FIRST DAY HIKE–Thursday, January 1, 2015



Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 11 AMOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Did you make a resolution to walk more? Start the New Year off right with an easy 1.5 mile loop hike through the Mapleton Preserve, into the fields on the other side of Mapleton Road, along the D&R Canal and back to the Preserve.

We know you’ll want to sleep in a little, so we’ll set off at 11 AM from the Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park Headquarters at 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston. Dress for the weather, whatever it is. It is free, and all are welcome. Call Karen at 609-683-0483 for more information.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

FPNL president Karen Linder led a Thanksgiving Day morning exploration of the Mapleton Preserve.

Thanksgiving001RvZThanksgiving003RvZPhotos by Robert von Zumbusch

During the walk, someone asked what the cone-like seedpod of the Southern Magnolia was called, so she researched it.  Here is how it looks.

magnol3bThe entire unit is called either a receptacle or a follicetum, made up of an array of smaller follicles that are originally closed, but then split open to reveal the red seeds inside.  The similarity to a cone reveals the plant’s early heritage – magnolias were one of the first flowering plants, evolving 130 million years ago.  Cone-like fossils similar to magnolia receptacles have been found in the fossil record.

magnola5She came across another interesting factoid – magnolia petals are tough because they were originally meant to attract the attention of beetles rather than bees (which do not appear in the fossil record until 100 million years ago).  Since there were no insects specially adapted to live as pollinators when magnolia-like trees first appeared, the petals and reproductive structures of these first flowering trees had to be robust to survive attention from the hungry clumsy beetles (toughness which has passed on to the modern ornamental trees).


Saturday, September 27, 2014

A small but enthusiastic group continued our effort to cut back the invasive Autumn Olives in the Nursery fields.  Warmest thanks to our determined volunteers!

To learn more about National Public Lands Day, go to



Ten teams took part in a family-oriented scavenger hunt with a nature/history theme, using the Mapleton Preserve as the search area. A good time was had by all.  Interesting finds included a praying mantis egg case, several cicadas and a wild turkey feather. It was a great way to get to know the Preserve and do a lot of learning in the process!


Invasive Tree Pests

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

emerald ash borer

Entomologist Paul Kurtz from the Forest Pest Outreach and Survey Program gave a fascinating presentation on invasive tree pests–such as the Emerald Ash Borer(above) and the Asian Longhorned Beetle.  He explained how they have been introduced to the US, how they spread through flight and human-aided dispersal, the different means by which they wreak devastation on our trees, why they are so difficult to eradicate, and what our State Forestry Service is doing to combat the problem.  If you wish to know more, please visit:


Arbor Day Celebration

Saturday, April 12 , 2014

Karen Linder led a leisurely walk in the Preserve, where particpants observed tree leaves, buds, bark, needles, pine cones, nuts, seeds, silhouette, and extra attractions, such as sapsucker holes and oak wasp galls.  Three Andromedas were planted in a group effort with attention to proper depth of hole, filling and tamping soil, correct mulching (NOT volcano style!), and watering in at the end.

Martin Luther King Day of Service Work Session in the Mapleton Preserve

Monday, January 20th, 2014

IMG_7919SPhotos by Jonathan Michalik

Forty-three hardy and cheerful volunteers turned out to clear small trees, brush, vines, and trash in the Mapleton Preserve.  They made a significant dent in the invasive autumn olive population in the near fields, saved a very special Dawn Redwood from being buried in bamboo, made progress on a drainage issue for the Clivus Multrum, continued clearing efforts around the greenhouses, and picked up LOTS of litter.  The Mapleton Preserve is a better place for their efforts!

IMG_7925SIMG_7926SIMG_7928SIMG_7934SIMG_7939SIMG_7941SIMG_7942SIMG_7967SIMG_7981SP1200948Photo by Tari Pantaleo

And there was this dinosaur relic found during cleanup and captured by Paul’s magic iphone!

DinosaurRelic“Legendary Locations” Exhibit                    

October 11, 2013 – January 7, 2014

Heather Barros                                    Andee Orlando

Barros1 Orlando

 Ellen Veden

Veden1 Veden2

 Heather Barros                                      Catherine Martzloff

Barros2 Martzloff

 Catherine Gowen


Tari Pantaleo

Pantaleo Pantaleo2

If you wish to purchase a work or to contact the artists for any other reason, go to: Legendary Artists

* National Public Lands Day Work Session

Saturday, September 28, 2013, 2 to 4 PM


It was a gorgeous day to work outside, and an energetic crew cleared away small trees, brush, and vines, mulched trees and protected them with deer fencing, prepared the Clivus Multrum for grading with gravel, and collected litter along Mapleton Road.  We are grateful for the efforts of these tireless volunteers!Mapleton_preserve_2013_(11_of_23)


Photos by Jonathan Michalik

Princeton Nurseries 100th Anniversary Celebration in the Preserve

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Photo by Jonathan Michalik

A glorious day smiled down on a record crowd gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Princeton Nurseries and the preservation of the Princeton Nursery Lands.  Representative Rush Holt, South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gamabatese, NJDEP State Parks Director Mark Texel, NJ Historic Preservation Office Administrator Dan Saunders,  FPNL trustee Anne Zeman (reading remarks penned by Princeton Forrestal Associates Marketing Director David Knights, a partner in the preservation), and Bill Flemer (William Flemer IV) all reflected on the significance of the Nurseries, the cultural landscape it created, and the successful effort to preserve much of the Nurseries’ Kingston site.  FPNL Vice President Robert von Zumbusch introduced the speakers, and President Karen Linder welcomed guests, encouraging them to appreciate and help steward the land that now belongs to all of us.




















A new sign was installed the day before the celebration, crafted by Kane Brothers Restorations (pictured here are Connor, Pat, and Tim Kane) and paid for by an anonymous donor.  Photo by Vicki Chirco

A sparkling cider toast and a superb birthday cake decorated with 100 trees–an anonymous gift–followed the speeches.  Attendees perused displays detailing Princeton Nurseries’ history, operations, and achievements, and marveled at vintage tractors, one of which is still hard at work at St. Michael’s Farm Preserve in Hopewell under the guiding hands of Bill Flemer, who is the St. Michael’s Farm Manager for D&R Greenway.


Photos by Jonathan Michalik

Two sets of country music by the Bare Root Band (Bill Flemer, Doug Miller, Bernhard Geiger, Brandon Lewin and Lori Pantaleo) accompanied the festivities in high style.


Photo by Jonathan Michalik

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