Want to learn more about the future plans for Black Run Preserve and what donations are supporting?
If you’re interested in Black Run Preserve and the future of the 1,300 acre gem located in Evesham, New Jersey, you’ll want to download the Black Run Preserve Conceptual Trails Master Plan. The report is a culmination of information gathered at a Community Visioning Event in October 2012 synthesized by professional trail planner, Applied Trails Research, including further analyses of the landscape for trail system improvement and development.
The report is a culmination of information gathered at a Community Visioning Event in October 2012 synthesized by professional trail planner, Applied Trails Research, including further analyses of the landscape for trail system improvement and development. There are a variety of opportunities and constraints present at Black Run Preserve, these include: proximity to suburban development, legacy uses of the landscape and trails, wetlands, sandy soils, strong community partnerships, and multiple governing agencies. This Master Plan will cover the details related to each of these and make suggestions for capitalizing upon opportunities and working with constraints to develop trails to support sustainable high-quality recreation and conservation experiences within Black Run Preserve.
The Friends of the Black Run Preserve’s goals are to:
- Increase awareness of the Black Run Preserve
- Increase utility of current trail system for recreation and interpretation
- Develop additional trails to complement Black Run Preserve’s landscape, conservation and management values
- Curb illegal uses (e.g., hunting, off-road vehicle (ORV) use, and dumping)
Opportunities in Black Run Preserve
- Wetlands – The existing and proposed routes in the Black Run Preserve create a unique trail experience showcasing the Pine Barrens ecology. The extra care required to balance user experience, park needs and regulatory controls will help shape the Black Run Preserve for years to come.
- Topography – While sometimes presenting difficulties for trail design and construction, the terrain in and around the Black Run Preserve offers a diverse and well- rounded outdoor recreation experience. The high points, wetlands and sandy soil all create a unique outdoor experience. The lands just south of and adjacent to Bortons Road are unique within the preserve as they provide some of the greater topographic relief and grade.
- Beauty – The existing trails and proposed trails within the Black Run Preserve meander through Pine Barrens forest, wetlands, streams and old cranberry bogs. These areas may host a variety of threatened and endangered plant and animal species which may influence the extent of any future infrastructure or trails. These areas showcase the natural beauty of the area, allowing trail users to experience the unique character of the local ecology.
- Engaged Communities – One of the keys to a successful and vibrant preserve and trail system is a broad supporting community. The Friends of the Black Run Preserve are a passionate group of volunteers whose aim is to support the Evesham Township community in being good stewards of the Preserve while helping people to enjoy its many beauties through hiking, school field trips, biking, bird watching and other forms of compatible recreation.
- Partnerships – Partnerships with local user groups, Evesham Township, Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA), Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA), Rancocas Conservancy, and surrounding schools have helped create a solid base for bringing positive attention to the park. Continued expansion of the outreach will help create more opportunities for both formal and informal partnerships.
Constraints in Black Run Preserve
- Soils – The terrain and soils in the Black Run Preserve are a mix of sand and fine sand. While these soils lend themselves very well to drainage, they create challenging terrain in which to build trails. Care needs to be taken during trail design and construction to minimize trail alignments and characteristics that will lead to ongoing maintenance and erosion issues.
- Wetlands – The existing and some proposed trails in the BRP are in or near wetlands and within a 300’ wetlands buffer. Extra care and regulatory controls will need to be addressed when planning for existing and future uses in the Preserve. The FBRP board is currently working with the Pinelands Commission (PC) and should continue to engage them as permitting and planning for trail construction move forward.
- Legacy Uses – The historical uses in the BRP have been varied and left their mark on the landscape. From legal wastewater discharge, an illegal wastewater pipeline, dumping, hunting, ORV use, hiking and biking, all uses have shaped how users interface with the preserve. Educating users on the accepted uses in the park, creating barriers to deter illegal activities and working to revive and showcase the unique Pine Barrens ecology will conserve the landscape for future generations.
- Multiple Land Managers – Evesham Township owns the open space that makes up the Preserve while the MUA has property easements for its sewer lines running through the Preserve from King’s Grant to its 35+ acre effluent basin area in the Aerohaven Property section of the Preserve. Two legacy MUA retention basins require cooperation between the Township, MUA, and the FBRP to be re-graded and restored to a Pine Barrens upland community. The needs of all managers need to be communicated clearly and balanced within a collaborative plan for effective and efficient stewardship and operation of BRP.