Morning fog gave way to sunny skies yesterday in Hillsborough, New Jersey, on Earth Day as representatives from Duke Farms and NRCS met with families of Duke Farms employees, local leaders and members of the press to highlight the conservation work being done at the farm.
Over 16,000 trees and shrubs are being planted on 90 acres and invasive vegetation is being removed from 23 acres along the Raritan River to improve the flood mitigation function of the area. Funds made available through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) made it possible for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide the assistance Duke Farms applied for through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.
NRCS State Conservationist Tom Drewes explained that NRCS has been working with landowners for 75 years, and noted that members of the Duke family contacted NRCS as early as 1952 to begin conservation planning for the property. He commended the children of Duke Farms employees participating in “Take Your Child to Work” day who were onsite to plant seedlings and clean up debris.
Duke Farms Group Leader for Natural Resources Gene Huntindon said there are many plans for continued improvement at the farm. Duke is eager to support the health and function of their land to support wildlife. To see the pair of nesting eagles on Duke Farms property, visit http://www.dukefarms.org/Education/Research/Duke-Farms-Eagle-Cam/
Ceremonial Tree Planting at Flood Plain Easement site, Duke Farms, Hillsborough, NJ –Jack Ciattarelli, Somerset County Freehold Director; Rich Torraco , Projects Coordinator for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg; Jo-Ann Liptak, Mayor of Raritan Borough; Gene Huntington, Group Leader of Natural Resources at Duke Farms; Tom Drewes, NRCS State Conservationist for New Jersey; Patrick Scalione. Somerset County Freeholder
NRCS State Conservationist addresses a gathering at Nevius Street Bridge, spanning the Raritan River next to the flood plain easement project funded by EWPP.
Young conservationists at work planting seedlings as part of “Take your child to work day