200-year-old farm being revitalized by volunteers in Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Organizers say it's been a learning experience for kids for decades.
MOUNT LAUREL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Paws Nature Center in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, is getting a much-needed facelift these days. Volunteers are carving out time to restore a community staple that dates back to the 1700s.

"This is for kids and their parents," said organizer Kate Tweedy. "That's what they love, and we're really excited. Learn a little history and see some animals."

The Tweedy family, including Dr. Charles Tweedy and his wife, Kate, have saved the farm twice. First in the 1970s as fundraisers and now in a leadership role as lessees since this past spring. The Tweedy's say the previous owners left Paws in turmoil.

"They left a lot of trash and debris. And for two years, the township has been trying to find people to at least take care of it," Tweedy said.

It's been a learning experience for kids for decades.

"Seeing the kids play in the same spots that I played in, it's great," Karen Gregory said. "You're like my kids can do it, and you know hopefully one day their kids can do it. And you see the same tree that you climbed through when you're five."

But the key to bringing back the magic is dedicated, volunteers.

"I was in love with this place. I loved the history. I loved the animals," volunteer Pat Halbe said.

The Tweedy's said they're grateful the township restored their lease so they can get more work done. But they said even with raising $200,000 for restoration. It will take a while until they can find a way to get the animals back.

The Paws Farm in Mount Laurel is considered a hidden gem.

For more on how to help restore Paws Farm, they are collecting donations on their website.
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