STEWARDSHIP IS A FRESH APPROACH TO NATURE, WHERE PEOPLE ARE FUNDAMENTAL TO THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY OF THE NATURAL WORLD AROUND US. THROUGH GOOD STEWARDSHIP WE REAP THE REWARDS OF A HEALTHY, DIVERSE ENVIRONMENT AND A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP TO OUR PLANET.
This page compiles stewardship resources for residents of the Sourlands and neighboring areas, as part of our Sourland Stewards program. The program includes:
Nature hikes and programs on stewardship topics (see on our “events” page).
Our acclaimed stewardship guide Living in the Sourlands: A Stewardship Guide (Second Edition)
Print and online media on stewardship topics
A Facebook Group for Sourland Stewards to discuss projects, ask questions, and share successes.
A Stewardship Resources page with some of the best web, print, and organizational stewardship materials listed and linked to.
The Remember The Rain campaign, focusing on amphibian awareness in the Sourlands.
A brochure on Spring Wildflowers of the Sourlands
A brochure on Summer Wildflowers of the Sourlands
A brochure on Rare Plants of the Sourlands
Participants have the opportunity to be recognized as Sourland Stewards and meet, compare notes, and show off their projects on social networks and at special events.
A recognition program with special rewards and incentives for Sourland Stewards participants who complete stewardship projects is in the works.
Amphibian Crossing Guards
Amphibian Crossing Guard volunteers ensure the survival of some of the Sourland region’s most important and fragile species. They answer SC's call on cold, rainy nights in early spring to help salamanders, frogs and toads safely cross the road as they migrate to their natal vernal pools. Without Crossing Guards, just one car passing every 4 minutes could wipe out over 70% of the population!
The Foraging Forest is an education and restoration project funded by the Simcha Rudolph Charitable Trust, Mercer County Parks system and the American Roots fundraiser. The Foraging Forest will be an educational (and edible!) space in Hopewell Borough Park where visitors can learn about native edible plants and permaculture. The Sourland Conservancy is collaborating with D&R Greenway and Wild Ridge Plants on this project.
The Sourland Conservancy is working with the Watershed Institute and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to develop a stream monitoring training program to train volunteers on how to collect water quality data by collecting and identifying aquatic macro invertebrates as well as conduct habitat assessments.
American Woodcock habitat restoration
The American Woodcock Habitat Restoration Project (AWHRP) is an innovative program developed by the Sourland Conservancy, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, and Mercer County Park Commission. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program has provided technical expertise in shrubland restoration and supplied the project with 500 native shrubs and trees. Funding for tools, supplies and additional plants was provided by a Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grant from the New Jersey Conservation Foundation awarded to Sourland Conservancy for its Sourland Stewards program.
Roots for Rivers reforestation
Volunteers will plant 1,500 trees and shrubs along Moore’s Creek. This restoration project will provide critical stream buffers to help protect water quality of Sourland streams, prevent flooding and provide quality habitat for fish, birds and other native animals.
Baldpate habitat restoration project
Sourland Conservancy Stewards were initially engaged in studying a one acre plot in the Baldpate Nature Preserve that was being devastated by the die off of ash trees. Initial work was to conduct extensive baseline studies of the area so that we could assess the impacts on native flora and fauna. We are now involved in the planning and implementation of a complex restoration initiative to improve habitat at this exemplary nature preserve that hosts a number of State Endangered plant and animal species.
Stewardshops are a novel learning experience designed to involve participants in stewardship and ecological restoration at a practical level.