The D&R Greenway Land Trust has preserved 11.6 acres of land along Rock Brook in the Millstone River Watershed in Montgomery Township. The Rosedale Road-based land preservation group said the land is a crucial link in the Rock Brook Greenway.
The woodland parcel, once farmland, was donated to the D&R Greenway by Jeanne Sorensen Siegel of New York and Adam Leff of Los Angeles. The greenway will transfer the property to Montgomery Township, which is working with the Montgomery Friends of Open Space to create a greenway along the brook.
“Montgomery Friends of Open Space has been trying to preserve land along the Rock Brook, Montgomery’s cleanest stream and with great historic and environmental value as well,” said Montgomery Friends of Open Space President Sarah Roberts. “We have already acquired or helped the township acquire three tracts of land in the stream corridor, and we’re pleased to add this new tract. This is a great opportunity to preserve another piece of the stream corridor, and allow the trees to grow up into mature forest, which will protect the water quality. The land has a beautiful view of the Rock Brook along one side, and the forest across the brook, and there is the opportunity to build a pathway some day.”
The property is adjacent to preserved forested land owned by Montgomery Township. The mature trees along the bluff provide perch sites for foraging bald eagle that has been documented in the immediate vicinity by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife Endangered and Nongame Species Program.
The property includes an old field that is transitioning to a young forest, and provides shelter and nesting habitat for a wide variety of songbirds as well as potential roosting habitat for small raptors. The great blue heron has been documented on or near the property.
In late 2015, Congress voted to make permanent a federal tax incentive supporting land conservation. The tax incentive rewards landowners who place a conservation easement on their land to protect important natural, scenic and historic resources. D&R Greenway, an accredited land trust, was among the 1,100 land trusts nationwide to campaign for the incentive.