For details about the following events, please visit our Events page:
- The Train Station Series – A Sourland Mountain-inspired program of educational and cultural events. Spring/Summer 2013 – Please visit our Events page for more details!
- The Tenth Annual Sourland Music Festival – July 20, 2013 (rain date: July 21st). Please visit our Events page for more details!
- The Second Annual Sourland Spectacular bike rally – September 7, 2013. Please visit our Events page for more details!
Support these two fantastic community events and take advantage of an opportunity to advertise your business. Receive a special offer by supporting both events! Click this link for Music Fest and Sourland Spectacular sponsorship information.
Support SPC when you shop online! Click on the Amazon.com button to the right and SPC will earn 4% of your purchase. Remember—you must access Amazon.com from this page before making your purchases in order for SPC to benefit.
Deer Impact Survey: Click here to participate in our Deer Impact Survey.
A Quick Introduction to our Mountain
Deep in the heart of our nation’s most densely populated state lies an extraordinary place called Sourland Mountain. This unspoiled landscape of forested ridges and idyllic farms is central New Jersey’s last great wilderness.
The 90-square-mile Sourland region includes parts of three counties and seven municipalities, encompassing a complex ecosystem of forest, wetlands and grasslands. Its mosaic of habitats is home to an incredibly rich diversity of animal and plant species, many rare or endangered. As the surrounding area grows and changes rapidly, the Sourlands are increasingly in jeopardy. But if we take necessary and responsible steps now...
The Sourlands are wonderfully rich in history and folklore. Lenape Indians seeking furs, Dutch settlers staking out homesteads, patriots pursuing freedom, runaway slaves scrambling for shelter — all were drawn to the secluded Sourlands. Today, artists of every stripe find quiet inspiration and a gentle slowing of time in this place where heroes and outlaws alike found refuge in centuries past, and tales of ghosts are still exchanged over a cup of coffee or a pint of ale.
Anyone who has visited the Sourlands knows first-hand that this place is like no other. Bicyclists and hikers come for the thrill of winding roads, the meandering trails, and the deep woods opening to spectacular vistas. Country roads barely a lane and a half wide are punctuated by charming crossroad hamlets from centuries past. The Sourlands provide plentiful opportunities for horseback riding, fishing, picnicking, hunting, cross-country skiing, photography, birdwatching...or just a lovely, restful place to get away.
Given the ecological sensitivity and critical nature of the region’s wildlife habitat, small changes in the Sourlands result in big impacts. Because many Sourland species require large buffers from human activity, a one-acre clearing can effectively eliminate 20 to 30 acres of safe haven.
Further development -- permitted under current regulations -- could lead to a situation in which water is drawn from the Sourlands’ fickle aquifer faster than it is replenished. Although rainfall averages 45 inches annually, the rocky soil allows only a meager three to four inches to enter the groundwater supply. Development not only increases demand for water, it also decreases rainwater recharge to the aquifer and increases the frequency and severity of flooding.
What happens in the next few years will determine the fate of this wilderness forever. Will the forest, the vistas, the varied habitats and the historic ambience be lost to the sprawl that threatens to fill in the remaining green areas on the map between Philadelphia and New York? Or will they remain for future generations to enjoy as an essential ecological bridge between New Jersey’s Highlands and Pinelands?
Photo credits from top:
Hobomok skipper on native Iris, Rachel Mackow
Arrowwood in autumn, Rachel Mackow
Native meadow, Rachel Mackow