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Pigeon Swamp in January 2006

Pigeon Swamp State Park is a 1,078 acres (436 ha) New Jersey state park located on Deans Rhode Hall Road (Middlesex CR-610) in South Brunswick, New Jersey. It is an undeveloped park, with a mix of habitats including open ponds and uplands hardwood forests. It also includes a good example of an inner coastal plain lowland deciduous hardwood forest.[1] At one time, it was a major nesting site for passenger pigeons before they became extinct.[2] It was declared a National Natural Landmark in December 1976.[3]

Contents

History

The name of the park came from one of its original owners, Ann Pidgeon, daughter of Jeremiah Basse. [2] It transferred to John Wetheril in 1761. In 1780, a Great Ditch was begun which attempted to drain Pigeon Swamp in order to create farmland.[2] The ditch was maintained by the state until the mid 19th century. In 1945, the Dallenbach Sand Company dredged part of the site, near what is now I-95.[4] As of February 1973, Pigeon Swamp was a 2,600 acres (1,100 ha) unprotected wetland. In 1974, efforts began to turn it into a state park. The park is comprised of a large number of land plots, owned by the state of New Jersey and managed by its Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry.[5] Development continues to occur nearby, although there are attempts to preserve space for historical or environmental reasons.[6][7]

Flora and fauna

Many instances of sweetgum, red maple, pin oak and black gum trees are visible from the road and trails.[8] In the open meadows, Kestrels and Red Tailed Hawks have been spotted. There are also vernal pools which are heavily used by amphibians[9]

Visiting

The park is mostly undeveloped land, with no facilities, other than a small parking area. Deer Hunting is allowed in the park, so appropriate cautions must be taken during deer season, including wearing Blaze orange clothing. [10]

Visitors Beware! the park is closed off to the general public. It is used as a training facility for large cranes and tractors. The lake is surrounded by barbed wire fences with sign declaring "NO TRESPASSING".

References

  1. ^ "NJ Wildlife Action Plan: 01/23/08". NJ Department of Environmental Protection. January 23, 2008. pp. 350. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/ensp/wap/pdf/14.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  2. ^ a b c "A History of South Brunswick Township". South Brunswick Public Library. 2001. http://www.sbpl.info/township/history.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  3. ^ "National Natural Landmark Summary". NPS. Feb 5, 2004. http://www.nature.nps.gov/nnl/Registry/USA_Map/States/NewJersey/NNL/PS/index.cfm. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  4. ^ Kotun, Maria (2004). South Brunswick. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 72. ISBN 9780738535944. http://books.google.com/books?id=1gINS0QEA0QC&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=pigeon+swamp+nj&source=bl&ots=B9JGTjt58d&sig=Y2x0y5emKuptFU9Vke2EpUgnEoM&hl=en&ei=esm7SeHIDNCvtwfr57T3Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA72,M1.  
  5. ^ "State Owned Property, Middlesex County". New Jersey Treasury. 2007. pp. 12,13. http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/dpmc/Assets/owned_property/Middlesex.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  6. ^ "The Van Dyke Farm (Pulda Farm) - 2006". Preservation NJ. 2006. http://www.preservationnj.org/ten_most/ten_most_property_detail.asp?PropID=131. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  7. ^ "East Village Association Campaign to Save Pulda Farm in South Brunswick". NY NJ Baykeeper. 2004. http://www.nynjbaykeeper.org/programs/41. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  8. ^ Cooney, Dr Patrick L (April 17, 2004). "Pigeon Swamp". NYNJCTbotany.org. http://nynjctbotany.org/njiptofc/pigeon.html. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  9. ^ Gaetano, Chris (November 3, 2005). "Walk shows residents natural beauty in S.B.". North/South Brunswick Sentinel. http://nbs.gmnews.com/news/2005/1103/Front_page/014.html. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  10. ^ "Public Deer Hunting Land in New Jersey". New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. December 9, 2008. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/huntland.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  

External links

Coordinates: 40°23′13″N 74°28′26″W / 40.386893°N 74.473829°W / 40.386893; -74.473829 (Pigeon Swamp State Park)

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