HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ — The Mercer County Park Commission's effort to transform what will become the former Moores Station Quarry into a park will get public input, starting with a virtual public meeting aimed at forming a Master Plan. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 2, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 p.m. The link to the virtual meeting can be found on the Park Commission website.
The Moores Station Quarry, located off Route 29 at the intersection with Pleasant Valley Road in Hopewell Township, began operation in the 1800s with quarried materials transported by barge on the Delaware and Raritan Canal and then later via railroad. Today, trucks transport materials from the Titusville site. The current quarry operator, Trap Rock Industries, will cease at the site in the spring of 2023, when its 25-year agreement will expire.
The Mercer County Park Commission will then take possession of the site and begin a multi-year process of transforming the open-pit quarry into a park. The first step in this process is now beginning through a public planning effort to develop a park master plan.
“Moores Station Quarry will be the most unique site that the Park Commission has ever transformed into a park,” said Aaron T. Watson, Executive Director of the Mercer County Park Commission. “Our consultant team will explore a wide range of recreational activities and ecological restoration options. Because this is such an unusual site, we look forward to considering programs and activities that could never be contemplated in a more traditional landscape.”
The quarry site is located adjacent to the County-managed Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain. Most of the quarry is without vegetation, and the excavation has revealed millions of years of geologic history. The quarry pit is more than 2,000-feet across and approximately 200-feet deep.
While there are several relatively level areas in the quarry, there are also many steep rock walls, haul roads and two small ponds. The views into and within the quarry are dramatic and unusual. A brief fly-over video of the quarry can be viewed at the Mercer County Park Commission website.
The Park Commission has retained a multi-disciplinary team to help develop the master plan, led by Simone Collins Landscape Architecture of Norristown, Pa. The team includes landscape architects, geologists, engineers, ecologists, wildlife biologists, architects, sustainability experts and real estate market analysts.
Additional public meetings will be held in February, May and October 2021. Dates will be announced.