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Land Stewardship/
Conservation Management Area (CMA)

Conservation Management Area Sign, photo by Paul Steck

Photo by Paul Steck

Beginning in 1996, the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) gradually acquired 53 acres of property in Harding Township. Known as the Conservation Management Area (CMA) the site contains critical wetlands, vernal pools, forested areas, and the Silver Brook (a feeder stream to the Passaic River), and is home to several state and federally designated threatened species, including wood turtle and barred owl.

The long term goal for the site is to restore the property to a diverse ecologically functioning state. Ecological restoration projects undertaken to date have included many acres of invasive plant species control, enhancement of vernal pool habitat, stream bank stabilization and replenishment, and improvement of habitat and access lost as a result of degradation by invasive species and by deer browsing.

Downy Woodpecker - photo by Blaine Rothauser

Tufted Titmouse in snowstorm —
photo by Blaine Rothauser

There is a trail system (please call 973-538-3500 for a map) for use by all, especially community and schools who use it as an environmental teaching tool, and for passive recreation and nature study.

We invite you (and your dog!) to visit the CMA on Tiger Lily Lane (directions) between dawn and dusk. If you would like to plan a group hike and guided tour, please contact Hazel England, GSWA’s Director of Outreach and Education and Land Steward, at

If you plan to hike at the CMA, be aware that there is hunting on the property (hunting info). From September 11 to November 22, the trails are open but there may be bow hunting, so proceed with cauthion. November 22 to February 22 is shotgun season, and the trails are closed Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Geocaching logo

The CMA is used by many groups, including Geocachers! Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers. There are now six geocaches in the CMA. Here are links to the pages on the geocaching website where there are details for each cache:

Great Swamp Watershed Association Cache

The Cattail Marsh Boardwalk

The Silver Brook

The Vernal Pond

The Wood Turtle

The Barred Owl

Happy geocaching!

Long Term Goals for the CMA

Species of Note at the CMA

Wood Turtle (Clemmys insculpta): threatened species

Swamp Pink (Helonias bullata): threatened species

January Natural Events at the CMA (pdf)



Stewardship Taking Place at the CMA

Who’s Involved with the CMA

Volunteering at the CMA

Directions to the CMA

Informational brochure (new brochure coming soon)

Trail Map (new map coming soon)

2014 Hunting Information

Partial list of plant and animal species seen in the CMA (pdf)

Natural Events happening at the CMA (pdfs):

Pictures of CMA on April 16, 2007, after the Nor’easter