Watch CBS News

Gloucester County Celebrates Its First State Park

By Mike DeNardo

SEWELL, NJ (CBS) -- A former golf course in Gloucester County has been formally dedicated as a state park.

New Jersey has 40 state parks, but the Tall Pines State Reserve is the first one in Gloucester County.

The former Maple Ridge golf course closed in 2006 and was sold to a developer who had plans to build more than 100 houses. But a group of local opponents raised money to fight back, says resident Marie Hageman.

Maple ridge saved
(credit: Mike DeNardo)

"There were county and state matching funds available. But to match, you had to start with something, so it was a lot of fundraising efforts."

The state bought the property for $3.2 million last year, and now it's open as a park. Friends of Maple Ridge chairman Rich Dilks says it's ecologically diverse.

"We have deciduous forests. We have freshwater wetlands. We have three small ponds, a stream and Mantua Creek running through the center. So all this diversity of habitat means a diversity of plant life and a diversity of wildlife."

The cart paths remain through the course, allowing trails for people to walk through and enjoy nature.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.