Monday, June 13, 2011

Maintaining Meadows at Tusculum

Drive up Cherry Hill Road from 206 and you'll see on your left the picturesque meadows of historic Tusculum, where John Witherspoon once lived. The landscape was preserved through the work of FOPOS, DR Greenway, Princeton Township and others. Some is still privately owned and managed for hay. 
The rest is publicly owned and is supposed to be mowed annually to maintain the meadows. But wet conditions and staff shortages over the past two years have made it hard for the township to do the mowing. Exotic invasive species like multiflora rose (the white bloom in the photo) and autumn olive have spread. If they spread into the adjoining hayfield, the quality of the hay harvest will be diminished.

An effort is underway to better manage the field for the prairie grasses and wildflowers that could be prospering there.

To access the trails through Tusculum from Cherry Hill Road, walk downhill to the end of the white fence and follow the trail along the edge of the field. The meadows can also be accessed from Mountain Lakes and Community Park North (see map).

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