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(Cherry Hill, N.J.) – Cherry Hill has received a $24,000 grant from the State Department of Environmental Protection to help enhance the Township’s vast trails system, Mayor Chuck Cahn announced today.
The funds, awarded through the state’s Recreation Trails Grant program, will be used to complete handicap-accessibility projects along more than 1.5 miles of nature trails in Cherry Hill. Improvements will include the installation of wooden boardwalks or stone pathways to make areas safer and easier to navigate for residents of all ages and abilities.
Three areas will be upgraded, with work in additional locations to come: • One, along the Croft Farm Trails, will provide access to a key fishing and wildlife observation site at Evans Pond that is featured on the NJ Audubon Birding and Wildlife Trail.• A portion of the Barclay Farmstead Nature Trails will be enhanced to provide better access to a nearby pond and its wildlife inhabitants, including ducks, turtles and frogs. • A walking trail - the Blue Trail within the Old Orchard Trails system - will be upgraded, as well.
“Cherry Hill’s trail system is one of our community’s greatest natural assets, and a tremendous source of pride,” said Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn. “They serve as an important link between our residents and our local wildlife and natural habitats, and provide a beautiful respite from suburban life. We want all our residents and visitors to be able to safely, easily access and enjoy these special amenities.”
To date, the Township has received more than $82,000 in state grant money for the development and preservation of nature and walking trails.
The Township began to formalize and develop its trail system in 2009, with the help of the all-volunteer Cherry Hill Environmental Board (CHEB). Today, the Township’s trails span more than a dozen miles in neighborhoods throughout the community. The newest trails, located in the Cherry Valley neighborhood, were completed in the fall of 2015.
Two of the Township’s trails – at historic Croft Farm and Barclay Farmstead – have been honored as National Recreation Trails, and both are featured on the NJ Audubon Birding and Wildlife Trail in Camden County.
Trail development and maintenance relies heavily on the work of volunteers. Under the guidance of the Township Department of Parks and Recreation, CHEB and the Cherry Hill Trail Crew organize special events throughout the year to utilize and call attention to these remarkable spaces, including trail hikes, clean-up events, bird-watching activities, and many others. Events such as National Trails Day, National Public Lands Day and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service provide an opportunity for members of the public to give back and support their public lands.
Residents and local community groups are always welcome and encouraged to participate in these events. More information can be found at www.CherryHill-NJ.com.
“Developing these trails to their full potential has been a true labor of love for both the Township and our volunteers,” Mayor Cahn added. “They are a very important part of the character of our community, and I am proud to continue to invest in and improve these areas for the benefit of all of our residents, both today, and for generations to come.”
For more information about the Township’s Trail network, and to learn about how you can get involved with the Cherry Hill Trail Crew, visit http://www.cherryhill-nj.com/399/Cherry-Hill-Trails.