Stewardship plays a critical role in our mission. We are committed to caring for the ecological, historic, and scenic features of the properties we manage and to providing responsible public access.

Assessment and Planning

Before a property is acquired, we begin planning for its long-term management by:

• Identifying conservation values such as water quality, biological diversity, and opportunities for public use;

• Identifying conservation threats such as overgrazing by deer, invasive plant species, and harmful practices like dumping or off-road vehicle use;

• Assessing the cost of proper stewardship.

Shortly after acquiring a property, HLT prepares a written management plan that documents its present condition and lays out future conservation goals. Some properties require intensive restoration. Others may need only passive management to preserve existing conditions.

See how we care for our preserves by checking out this short documentary video.

You Can Help

Help protect the places you love. We’re looking for volunteer stewards to help manage our preserves. For more information, email or call her at 908-237-4582 to get started.

emerald ash borer survey, Lockatong Preserve, woodlands

Noteworthy Stewardship Projects

Here are a few of the larger stewardship projects we’ve worked on in the last few years:

Dvoor Farm, fox in meadowProjects include a multiyear effort to restore native grasses and wildflowers to a 20-acre hayfield, removal of invasive species including a swath of Callery Pear trees, wetlands restoration, and rehabilitation of Walnut Brook.

emerald ash borer survey work, Lockatong PreserveHLT established an action plan to inventory and, with the help of volunteers, marked all ash trees near the trails on the nine preserves we own. Once completed, HLT worked to determine the proper course of action with the trees.

Quakertown Preserve, garter snakeDozens of volunteers pitched in with Land Trust staff to complete a major wetlands restoration project that removed a man-made pond and thicket of invasive species and revegetated the area with native trees and plants.

Trail clearing day, Lockatong PreserveHLT teamed up with County Park staff to clear a scenic trail and install picnic tables and kiosks. Other stewardship activities include a plant survey, invasive species removal and planting blight-resistant chestnut trees.

Delaware River near Kugler Woods

Hunterdon Land Trust is partnering with the National Park Service, conservation organizations, and municipalities to protect the Delaware River bordering Hunterdon County which is a Wild and Scenic designated river. You can learn more about the Wild and Scenic Program by clicking the links below:

• View the NPS Summary Draft
• Wild and Scenic Rivers: Experience Your America
• Read the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
• Read the Interagency Guidelines
• Wild and Scenic Rivers: Frequently Asked Questions

HLT has worked diligently at the Thomas Saeger Preserve in the Holland Highlands. Along with volunteers, HLT removed a massive amount of invasives and planted native trees. HLT’s work on the preserve earned it a Hermia Lechner Environmental Award from Hunterdon County.