Trust for Public Land, Frelinghuysen expand Morristown National Historical Park (NJ)

Morris County, NJ: The Trust for Public Land and the National Park Service announced the addition of 14 acres to the Morristown National Historical Park. The acquisition helps preserve the historic landscape of the nation’s oldest national historical park.

The opportunity to protect the land was brought to the attention of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, in 1997. With the strong support and leadership of Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, Congress enacted legislation to include the property as an addition to the Park. Subsequently, through his work as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Frelinghuysen was instrumental in securing an appropriation of $925,000 for the National Park Service in order to purchase the property.

“It is important that we are diligent in protecting these places of historic, natural and recreational significance because there will come a time when the will no longer be available,” said Congressman Frelinghuysen.

“The Trust for Public Land was pleased to work with Congressman Frelinghuysen, Congress and the National Park Service to acquire this land for inclusion in the Morristown National Historical Park,” said Terrence Nolan, TPL Project Manager. “The preservation of this property will help restore a landscape that takes us back to our nation’s roots.”

The Park was originally established in 1933, to preserve sites occupied by General George Washington and the Continental Army during the winter of 1779-1780 during the Revolutionary War. Today, it encompasses more than 1,700 acres, including historical buildings and encampment areas and replicas of soldiers’ huts.

“We are grateful to TPL for its role in negotiating the purchase of this property and to Congressman Frelinghuysen for working on the legislative end to make this project a reality,” said Michael Henderson, Superintendent of the Park.

In addition to its historical significance, the Park offers more than 27 miles of hiking trails that cross through the New York and New Jersey Brigade areas. The newly acquired property is adjacent to existing hiking trails on Mount Kemble and will help preserve the scenic views of the Starks Brigade Encampment.

Among the wooded hillsides and mature forest, the property currently contains a former residential dwelling and several other buildings not of historical significance. “We plan to remove these buildings to restore the landscape to its natural appearance,” said Henderson.

“Many thanks for this project go to Congressman Frelinghuysen and the National Park Service,” said Nolan. “Without their day to day perseverance and support, this parcel never would have been protected.”

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. With its state office in Morristown, NJ, TPL has protected more than 12,000 acres statewide. TPL recently launched its Greenprint for Growth campaign to conserve land as a way to control sprawl, protect air and water, and ensure a high quality of life in communities nationwide.