CHATSWORTH, N.J. -- Peeling off a lonely road in the heart of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, many seek peace and refuge at the Franklin Parker Preserve. It is a fraction of the 125,000 acres of natural areas maintained by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
The private not-for-profit organization is celebrating its 60th year of acquiring and stewarding thousands of acres for wildlife to thrive and locals to enjoy.
This striking balance is easily distinguished upon entry to the preserve. A bottleneck trail feeds into a vast wetland abundant with plants and animals. Humans are left with narrow strides of land to pursue for hikes, photography, education and more. Several endangered and threatened species call the preserve home, such as the bobcat and bald eagle.
The 11,000 acres at Parker Preserve is a resplendent example of NJCF's greater goal. They hope to connect all residents of New Jersey, especially those in urban areas, via safe and accessible parks.
After all, New Jersey has the densest population per square mile out of every state in the country, excluding Washington D.C.
Additionally, protecting such natural areas has proven beneficial to New Jersey's air quality and drinking water.
Residents of New Jersey have been historically supportive of protecting land both socially and politically. With their support, NJCF hopes to continue its preservation efforts along with raising awareness for the types of recreation available to New Jersey natives.
To learn more, visit their website.
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