The Conservation Management Area


1 Tiger Lily Lane
Harding Township, NJ


An ecological gem, preserved
from deer and invasive species

 

About the CMA and Land Conservation

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

The property is traversed by a network of trails, with more than three miles of boardwalk and mulched paths winding through the forest and marsh habitat, and the trail system is still expanding!  Trails are (view/download a trail map here) open to the public, and we encourage community groups and schools to use it as an environmental teaching tool. Dogs on leash are permitted.

Stewardship Goals

The long term stewardship goal for the CMA is to restore the property to a diverse and ecologically functioning floodplain forest. Our stewardship focuses on ecological restoration and enhancements of existing habitats, and to date has included extensive control of invasive plant species, enhancement of vernal pool habitat used by breeding amphibians, stream bank stabilization and replenishment, and improvement of habitat lost as a result of degradation by invasive species and deer browsing.  Almost 30 acres of the property are fenced against deer browse, allowing for the forest understory to regenerate, aided by our extensive native plantings.

Our secondary management objective is to optimize the site as a location for environmental education. We hope that schools, community groups, and individuals will all take advantage of our interpretive signs and information.

Visit

You’re invited to explore our Conservation Management Area (CMA) a wooded 53-acre natural area in Harding Township. Its miles of boardwalk and mulched trails are open to the public for walking, hiking, and nature study. GSWA has many scheduled events at the CMA throughout the year, including family hikes, natural history explorations, dog walks,  and moonlight walks to name a few, but you can enjoy the CMA anytime at your own at your convenience.

The CMA has two trailheads on Tiger Lily Lane, the Horizon Trail, which is located approximately halfway down the road, and the main trail head, which is located at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wear appropriate footwear, as trails can be wet, muddy, and slippery.  Stay on the trails for your safety. Dogs on leash are welcome. Trails are open from dawn to dusk, except as noted during hunting season. View/download a trail map here.

How you can help

Coming via I-287 North. Get off at exit 33 (Harter Road). At end of exit ramp, turn right on Tiger Lily Lane.

Coming via I-287 South. Get off at exit 33 (Harter Road). At end of exit ramp, turn right over highway, turn right at Lutheran church onto Tiger Lily Lane.From Morristown. Take South Street to light at James Street. Proceed west on James Street 3.5 miles to traffic light at Harter Road. Turn right, then left at Lutheran Church onto Tiger Lily Lane.

 

If you would like to visit the CMA with a group and receive a natural history tour or program, please contact Hazel England, Director of Education and Outreach and Land Steward at hazele@greatswamp.org.

Hunting

Deer management for herd reduction through hunting is allowed on the property.  Each year from mid-September to late November, trails are open but there may be bow hunting, so proceed with caution. Late November to mid-February is shotgun season, and the trails are closed Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon.  Trails are typically closed for the entire first week of December for firearms season.  See updated information for annual dates (hunting info).

Plants and Animals of the CMA

The CMA is home to many exceptional plant and animal species, including several state and federally designated threatened species like the barred owl and swamp pink.

You can view a list of plant and animal sightings at the CMA here.

Natural Events at the CMA

Want to know what you might see during a visit to the CMA? Use our month by month guide, created by volunteer and naturalist Blaine Rothauser.

 

Have a sighting to report? Email Kelly Martin, kmartin@greatswamp.org, to have it added to our list.

Geocaching

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: