Wall Township, NJ– A beloved park just got bigger. Through a strategic effort, Monmouth Conservation Foundation and the State of New Jersey DEP Green Acres Program purchased the last remaining large parcel of land connected to Allaire State Park, expanding the park by nearly 190 acres.
“This didn’t happen by chance,” explained William Kastning, Executive Director of Monmouth Conservation Foundation, “Both the Foundation and the State have had a long-held interest in seeing this land preserved. When the property heirs became interested in selling, we were proud to present the opportunity to the State and initiate the conversation. It’s very exciting to see this land protected forever as additions to Allaire State Park.”
Unique plants and animals, that seek home in the pinelands landscape, will be safe to thrive in this habitat forever. Animals of special concern including the hooded warbler, great blue heron, barred owl, wood turtle, cooper’s hawk and black crowned night heron all call this land home. “When you visit the park, you can easily spot some of the rare birds, frogs and amphibians that thrive in the Pine Barrens. It’s one of the best places around to view wildlife. I hope you’ll come experience it for yourself when the new trails open” remarked Mr. Kastning. The preservation of these 190 acres abundant with rare moss, ferns, pitch pines, holly and laurel, all indicators of the sandy acidic soil that characterize this northern tip of the New Jersey Pinelands, ensures that it will remain home to the wildlife and plant species that have raised their families there for generations.
The once open landscape and farmland surrounding the park has experienced rapid development including the Route 34 corridor in Wall Township where the newly acquired land is located. If not preserved, the land would have been developed into an office complex, more residential homes, or a mixture of both.
Allaire State Park is a regional destination drawing year-round crowds visiting the historic 19th-century iron making Allaire Village, Pine Creek Railroad’s antique steam trains, the impressive trail network, diverse natural features and the abundance of wildlife. It offers outdoor activities for all ages and interests. Although no plans have been formalized, it is expected that the new addition will expand the existing park uses and connect into the existing trail system.
Monmouth Conservation Foundation has been creating parks, saving open space, preserving farmland, safeguarding waterways, protecting wildlife and teaching environmental sustainability since 1977. As a 501(c)(3) and an accredited land trust, Monmouth Conservation Foundation contributed over $200,000 towards the purchase of this 190-acre expansion to Allaire State Park. The New Jersey DEP Green Acres Program contributed approximately $3.6 million towards the purchase of this critical piece of land.
For more information please call Monmouth Conservation Foundation at 732.671.7000.