The Mercer County Board of Chosen recognized the work of the County Park Commission, the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and over 100 volunteers for the recent reforestation project at the Ted Stiles Preserve on Baldpate Mountain at their December 9th formal meeting held in Princeton Borough.

Kevin Bannon, Director of the Mercer County Park Commission, and Jennifer Rogers, County Naturalist were on hand to offer details about the reforestation effort. Rogers was quick to recognize Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) as a partner in the project. FoHVOS, who are part-owners of the preserve along with the County, Hopewell Township and the State of New Jersey, was awarded a $17,500 grant from Conservation Resources, Inc to participate in the Raritan Piedmont Wildlife Habitat Partnership’s habitat and restoration plan. Mercer County provided matching funds ($8,800) through a US Fish & Wildlife contribution which provided technical services and planting materials.

The County and FoHVOS coordinated four volunteer work days in October 2010 to complete the planting. Over 116 individuals from local corporations and organizations volunteered 300 hours to help plant 1,660 trees and shrubs, including 300 persimmon and 840 oak trees. FoHVOS and the County each provided 60 hours of matching work hours

Those in attendance to receive their certificates were: Patricia Sziber, Executive Director of FoHVOS; Barbara Bromley, Mercer County Horticulturist representing Master Gardeners of Mercer County; and Allison Roth and her daughter Gwen Price, representing Lawrence-Ewing Trenton Girl Scout Troop 71452. A group of nine hunters from the Baldpate Mountain Deer Management Program, who also volunteered their time, was unable to attend but sent a letter to be read into the record honoring the project and thanking Jennifer Rogers for her efforts. Organizations who participated by volunteering on Baldpate but unable to send representatives include Pennington Girl Scout Troop 71313, Educational Testing Services, Rosetta and Merck.

Freeholder Board meetings are normally held at the County Administration Building at 640 South Broad Street in Trenton, the county seat. In an effort to increase public awareness and participation in county government, the Freeholders have made it a practice in recent years to hold meetings in area municipalities. “Taking our meetings on the road gives citizens greater access to the board,” said Chairwoman Cannon, “and it gives the Freeholder Board a chance to get closer to the community.”  Meeting dates may be found on the board’s web site at http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/officials/freeholders/about/what.html



(From L-R) Freeholders Pat Colavita, Ann Cannon, and Keith Hamilton; Gwen Price, representing Lawrence-Ewing Trenton Scout Troop 71452; Freeholders Tony Carabeilli and Dan Benson; Jennifer Rogers, Mercer County Naturalist; Freeholder Lucy Walter; Barbara Bromley, Mercer County Horticulturist representing Master Gardeners of Mercer County; and Patricia Sziber, Executive Director of FoHVOS.

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