the property that are most appropriate for the health and public enjoyment of the land.

    The Sourland Mountain region is an expansive green swath of intact forest and farmland spanning parts of three largely developed central New Jersey counties.  It extends from the central part of Hillsborough Township southwest to the Delaware River in West Amwell, Hunterdon County, and Hopewell Township, Mercer County.

    The Sourlands contain over 20,000 contiguous forested acres that protect the water supply to the headwaters of several significant streams flowing to the D&R Canal, Millstone, Raritan and Delaware rivers. The Sourlands support many rare plant and animal species and provide nesting and migratory stopover habitat for over 100 species of migratory birds.

    Somerset County began the preservation of the Sourland Mountain in Hillsborough and Montgomery townships in the early 1970s.  With the addition of the Thompson property, the preserve now exceeds 6,000 acres, making it the largest park in Somerset County’s 14,450-acre park system.
    Thompson Property Group Photo-Feb2017
    Celebrating the closing on the Thompson property are, left to right, Somerset County Freeholder and Open Space Liaison Mark Caliguire, county Principal Planner for Land Acquisition Tom Boccino, Montgomery Township Open Space Coordinator Lauren Wasilauski and Montgomery Mayor Ed Trzaska.
    Thompson Property Photo-June2016 
    A summertime view of the Thompson property at Pleasant View Road and Route 601 in Montgomery Township. (Photo by Ed Trzaska)
    Thompson Property Map-2016

    Princeton, NJ

    2/23/2017 -7 p.m.
     Lecture: Past is Present: NJ Colonial ArchitectureHistorical Society of Princeton,
     Updike Farmstead, 354 Quaker Road, Princeton, 609-921-6748, Ext. 102, 7 p.m.,
     An illustrated talk by author David Veasey on New Jersey's wide variety of colonial architecture; local buildings include Rockingham, Nassau Hall, Bainbridge House, Morven, and the Thomas Clarke House. A brief history of George Washington's ties to these structures during the American Revolution will introduce the program.
     Copies of the book, New Jersey's Colonial Architecture Told in 100 Buildings, will be available for $20. Space is limited; RSVP to or call (609) 921-6748 x102.,

    Monday, February 13, 2017

    The Meadows Foundation Presents:

     Saturday,February 18, 2017/
    at the Wcykoff-Garretson House, 215 S. Middlebush Rd., Somerset. 
    Rutgers Prep historian Tim Cohen will be speaking on the history of the Rutgers Preparatory School, Raritan Lot #7
    Tickets are $10 each. More information below.
    His talk will pay particular attention to the ways in which the school’s story has mirrored changes in the larger local community over the years. In keeping with Black History Month, he will discuss Rutgers Prep’s historic relationships with New Jersey’s African American community, including an examination of its founders’ attitudes toward slavery and the school’s pioneering traditions of ethnic
    and cultural diversity.
    . Meadows members in good standing will receive a coupon for $5 off any future Meadows event.

    Sunday, February 12, 2017

    Mapleton Preserve

    Sunday, February 26, 2017,  1 to 3 PM
    Join Karen Linder for a walk through the fields of the Mapleton Preserve, looking for signs of life in
    the winter landscape, be they plants, animals or birds, evidence of feeding, tracks or scat. 
    It will probably be cold, and could be snowy or muddy, so dress for the weather, whatever it is. 
    Hot chocolate will be served after the walk.

    It is free and all are welcome, but preregistration is requested, to assure that we print enough handouts.
    To register, call 609-683-0483.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2017

    Canal Watch Hike 
    Saturday, February 25 - 10:00 a.m.Walk 5.6 miles on the D&R Canal towpath between Griggstown and East Millstone, or choose a shorter hike of 3.5 miles. Meet at the Griggstown Causeway. 
    Questions? Please contact Pamela V'Combe, 609-635-2783 or

    Monday, February 6, 2017


     Saturday, February 25, 2017
    2-4 PM   Historian Dr. Robert A. Selig, W3R-Routes Through New Jersey. Revolutionary Route. THE expert will expound on Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historical Trail.  Washington-Rochambeau New Jersey meeting. Historic van Horne House, 941 East Main Street, Bridgewater. Admission $5.  Please RSVP and reserve by Feb 20. Contact: Kathy Faulks at 732-469-5836.  Make checks payable to W3R®-NJ.  Mail to: Galina Chernikova, Treasurer, 610 Bollen Court, Pennington, NJ  08535.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    Tory Jack Day 2017

    The Abraham Staats House Presents: Tory Jack Day 2017 ~ 

    Saturday, February 11 - Somerset County
    The Abraham Staats House Presents: Tory Jack Day 2017 ~

         The Friends of Abraham Staats House, Inc., in conjunction with the South Bound Brook Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, and in partnership with the Women's Guild of South Bound Brook, is proud to present its 15th edition of the award winning "Tory Jack Day" program.
         The annual event in honor of Black History Month celebrates the contribution and sacrifices of Afro-Americans in the foundation of our nation.  This year’s feature presenter is Mr. Joseph Becton.
         Mr. Becton, a retired National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger, has been recognized with the Community Service award for setting a standard of excellence in interpretation and for his role in connecting Americans to our national parks through wonderful stories and varied media.  Mr. Becton now directs Joe Becton Tours and Historical Services.
        Presenting the “Evolution of the Blues,” Joe will walk us through 300 years in the development of this truly American art form.  Joe is fluent in guitar, harmonica and singing on this journey.  Joe will visit spirituals, minstrel, ragtime, blues, gospel and jazz.  Audience participation is encouraged as musical styles, historic moments and social movements are brought together. 
         Mr. Becton will present at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 at the historic Abraham Staats House located at 17 Von Steuben Lane, South Bound Brook, NJ 08880. Seating begins at 10:30 a.m.  Admission is free but donations are appreciated.  
         Following the presentation, the public is invited to tour the historic Abraham Staats House and view an exhibit presented by local historian and Women's Guild member, Mrs. Joyce Smith with the building closing at 3:00 p.m.

    For more information about the Abraham Staats House:
    Tel: 732-469-3198   E-mail: or visit our website:
    The Friends of the Abraham Staats House, Inc. received an operating support 
    grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.  

    Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    Washington Crossing

    The Johnson Ferry House was built in 1740 and is the only structure surviving the overnight  Christmas crossing and eventual march to Trenton to defeat Hessian troops. 

    The Crossing on December 25h
    Join the WCPA on the New Jersey side to welcome the reenactment of George Washington’s famous Crossing on December 25th from noon to 3 PM (with the actual crossing taking place at approximately 1 PM). You may park your vehicle in the lower park, or, if the lot is full, park in the upper park and walk across the pedestrian bridge. There is no fee.

    We also encourage you to visit our sister park across the Delaware, where hundreds of reenactors in Continental dress will listen to a speech by General Washington before rowing across the river, along with other activities and demonstrations.

    Visit the website of the Washington Crossing Historic Park of PA for more information about their activities.