FANWOOD, NEW JERSEY -- Fanwood has been awarded two grants for the Borough’s Environmental Commission that will aid in the ongoing restoration of the Fanwood Nature Center, which was damaged in the recent winter storms. T

he grants include a Sustainable Jersey grant, funded by The Nature Conservancy and a New Jersey American Water grant. Both will help finance the streamside restoration and watershed education projects at the Fanwood Nature Center and restore the banks of Robinson’s Branch, mitigate downstream flood risks and improve water quality in Fanwood.

“Congratulations to the Environmental Commission on receiving these grants, as all of their efforts continuously lift Fanwood to a higher environmental standard,” stated Mayor Colleen Mahr. “These projects at the Nature Center will serve to complement the Green Acres project in coordination with our Borough engineer.”

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The Sustainable Jersey Roots for River Grant provided $960 to plant 40 new native trees and 40 new native shrubs in the floodplain of the Robinson's Branch of the Rahway River, which runs through the Nature Center.  The New Jersey American Water Grant, will provide $5000 for tree and vegetation restoration along the Robinson's Branch as well as $2000 to improve educational facilities within the Nature Center and $500 for educational materials. The Environmental Commission will be working with the Rahway River Association on this project.

"Our Environmental Commission is lucky to have passionate volunteers such as Teresa Keeler, who spearheaded the application process with the help of Kevin Stevens to get the funding we needed to continue our native plant restoration in the Fanwood Nature Center,” added Eric Gaulin, Environmental Commission Chair. "We are also grateful to have many volunteer groups in the Fanwood and Scotch Plains area, who we will rely on to help with our restoration efforts."

The Fanwood Nature Center is much more than just a recreational destination. This unique, 8 acre site is tucked away on Terril Road between Cray Terrace and La Grande Avenue and serves as a sanctuary of natural resources. The Environmental Commission is committed to preserving the natural heritage and serves a critical role in maintaining Fanwood’s natural wildlife.

The Fanwood Mayor and Council value this space and support its conservation easement so that the area will never be developed in the future.These projects are set to begin throughout the summer months and are scheduled to conclude in the fall. The Environmental Commission will be seeking volunteers to assist with the planting, cleaning and refurbishments of the Nature Center for the duration of these projects. Those interested should contact Eric Gaulin at Fanwood.EC.1895@gmail.com.