Sunday, December 30, 2018


It's been the best year yet for Herrontown Woods. Through our advocacy, Herrontown Woods is now owned by Princeton, has a new addition of 7.5 acres, a newly planted botanical garden to acquaint the public with native species, ongoing restoration of trails and habitat, better protected Veblen House and Cottage, and funding for initial repairs. Our emphasis is on preserving and utilizing the Veblen's wonderful gift of land and historic buildings, and providing ways for the public to enjoy and learn about these natural and cultural legacies.

Please support our work, and join us out at Princeton's first nature preserve.

·      Convinced Princeton to accept transfer of the 142 acre Herrontown Woods from the county, including the buildings.
·      Our advocacy was crucial in adding 7.5 acres of sloping woodland to Herrontown Woods, at no cost to Princeton.
·      Our work at Herrontown Woods helped prioritize acquisition by Mercer County of 4.5 acres of pasture next to Veblen House. FOHW is working with DR Greenway and Princeton to determine how this important grassland habitat will be managed.

·      Doing the vital work of maintaining and improving trails
·      A new botanical garden: Many workdays have been devoted to planting and weeding a botanical garden, located in a forest opening near the main parking lot. Labeling has begun of more than 90 species of native trees, grasses and wildflowers
·      Partnering with Princeton and Stone Hill Church on invasive species control
·      Stockpiling rocks for use along the trails

·      Began negotiating a lease agreement for the Veblen House, Cottage, and grounds with Princeton
·      Improved the buildings’ appearance and weather resistance by improving the roof tarps and painting the window covers.
·      Discovered and restored some of the original drainage around the Veblen House and added two raingardens
·      Preparations for carrying out initial repairs to better stabilize and weatherize structures

·      New board members and some particularly engaged friends of the preserve are adding their energy and expertise to FOHW’s work.
·      Had our first board “retreat” to develop strategic planning

·      Additional progress towards our initial goal of raising $100,000.

·      Nature walks, plant labels, podcasts, and QR codes
·      Workdays with Girlscouts, the Charter School, and Jewish Center volunteers
·      Ongoing website posts
·      Collaborating with the public library on educational materials
·      Updated trail map

·      Hosted our first annual Oswald Veblen Birthday Party on June 24
·      Hosted our first annual gathering at a lovely home next to the preserve

·      Two articles in the Princeton Alumni Weekly--Adventures in Fine Hall, and at the ripe old age of 138 Veblen made the cover, looking confident and remarkably young, in an article entitled the Power of Small Numbers
·      A neighbor doing house cleaning came across a binder full of old correspondence about Herrontown Woods stewardship in the 1970s and '80s, and donated it all to FOHW

·      Some great articles in local publications about our work