The Jamesburg Park Conservation Area is one of GreenVest’s larger Middlesex County Wetland Restoration sites on county-owned parkland in New Jersey. Along with 4 others, this 13.5-acre mitigation site was funded by the New Jersey Freshwater Wetland In-Lieu-Fee program for the Middlesex County Parks Department. Working with project partners GreenTrust Alliance and Princeton Hydro, GreenVest completed this wetland restoration and enhancement project in 2019. The project completed its third year of maintenance and monitoring this past June.
Prior to restoration, the site was dominated by common reed (Phragmites australis), a highly invasive, non-native plant species that forms dense monocultures, which made it difficult for native plants to grow in the area. During this year’s annual site inspection, the GV Team observed some uncommon plant species which have recolonized areas of the site following phragmites treatment. Some of these unique sightings include two species of carnivorous plants—sundew (Drosera intermedia) and purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea). These plants use sweet excretions to lure insects and unique mechanisms to digest them. Another plant of note was the beautiful snakemouth orchid (Pogonia ophioglossoides) which provides foods for local pollinators. The team also recorded new Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyroids) seedlings growing in our Atlantic White Cedar Enhancement Area, which is direct evidence of our restoration success.
The last of the inspection excitement was a glimpse of some local residents: two different species of turtles. Two red-bellied cooters and one painted turtle were seen basking on a log. Three more reminders of the importance of our mission to restore and conserve the environment not only to improve habitat and water quality, but also the quality of life for all living things that call our planet home.