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The goal of the project is to restore the structure and function of a degraded site to improve water quality entering the Delaware River and increase biodiversity. The overarching purposes of the project are to provide open space and hands-on environmental education in the highly urbanized City of Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey.

The 5-acre project area has served as an animal enclosure for over 100 years within the City's Cadwalader Park. All animals will be relocated by the end of winter 2009. The wetland and riparian buffer within the project area has an ecological value substantially less than that of undisturbed wetlands in the region with little to no vegetation as a result of the presence of grazing animals. The quality of water entering the Delaware River (just upstream of the Trenton Water Supply intake) is poor from compacted soil, lack of vegetation, and excessive nutrient inputs. We will establish emergent and scrub-shrub wetland communities and an early successional riparian buffer by minor hydrologic improvements, soil preparation, and native plantings. All activities related to the restoration and post-restoration monitoring will be incorporated into the local schoolchildren's science curriculums for hands-on environmental education long-term stewardship of the site. The largest barn in the project area will remain with the long-range goal of utilizing it as an educational facility. A trail and small dock are envisioned for school classes.

Cadwalader Park Ecological Restoration

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