Sherrill presents big check for Drew Forest preservation, total funds hit $9.12 million

MADISON – Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, D-11, presented a ceremonial big check for about $4.1 million to the borough, representing the federal funds she’s secured for the preservation of the Drew Forest during a press conference on Glenwild Road in front of the forest Monday, April 22.

During the event on Earth Day, Mayor Robert Conley said this funding, along with the $5 million from the Morris County Open Space Fund, brings the total to $9.12 million.

“We have worked incredibly hard to find every venue we can for funding the Drew Forest because we know there’s a lot of work to be done,” Sherrill said.

“We know it’s critically important that Drew University, which is such a gem in our community, is strong and resilient and has the funding that it needs. We know that this forest is critical of so many people here in the community.”

Mayor Conley said the money has been secured to make dreams to preserve the forest one step closer to reality.

The mayor also said the 51-acre forest has environmental resources. It’s the only forest in the county with a native understory where pollinators and other insects survive, along with birds that depend on them, he said.

Also, the forest purifies and recharges natural groundwater supplies and reduces flooding, surface runoff and soil erosion, he said.

“Yes, there have been and there will be challenges along the way, but if we let these challenges stop us, we will be unable to climb and save the next mountain,” Conley said. “So when we cut this ribbon in the future on a forever-preserved Drew Forest, we will speak about how we came together and used our creativity to make it a reality.”

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