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Rancocas Creek Farm

Learn about PPA’s farm and how we are addressing stormwater problems.

May 7, 2020


Rancocas Creek Farm is the new sustainable farm that Pinelands Preservation Alliance has launched on the 72-acres of land donated to PPA in 2019 by Cindy Yingling, Louis Eni, and Chris Eni.  The land, which immediately adjoins PPA’s property, had been conventionally farmed for decades in soy. 

The goals for the Rancocas Creek Farm are to solve severe stormwater runoff into Vincentown Village and Rancocas Creek; heal damaged soils that do not infiltrate and treat stormwater as they should; create habitat for pollinators and grassland birds; and launch an economically productive chemical-free farm.

In March, we received a Roots for Rivers grant allowing us to address some of the stormwater issues on the property.  This program, funded by The Watershed Institute and The Nature Conservancy, helps restore floodplains through reforestation in the state of New Jersey.  They provide technical assistance to design restoration projects and funding to cover the cost of plants and materials.  Planting the native trees and shrubs in floodplains reduces stormwater runoff, improves water quality and provides pollinator habitat.

In addition to growing organic vegetables, we are fixing a severe stormwater runoff problem impacting Rancocas Creek and creating habitat for pollinators and grassland birds.

Thanks to this grant PPA staff, board members and a few volunteers honored the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by planting over 1,100 native trees and shrubs.  This was done in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

The trees and shrubs we planted will provide much needed stormwater management, a reduction in soil erosion, carbon sequestration, bird and pollinator habitat and windbreak for the farm.  The trees, provided by Pinelands Nursery, are all native species suitable for wetter soils.  This planting is part of our long-term goal to build soil health and increase biodiversity on the farm. 

1 Jeff Ryan preparing Roots to Rivers farm
1 Roots to River plants delivered
2 Jim Barnshaw planting Roots to Rivers farm
2 Bridget staking Roots to rivers farm
2 Bridget tubing Roots to Rivers farm
2 Jim Briggs and Jim Barnshaw planting Roots to Rivers
2 staking plants roots to rivers farm
3 long view tubing roots to rivers farm
5 pre flood roots to rivers farm

There are flooding problems on portions of the property as you can see in this picture. See how much standing water is here after a storm in the next slide.

5 flooding and trees Roots to Rivers farm
6 Great landscape shot farm Roots to Rivers
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Twenty-five native species were planted including red maple, sweetgum, sour gum, birch, oak, meadowsweet, viburnum, blueberry, and more.  Staff, trustees, and volunteers planted the trees and shrubs, put protective tubing around each plant to stop deer predation and mulched the planting.

You can see this project from the roads around our offices because of the protective plastic tubing.  The tubing needs to stay on for a few years so that we do not lose all this hard work and financial investment to deer and other creatures.

Learn more about the Rancocas Creek Farm here. If you have any questions about the farm please contact Farm Director, Jeff Tober at jeff@pinelandsalliance.org.

11 responses to “Rancocas Creek Farm”

  1. Bill Fisher says:

    Thanks to Becky for posting pictures about how PPA is using their expertise to implement simple but powerful measures for reducing stormwater runoff. Thanks to Jeff for using his ecological know-how to come up with a strategy to use native plants to solve this problem. I would hope when time allows and perhaps a grant can be secured that some of these pictures and descriptions of the work done could be posted as an educational tool for visitors to learn how to use nature to help solve flooding in our communities.

  2. You are lucky to get such an experienced and dedicated farm manager in Jeff Tober.

  3. Ruth Darlington says:

    This sounds like a win-win-win project, addressing local water management issues and practicing regenerative agriculture to address climate change while growing healthy food. I can’t wait to hear more.

  4. Joanne Bradley says:

    Thank you, great project! I drive by it every day and was wondering what the funny white sticks were. Drainage and flooding have been issues there for years. This is a wonderful solution.

  5. Joe Basralian says:

    This is wonderful. Could you do a webinar walk-around teach-in of the property for PPA members?

  6. Sarah Jacob says:

    Salutations!! I am so excited about this!!. Please send me information re: how I can apply as a volunteer and how soon can I start?!?..
    thank you. Thank you! thank you!

  7. WFB says:

    Two questions:
    Is the farm open for public visiting under current circumstances?
    Thinking of a summer outing to the Pinelands.

    • Becky Free says:

      The farm isn’t open for tours but you can visit our offices and walk the 1/4 mile trail that goes around our property when our gate is open.

  8. Russell Franks says:

    So glad to see something being done to address the severe storm water runoff to the Rancocas. Keep
    It up, PPA

  9. Betty McCusker says:

    Wonderful. So happy as a resident on the creek in town to hear some problem solving in place. Thank you

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