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Dismal Swamp

dismal swamp, edison nj
Directions | Birding Areas | Triple C Trail Guide | Songbird Trail | Old map with trails
Master Plan     Edison Wetlands Association 732-321-1300   | NJDismalSwamp.org

1. Helen Street Wetlands (Private) off Coolidge St.  2. Triple C Ranch Meadows & Wetlands
3. Woodbrook Pond & Middlesex Greenways. Woodbrook Dr.
4. Liberty Street Forested Wetlands.                 5. Orozz Blvd Hardwood Forest

The Dismal Swamp Conservation area (DSCA) is a 1,240 acre tract of wetlands that takes up parts of Edison, Metuchen and South Plainfield, dubbed the Everglades of northern Middlesex County. 660 acres are in the public preservation area administered by the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission. The rest includes privately held land in the wetlands.

It is a home to a variety of wildlife, including 175 bird species, 25 mammal species, and 25 species of reptiles and amphibians.
It is designated a "priority wetland" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is one of the last remaining wetlands in a highly urbanized environment.

Many people have worked to save the Swamp from development over the last 30 years.

The late Jane Tousman, Sierra Club's Raritan Valley Group Conservation Advisor and the NJ Sierra Club's National Delegate, worked to save the swamp from development since the mid-1980's.
When the swamp was threatened by the proposed construction of 2,000 residential units in 1984, Tousman and four other housewives formed Save our Swamp. When not financing their cause out of their own pockets, Tousman and her S.O.S. colleagues held yard and bake sales to raise funds to pay lawyers, engineers and environmental experts throughout their eight year fight. S.O.S. forced a compromise that resulted in construction of far fewer units than originally proposed, saved hundreds of acres of wetlands, and paved the way for the 1,240 acre Dismal Swamp Conservation Area.

Robert Spiegel, Executive Director of the Edison Wetlands Association (EWA), a nonprofit environmental organization, has worked to save the swamp for over 20 years.

In 2011 a bill creating the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission was signed into law. The bill was backed by Senator Peter Barnes and the Edison Wetlands Association (EWA). Spiegel was named Chairman of the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission.
See Dismal Swamp Preservation Act

In January 2013 Jeff Tittel, the director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey, and Tousman said they're concerned that the swamp, which is continuously threatened with development encroachment, will suffer the death of a thousand small developments.
The area provides a bulwark against hurricanes, a natural aquifer, it absorbs a million gallons of water when three inches of rain falls, according to Tittel.


Triple C Ranch & Nature Center - Rescuing animals since 2001. - 206 Tyler Road, Edison, NJ
The 40-acre Triple C Ranch is located in the heart of the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area. You can view rescued animals, get trail maps and look at conservation exhibits there.
The Edison Wetlands Association is headquartered there.
2009 Visco development:
In 2009 this area of unique ecological value, was again under threat of development.

Edison Township Open Space Advisory Committee letter to Township Council

In 1983 Nicholas Visco bought property behind Block 595-C at a public auction.

In 1988 the Planning Board approved Edison Tyler Estates which included abandoning Tyler Rd to avoid backyard variances. It is not clear where Tyler Rd. was. One document speculated that it is now Alexis Ln. The township obtained possession of half of Tyler Rd.

In 1999 the Edison Township Open Space Advisory Committee presented a report on open space in Edison. One of the areas recommended was at the end of Alexis Lane which included Township and private land. It recommended that this be placed on the Recreational and Open Space Inventory (ROSI).

In 2004 township land including 595-C at the end of Alexis Lane was added to the ROSI.

In August 2009 the Jehovah's Witnsses and Delores Visco requested an extension of Alexis Ln to provide access to a 13 acre plot owned by Delores Visco, so she could donate 3 acres to the Jehovah's Witnesses for a church.

In July, 2010 we passed a Resolution requesting further review of the proposal.

In November, 2010 the Township of Edison issued a resolution regarding their settlement with the Jehovah's Witnsses and Delores Visco regarding the development. It included a diversion of Green Acres there now to another area.

As of January 2013 it was still an issue.
In a recent meeting Edison Town Councilman Robert Karabinchak said,
"I wish there was another way," said Edison Town Councilman Robert Karabinchak. "I wish we could have access to $5 million to buy it. But we don't. Our open space money is gone."

See Sierra Club: Edison wetlands development will cause more destructive superstorms | NJ.com

In February, 2014 the developers of the Jehovah's Witness site in the Dismal Swamp backed out of the deal. The county is now in negotiations to purchase the land, according to Freeholder Charles Tomaro of Edison.


Links:
Dismal Swamp Conservation Area (njdismalswamp.org)
Edison Wetlands Association (www.edisonwetlands.org) - 732-321-1300 - dana@edisonwetlands.org -
Dismal Swamp Viewing Area (www.wildlifeviewingareas.com)
Dismal Swamp Guide at MetuchenNJ.org
Dismal Swamp (New Jersey) - Wikipedia
Triple C Ranch & Nature Center (triplecranch.org) | Triple C Ranch (edisonwetlands.org) - 206 Tyler Road, Edison, NJ

Articles:
Sierra Club: Edison wetlands development will cause more destructive superstorms | NJ.com
Swamp wars: Group looks to protect Central Jersey wetlands, Article at MyCentralJersey.com 6/26/2011
"New commission to watch over Dismal Swamp", Nov. 2009, Sentinel Article

Directions:
Directions at triplecranch.org
dismal swamp directions   dismal swamp directions

Last updated Apr 22, 2014