Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Neighborhood Pine Barrens

Once upon a time much of Southern New Jersey looked like this:

Sand and pines. The Pine Barrens.

And then ... people. Slowly at first. In waves that waxed and waned. And then, lots of people. And they all need someplace to live. And work. And much of the land has been turned into housing developments. And office buildings. And shopping malls.

And we need housing developments (I live in a house). And office buildings (I work in an office, although I work at home more and more ...). And shopping malls (hmmm ... I do most of my shopping on-line).

Fortunately, back when we had leaders in government, some of this was saved. Not all of it. But quite a bit.

And thanks to the efforts of many folks, it continues to be saved, parcel by parcel. Acre by acre.

And 1300 of those acres, on the western edge of the Pinelands, is the Black Run Preserve.


The Black Run Preserve exists in large part because of the gentlemen shown above, John Volpa. He has championed the preservation of this island of pristine Pine Barrens surrounded by development.

There are plenty of trails.

And vernal pools.

Great for frog watching, or at least, frog listening!

Cedar swamps.

And old bogs.


It isn't all pristine. For reasons that aren't really clear to me, folks to this day take all manner of trash deep into the woods to dispose of. I mean, why go through all that trouble? If it were me, I'd dump it as close to the road as possible. But then, I'm not in the demographic that dumps stuff.

And it is not clear that this car, a Caprice Classic, was being dumped. Kids out for a joy ride that went way wrong? A stolen car that needed to be hidden? A really bad drunken idea? Or just a woefully wrong turn down a sand road short cut that wasn't?

Whatever, it is a reminder that "civilization" is never all that far away.

The for sale sign is a nice touch. But who came all the way out here to take the engine? Or conversely, who dragged a car without an engine all the way out here?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Click: Black Run Preserve to learn more about this special place. Go visit. Become a member. Support the preservation of a little slice of what most southern New Jersey used to be. Smack dab in the middle of civilization.

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