Schiff Nature Preserve
|Schiff Nature Preserve|
|Location||339 Pleasant Valley Road,,
|Area||354 acres (1.43 km2)|
|Operated by||Schiff Natural Lands Trust|
Schiff Nature Preserve is a 780-acre nature preserve located in Mendham Township and Mendham Borough, New Jersey. The property is the main site of the Schiff Natural Lands Trust, Inc., which also owns additional land throughout the area and holds about 50 acres in conservation easements.
The Preserve is open from dawn to dusk year-round and offers 14 miles of public access hiking trails. It also includes a nature center that offers environmental education programs including: guided hikes, programs for scout troops, school field trips, homeschoolers and more. The Nature Center, which includes a small library of field guides and maps, is staffed by volunteers.
Invasive Species Control
Schiff has taken an active interest in controlling and removing invasive plant species on the property. Several summer programs offer opportunities for teenagers to learn about local invasives and to help with eradication. Species of special concern include Devil's Walkingstick, Chinese bushclover, and Tree of Heaven. Schiff is also attempting to reduce the local population of White-tailed deer in order to help restore the preserve's local flora.
The preserve occupies the land that was once owned by the Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservation. A recent archaeological excavation discovered a 19th-century cellar hole along the Colonial Road on the preserve. Many artifacts were recovered during the excavation, and the cellar hole was reconstructed and is now a trailside attraction.
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