Tree Hugger? Yes!
- Saturday, 12 June 2010
After moving into my home in 1997, I did what John Muir the founder of the Sierra Club did. I jumped over my back fence to explore what was beyond my house. I soon realized that I was in a place with very large trees.
It was peaceful and inspiring. I followed a path until I came upon a bulldozer and a large pile of fill.
Alarmed, I made some calls and was referred to Bruce Kershner, the author of the Sierra Club Guide to Ancient Forests.
He drove from Buffalo, New York to survey the site, and fell in love. Here was a hidden gem, sure enough, an old growth forest, that no one knew existed until Bruce surveyed it.
There are an amazing 33 species of trees with 50 designated urban old growth from 150-250 years old. Some are taller than 99% of the trees in New Jersey.
The site was formerly owned by the Governor of NJ and Civil War General, George McClellan and it was undisturbed until now.
Unfortunately Se ton Hall Prep School purchased the property in 1994, and intends to clearcut 1400 trees for athletic fields.
My husband, Kevin, an attorney and I decided we would do whatever it takes to save this forest.
We lined up a land use attorney, a public planner, an environmental consultant, a storm water expert along with an historian. We challenged them at the town Zoning Board.
Some hearings had relatively...