The Frelinghuysen Township Committee and the numerous volunteers associated with the remediation of the Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve (FFP) are excited to announce that the entirety of the Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve is now open to the public. In order to celebrate this historic event the Township will be hosting an official grand opening on Sunday, October 30th, with a rain date of November 6th. The event will be from 11:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m. at the new Township Recreation Center located at 139 Lincoln Laurel Road, Blairstown, New Jersey. The event will feature guided hiking, a historical Native American Artifacts presentation, and a Fly Fishing demonstration. The FFP is comprised of over 280 acres of land between Route 94 and the Gnome Hollow Preserve. We have spent the last year and a half preparing the FFP North property, located at 139 Lincoln Laurel Road, for public use. Safety remediation was a top priority for this parcel, resulting in the demolition of all of the old, dilapidated and neglected Kids Camp buildings. We also were required by the State to seal many abandoned wells and comply with various other requirements in order to qualify for the Green Acres funding which helped to defray the cost of this property to the residents. Our Land Managers, along with volunteers from the community and local Girl Scout troops have been clearing and blazing trails throughout the property. The trails are now clearly marked and color-coded. There is an approximately one-acre pond on the property, and we have restored the dock so that anyone interested in fishing can get out there on the water. One Girl Scout is planting milkweed to help the Monarch butterflies as her Silver Award project; another troop has cleared and blazed a trail around the vernal pond and is also placing [...]
Exciting News! Frelinghuysen Township was awarded a $14,400.00 grant through the Recreational Trails Program. The goal of the Recreational Trails Program is to improve public access to open space, provide outdoor recreation opportunities, develop trail linkages, create urban and suburban trail corridors and provide sites and facilities for additional and improved hiking, biking, horseback riding, and off-highway vehicle activities. Grant funding is made available through the Federal Highway Administration to the states for assistance in maintaining trails and trail facilities. The Federal Highway Trust Fund is the source of the funding from a portion of the motor fuel excise tax. In this round, 63 applications were approved for a total of $1,188,500 in award monies. The New Jersey Trails Council recommended all of the grant recipients for approval. The Public Land Managers will be using our portion of the grant to create parking areas, install access gates, interpretive signage and trail blazing. There will also be extensive trail clearing and blazing by volunteers for the required in kind contribution of citizens’ time and effort. When the project is complete, a kiosk with updated maps of the Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve Trail network will be installed. We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant as it gives us funding to be able to complete many of the open-ended projects on the property. As always, we will need volunteers to help us complete these projects. Please sign up to become a volunteer here.
We have seen much progress at the Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve over the last few months, especially at the FFP North. All of the buildings slated for demolition have been taken down and the necessary wells closed. We are now able to work on the lodge, which will become our Frelinghuysen Community Center. When the weather warms up we will be able to do more trail work and some sprucing up on the FFP South and North properties. >>> If you haven't already done so, please register to be a volunteer today. We'll post updates at ffpnj.org/workdays in case anything changes. If we need to cancel due to the weather, we'll post a cancellation by 8:00 p.m. the day before the work day. If you have any questions, please contact us. Mark your calendars as we have scheduled the following workdays: Fourth Thursday of each month (except Nov. & Dec. because of holidays) at 9:00 a.m. October 27 Second Saturday of each month at 9:00 a.m. November 12 December 10
Although it was a blustery November afternoon, there were over 30 residents who came out for a sneak peek of the FFP North (formerly Kids Camp) property. We visited the sites that previously had buildings on them, sharing photographs of how the areas looked before and the drastically improved look of them now. Everyone was very impressed and excited over the acquisition and were excited to hear about the future possibilities and plans for trails, programming and the community center. Thank you to Mayor Kuhn and Deputy Mayor Stracco for attending and answering questions and providing feedback to the residents about the project. We are looking forward to a grand opening in the spring! In the meantime, we are planning more work days for the fall and also plan on doing interior work on the lodge building during the winter. Please sign up for our mailing list so you can be kept apprised of volunteer opportunities as well as our progress!
As we head into fall, we have a lot going on at the Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve. Over the summer as part of National Trails Day we were able to have volunteers clear and mark the Western Loop Trail off of Robin’s Trail, as well as mark the Eastern Loop Trail. We will need to do some further clearing and blazing and these two trails will be able to be hiked. The Western Loop Trail takes you back in to Wood Duck Pond. The Eastern loop takes you through the dense forest. Both trails offer visitors many opportunities for viewing and experiencing the diverse wildlife. At the FFP North (formerly known as Kids Camp) we have had much progress with the demolition of the dilapidated and neglected buildings. Our demolition contractor has been doing a fantastic job of removing every last bit of the structures and bringing the various affected areas of the property back to nature. It has been quite a challenge as there were many unknowns with this project, but he has taken a very personal interest in the property and is really going above and beyond with his work. In the upcoming weeks all abandoned wells will be sealed, which is our final hurdle before getting funding from Green Acres. While the property is still closed to the public, we are working very hard to get it ready for a grand opening in the spring. At this time, we are planning on having the property open to the township residents for a “walk about” on Saturday November 14th (Rain Date November 21st). We will be taking a grand tour of the property, walking some of the trails, showing off the features and hopefully getting everyone excited about the potential for the preserve. Please join us and have your [...]
Wow, what a great day! With beautiful blue skies on this sunny 80 degree day, we were able to accomplish an amazing amount of work with our team of 19 volunteers. The day started off with coffee and muffins in the lodge before setting out to work. We were able to remove the rest of the scrap metal from the lodge and the boathouse and fill up our second scrap metal dumpster. As well, our hard workers removed the remainder of the furniture and trash from the buildings, filling up an empty 30 yard dumpster to the brim! We were also able to clean up the two “debris piles” which were targets on our “to do” list. We are ready to have two new dumpsters dropped off so we can get those filled with the remainder of the metal and trash. Volunteers also loaded up two pick-up truck loads of clothing and shoes and brought them down to the Recreation Committee trailer behind town hall. Our forward progress is continuing. We have a lot more work to do but we are starting to see how things are shaping up and what an enjoyable place the FFP North property will be for the community someday in the near future! Thanks again to our volunteers. We look forward to seeing familiar faces and hopefully some new ones at our next work day on May 2nd. If you haven't already done so, please sign up to be a volunteer by clicking here.
…from the Warren Reporter, April 15th, 2015: Celebrating the first official township hike on Robin's Trail, Frelinghuysen Mayor Chris Kuhn and Committeeman Alan DeCarolis unveiled the new Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve South sign on Saturday, April 11. Township officials were joined by more than 50 Frelinghuysen residents as they walked Robin's Trail from Lincoln Laurel Road to Route 94. The pair took this time to unveil the new Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve South sign, which was crafted by volunteers from cedar trees that were taken down while clearing the preserve's parking area on Lincoln Laurel Road. Additionally, they congratulated Julia Buttgereit and Moira Kellaher of Girl Scout Troop 644 for clearing and blazing the trail for their Silver Award along with Schuyler Alpaugh and Brianna Lang, also scouts in their troop. "While hiking the trail, we were able to view two of the vernal ponds, the lime kiln and even got to see two snakes basking in the sun," Kuhn said of the hike. In June, Frelinghuysen will celebrate its annual Founder's Day sponsored by the Municipal Alliance and township recreation committee. The full day of activities starts with a celebration of National Trails day from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a one mile Mayor's Wellness Walk at 12:30 p.m. and concluding with the Founder's Day picnic from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the Frelinghuysen municipal website for more information on upcoming events and check out the new Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve website for details on the township's 281 acres and eight miles of trails. With a population just more than 2,000, the nature focused community of Frelinghuysen recently ranked fourth by New Jersey Family magazine as one of the top 20 towns in the state for families.
On April 11th, 2015, a beautiful spring morning with blue skies and sunshine, we took our first official Township hike on Robin’s Trail. Over 50 residents of Frelinghuysen and the surrounding communities gathered together to walk the trail from Lincoln Laurel Road to Route 94. Mayor Chris Kuhn and Committeeman Alan DeCarolis, unveiled the new “Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve South” sign, which was crafted by volunteers from cedar trees that were taken down while clearing the preserve’s parking area on Lincoln Laurel Road. Julia Buttgereit and Moira Kellaher from Girl Scout Troop 644 were there as well, proud to show everyone Robin’s Trail, which they cleared and blazed for their Silver Award. While hiking the trail, we were able to view two of the vernal ponds and even got to see two snakes basking in the sun! Everyone was excited to explore the property and hear about the opportunities for future use by the community as well as local Boy and Girl Scout troops. Did you take any great photos? Be sure to tag them with #ffpnj on Instagram and check out some of our favorite photos.
…from the New Jersey Herold, April 3rd, 2015: FRELINGHUYSEN — The Frelinghuysen Open Space Committee and Environmental Commission will showcase the existing Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve South and discuss plans for the newly acquired 120-acre Forest Preserve North — formerly known as Kids Camp — during a spring hike at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11. Participants in the two-mile hike will walk the freshly blazed Robin's Trail created by Girl Scout Troop 664 last year for its Silver Award project, hear from Mayor Christopher Kuhn about the township's vision for the preserve and meet the two newly appointed part-time land managers who will help bring this vision to life. Kids Camp was formally acquired by the township on Dec. 19, 2014, with the help of grants from Warren County and the Land Conservancy of New Jersey. The property, which contains a small pond, an existing trail network and a lodge, had been a camp since 1926. Acquisition of the property, which sat encircled by the 131-acre Gnome Hollow Preserve and the 161-acre Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve South, has allowed the township to create a 412-acre greenway that stretches from Route 94 to the Paulinskill Valley Trail. According to Wendy Buttgereit, assistant land manager and open space chair for the township, the hike is the perfect way both to exhibit the Forest Preserve South and to give residents a better picture of what the future holds for the Forest Preserve North property. “The property we're hiking on is known as the FFP South and is the first parcel we had purchased back in 2011,” she said. “We'll be walking on the new Robin's Trail that the Girl Scouts completed in September, so this is kind of our inaugural hike on the trail.” “(The Forest Preserve North) is a beautiful piece of property and [...]
Thanks to the efforts of twenty hard working volunteers, we were able to accomplish all of the goals set out for our first official work day on the FFP South property. To prepare the trail for the April 11th community hike, a wide path was cleared through the invasive overgrowth from the Route 94 entrance to Robin’s Trail. The brush was cut and dragged back into the forest to provide habitat for woodland creatures. Two full garbage bags of trash were collected from along the Route 94 perimeter. A deer stand, large PVC pipe and some other wood debris were all dismantled and removed from the trail. The areas around the open drainage culverts were cleared of overgrowth in anticipation of the cement covers that will be placed on them for safety. Another shallower culvert was cleared of debris so it can be filled in with gravel for safety purposes while still allowing proper drainage. The area in front of the lime kiln was cleared so the kiln is now easily viewed from the trail. Some of our volunteers even spotted a rare American Woodcock in the brush and saw a Red-Tailed Hawk flying overhead! We have a growing list of volunteers and will be having many more work days in the near future. To join our work crew, click here. Thank you again to everyone who attended! It was quite a productive and successful day!