The group, including Lambertville Mayor Andrew Nowick, planted a variety of native trees and shrubs including Eastern red cedar, Flowering dogwood, Sweet birch, White oak, and Eastern redbud.
These trees and shrubs will help to reduce flash flooding from this hillside neighborhood, filter and cool air and water, and provide important wildlife habitat.
The planting is the result of a unique partnership between the Sourland Conservancy, the Lambertville Parks & Recreation Commission, and Lambertville Goes Wild.
The Sourland Conservancy provided the plant material and deer protection.
Their staff provided volunteer training, the Lambertville Parks and Recreation commissioned the trail extension and helped to promote the event and plant the trees, and Lambertville Goes Wild offered advice on the species planted.
T&T Tree Service, Inc. donated wood chips to surface the new trail entrance at Jean Street.
“The Sourland Mountain Region provides important ecosystem services that benefit humans and wildlife.” said Mary Anne Borge, Lambertville Parks & Recreation Commission Chair. “We are excited to implement a project that offers new passive, nature-based recreational opportunities for our residents, while at the same time helping to mitigate flooding and other effects of climate change and improve habitat for resident and migrating wildlife. With the recent loss of over one million trees due to the invasive emerald ash borer, plantings like these are critical.”
The Parks & Recreation Commission is in the process of expanding the Lambertville Nature Trail, located on the Music Mountain hillside that is the backdrop for Ely Park.
The original trail was an Eagle Scout project completed in January 2007. The trailhead is on Alexander Avenue.
From there, the trail traverses the hillside, terminating at York Street, for a total distance of about .34 miles. Many residents enjoy using the trail for nature walks, dog walking, or just to explore.
The current project adds a new loop through an adjacent city-owned parcel on Music Mountain, along with a new entrance on Jean Street. There is also a new branch of the trail that extends via switchbacks to Ely Park.
The length of the trail system when complete will be just under 1.25 miles, including the original and new sections. Most of the new trails are walkable now.
“We are tremendously grateful to these hardworking volunteers,” said Rob Aluck, Sourland Conservancy’s Stewardship Director. “The community has really come together to help restore the forest. This project really gives me hope for the future.”
Mr. Aluck joined Conservancy interns, Renee Galimba and Walt Emann, in training the new volunteers in proper planting technique to ensure the trees’ healthy growth and assisted with planting.
Conservancy staff and volunteers have planted more than 39,000 trees in the 90-square-mile Sourland Mountain Region since 2020.
“I look forward to bringing my son here one day,” continued Mr. Aluck. “I want to leave a healthy legacy for him.”
Questions or comments about the trail project should be addressed to Lambertville Parks & Recreation Commission at email@example.com.
PHOTO CAP: Tree tubes protect new plantings from deer browse. Photo Courtesy of Sourland Conservancy.