D&R Greenway has announced another preservation success with acquisition of 10 acres of land owned by Nutan Singh in Hopewell, N.J. In December, the land trust purchased a conservation easement on this same land, dedicated to preservation by Nutan Singh in memory of her late husband, Anil.
After completing a subdivision of the conservation land from the residential property, in May, D&R Greenway purchased the eased land to extend its Woods Brook Preserve. D&R Greenway now owns this property that permanently protects both sides of the Stony Brook in this scenic area.
With the new addition of the Singh property, D&R Greenway’s Woods Brook Preserve is expanded to 40 acres. Nearby lands permanently preserved – its Olcott Preserve across Stony Brook Road and its popular Cedar Ridge Preserve on the north side of Route 518 in Hopewell – extend the contiguous preserved land in this area, on the edge of the Sourland Mountains, to 345 acres.
Property owner Nutan Singh remembers fondly her husband’s love for his garden, and for being outdoors in the woods near the Stony Brook. She tells of how Anil built a small “oven” out of stones, and how they would sit together by the Stony Brook enjoying tea.
In a letter to Linda Mead, D&R Greenway’s CEO and president, Nutan speaks about the preservation process and her memories of Anil: “As I have been working with you and your team for the last year, I am truly amazed at your passion and drive to carry out this noble work of preserving land. Similarly, with my husband, Anil, I witnessed the same passion for land and natural beauty. He came from India to pursue his dream. With an educational background in agricultural and mechanical engineering, his graduate research at Rutgers focused on blueberries, from farming to harvesting.
“After moving to this property, he found his true calling, that of living on a farm. Anil’s obsession with farms and farm machinery was evident to all of our family and friends. We were harvesting potatoes, green beans, okra, bitter melon, and hot peppers for years in the garden, while also farming winter wheat and rye.
“Needless to say he was living blissfully on this property and spent most of his time outside savoring the natural beauty and wildlife it offers. Many times he would say he does not need to live in a house, he can just put a tent on the bank of Stony Brook (now part of the preserve) and live there forever.”