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Princeton NJ Non-Profit Press Releases

Volunteers Improve Forest Health in Lambertville

Staff and volunteers from SEWA International, Lambertville Parks & Recreation, and Sourland Conservancy. Photo courtesy of Sandesh Kamath, SEWA International. 


Lambertville, NJ (June 28, 2024) – Ten hardworking volunteers from SEWA International's Central New Jersey Chapter joined staff and volunteers from the Sourland Conservancy and Lambertville Parks & Recreation to remove invasive plant species along the Lambertville Nature Trail in preparation for fall planting. 

Mary Anne Borge, Lambertville Parks & Recreation Commission Chair and Team Leader for Lambertville Goes Wild, emphasized the importance of this project as necessary for both the local wildlife that depends on the Sourland forest – and for Lambertville residents who have suffered from intense flooding, partly due to the recent large-scale loss of ash trees caused by the emerald ash borer. 

"Invasive species displace native plants and can quickly take over. These species excel at creating monocultures, preventing much-needed biodiversity," Ms. Borge said. "This can be devastating to local and migratory wildlife, which depends on native plants for food and shelter."

The group focussed their efforts on three invasive species: aralia, jetbead, and garlic mustard. Aralia and jetbead were introduced as ornamental lawn plants and have since spread into the forest, quickly outcompeting native species. Garlic mustard was introduced for its herbal and medical properties, but rapidly took over the local ecosystem. 

The group worked for hours with careful precision as to not disturb the native spicebush and ferns, and they left the site healthier and better looking. In the fall, volunteers will return to plant native trees and shrubs and protect them from deer browse. As the native plants mature, they will filter air and water, prevent erosion and flooding, and provide critical wildlife habitat.

"The earth is our mother, and we are all her children," remarked Sandesh Kamath, Coordinator of SEWA International's Central New Jersey Chapter. "What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves." 

To learn more about the Sourland forest restoration project, visit

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