Riccardi Brothers – The Paint and Decorating People http://www.ricciardibrothers.com/ 1915 Springfield Ave., Maplewood, NJ 07040, 973-762-3830
Riccardi Brothers donates paint, scrapers, pails and other supplies for trail blazing by Trailkeepers and garbage bags for the Trash Tacklers.
Essex County Parks Department, http://www.essex-countynj.org/p/index.php
Dating from 1895, our county park system was the first in the country. The Reservation represents its largest park with a third of its total acreage. In the last decade, the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs has shown enormous interest in improvements to the park system after many years of neglect. They have improved maintenance and expanded SMR and built other parks.
The County provides great support of Conservancy programs, like the Wildflower Scultpure Park, Wildflower and Forest Preserve, the annual SMR Family Campout, Mayapple Trail Runs, and major improvements recommended by the Conservancy. This has included the 2017 construction of the rustic pavillion at the south end of Crest Drive near Washington Rock (designed by SMC’s Willy Weisz). Earlier, it has used NJ Green Acres applications and their Open Space Trust Fund for trail improvements and forest regeneration improvements and a 2006 master plan. Since 2008, its annual deer management programs have reduced the white-tailed to around 20 per square mile. Unfortunately, the deer population density still needs to be lower, between 5 and 10 per square mile, for an impaired forest such as SMR’s to regenerate (see more information go to issues and positions).
For information on the Reservation, see http://www.essex-countynj.org/p/index.php?section=parks/sites/so
Essex County Environmental Center, Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland. http://www.essex-countynj.org/p/index.php?section=env/o
The Center offers hands-on curriculum, and cutting edge programs and workshops for all ages. The Essex County Environmental Center is located in the western section of Essex County at West Essex Park. West Essex Park is 1,360 acres of wetlands preserve which remains almost entirely undeveloped.
Environmental and Land Conservation Groups and Advisors
New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team, http://www.njisst.org/index.asp
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space in partnership with the Upper Raritan Watershed Association created the Central New Jersey that evolved into the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team (NJISST) of which the Conservancy is a member. Their goal is “early detection and rapid response” to emerging invasive plant threats. The Strike Team represents the state’s first comprehensive effort toward cooperative management of invasive plants through public-private partnerships. (For Star Ledger article, CLICK HERE)
NJ Audubon Society, http://www.njaudubon.org/Centers/Essex/
Locations in Bernardsville, Ringwood, Franklin Lakes, Highlands, Cranbury, Mount Holly, Cape May and at the Essex County Environmental Center. Besides promoting sound environmental practices throughout the state, Society experts have helped the Conservancy plan for forest regeneration and publicly support the deer culling by the County. Troy Ettel, Director of Conservation, suggested turning the former deer paddock into an exclosure, now the 14-acre Wildflower and Forest Preserve. South Mountain Conservancy also partners with others at NJ Audubon to lead guided hikes for bird watching. New Jersey Audubon and the County of Essex have entered into an educational programming partnership at the Essex County Environmental Center. NJAS provides Outreach Programs for all ages and groups, Birding Field Trips in Essex County, Saturday Family Programs and Summer Nature Day Camp.
Land Conservancy of New Jersey,(formerly the Morris Land Conservancy), http://www.morrislandconservancy.org/ Since 1981, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey has evolved from an all volunteer organization to a state leader in land preservation. The Conservancy has preserved over 15,000 acres and helped towns secure more than $180 million in county, state, and federal grants for their land conservation projects. They are currently engaged in the purchase of an additional 12 acres for the Reservation in West Orange by coordinating funding from the County, the Conservancy, West Orange, and their own organization. Their Partners for Parks program has brought corporate volunteers several times to the Reservation to assist in trail and forest regeneration work.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation, http://www.njconservation.org/
Through acquisition and stewardship NJCF protects strategic lands, promotes strong land use policies, and forges partnerships to achieve conservation goals. Since 1960, NJCF has protected over 100,000 acres of natural areas and farmland in New Jersey – from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bay, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. Emile DeVito, PhD, Manager of Science and Stewardship, has served as an informal advisor to the Conservancy. It was his idea for multiple, fenced sites throughout the Reservation to accelerate forest regeneration that led to the current multi-year program begun in 2008. They also helped support the development of the 2017 SMR map.
Rahway River Watershed Association, http://www.rahwayriver.org/
The purpose of the Rahway River Watershed Association is to protect and restore the Rahway River and its ecosystem. The Association recognizes the Rahway River and its biological communities are an important link between the environment, communities, and the quality of life of the people of the Rahway River Watershed. The Association was the driving force in coordinating the successful 24-hour Bio-Blitz in the Reservation in June 2008 to assess biodiversity. The run programs on water quality and ecological issues throughout the year.
Ecological Solutions,Micahel Van Clef, PhD. http://njecologicalsolutions.com/
A botanist, Michael has served as an informal advisor to the Conservancy on various matters, and performed studies for the County to establish baseline measurements on deer browsing in the SMR and plant density compared to the fenced areas in the nearby Hartshorn Arboretum in Short Hills. Van Cleff also did an evaluation of the regeneration program in 2014.
Student Conservation Association, www.thesca.org
The SCA has run summer programs in the Reservation with Conservancy oversight since 2007. Using their trained staff and students from the Newark area, they have helped improve trails, erosion control, and forest regeneration. Since 2016, the SCA has worked with local school districts and small groups of high school students have helped build and maintain several SMR trails along with other County parks.
Eagle Rock Conservancy, http://eaglerockreservation.org/
A neighbor Conservancy for a forested environment within the Essex County Parks System. The topography’s of both parks encompass the First Mountain of the Wachtung Range. The SMR shares a section of the Lenape Trail http://lenapetrail.org/ that weaves its way through Essex County both within the Reservation and westward towards West Essex Park.
Hill Top Conservancy, http://www.HilltopConservancy.org
Theresa Trapp of the HIlltop Conservancy has been a champion of the deer management program in Essex County’s forested parks and the restoration of Hilltop.
Trail Maintenance and Hiking Organizations
NY/NJ Trail Conference, http://www.nynjtc.org/
The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference builds, maintains, and protects 1700 miles of trails in southeastern New York and northern New Jersey. They offer community service opportunities for volunteers who love the outdoors. The SMC is a member.
Union County Hiking Club, http://uchc.nynjtc.org/
Founded in 1938, club members are men and women representing assorted walks of life, who are bound together by a common love of exercise and physical fitness in the great outdoors. Some have sedentary jobs and hike or bike for a refreshing change of pace. Many are retired and enjoy hiking during the week when trails are less crowded. The exciting events offered to the club’s varied membership include outdoor activities all year long.
Appalachian Mountain Club, http://www.outdoors.org/chapters/newyork-northjersey-chapter.cfm
New York-North Jersey Chapter – its 13,000-plus members hail from New York City, southeastern New York, and northeastern New Jersey, and receive the newsletter Trails and Waves. Location New York/North Jersey Chapter Office: 5 Tudor City Place, NY, NY 10017. AMC hike leader have periodic hikes within the reservation.
JORBA- Jersey Off Road Biking Association, http://www2.jorba.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
In 2007-2009, many JORBA members contributed generously of their time to rebuild and reroute trails in the Reservation so they are easily sustainable and serve multiple uses. Mountain biking is not allowed on the trails in the reservation, however, though a pilot was recommended in 2008, but there has not been county support for this.