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Princeton NJ Non-Profit Press Releases

Sourland Conservancy' s Mark Kelly Stewardship Day

Hillsborough, NJ (November 5, 2018) – Thirty-one volunteers gathered to honor the memory of their co-worker, Mark Kelly, with a stewardship project at the Somerset County Sourland Mountain Preserve on Sunday. "Mark was a longtime member of the Sourland Conservancy. This is such a lovely way to honor him," said Executive Director Caroline Katmann. "One of our goals is to connect people with nature.  We were happy to help."

Debbie Hrabinski worked with Mark at Rutgers University.  She said, "We wanted to honor him by doing some kind of volunteer effort for the mountain." Members of the group had various levels of ability and experience, so Debbie contacted Laurie Cleveland at The Sourland Conservancy to explore their options. Laurie worked with Somerset County Park Ranger Supervisor, Phil Richard, to form a plan for work at the Somerset County Sourland Mountain Preserve on East Mountain Road in Hillsborough Township.

On Sunday, the group met for bagels and coffee at 9:00 am to reminisce about Mark and enjoy some bagels. It was the first visit to the preserve for most. The weather was sunny, and the forest was resplendent with fall color. Laurie joined Evan Miller and Reagan Mischler, to guide the volunteers to perform three different tasks: bridge repair, trail maintenance and invasive species removal. Ranger Miller said, "They were an ideal group to work with; their enthusiasm, hard work and camaraderie was remarkable."

"What a great legacy," said Laurie. "When their work was done, some folks returned to the trail to enjoy a hike. It was a beautiful day."

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