Kittatinny Valley State Park, Kenco Acquisition
DRG performed wetland delineations, assessments including endangered and threatened species surveys, obtained required State environmental permits, and developed restoration and mitigation plans for the project.
Davey Resource Group (DRG) partnered with The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council (NJRCD) to develop the restoration and enhancement of a 90.47-acre property known as Kittatinny Valley State Park, Kenco Acquisition (Kenco Project) with funding approved by the New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Mitigation Council. The project area is located in the Township of Independence, Warren County, NJ.
The project site consisted mainly of agricultural fields (most recent recently used as a sod farm), which were ditched and drained in the 1970’s to facilitate agricultural production. The project area is entirely within the floodplain of the Pequest River. Prior to restoration, runoff from onsite and upstream agricultural fields flowed through an extensive surface ditch system into a large collector ditch connected to the Pequest River. The ditch system functioned to drain the project area and affected the hydrology in the surrounding forested wetlands. The conceptual design for the project received final approval and funding from the New Jersey Wetland Mitigation Council in 2014. The goal of the restoration project was to support DFW’s mission to manage and protect the State’s fish and wildlife and their associated habitats, while simultaneously achieving the Wetland Mitigation Council’s objectives to replace wetland functions and values permanently lost through permitted impacts and violations under the NJ Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act.
DRG was responsible for the design and approval of the project which included the receipt of a NJDEP Freshwater Wetlands General Permit, a Flood Hazard Area Verification and Individual Permit including a Hardship Exception, and a Sediment and Erosion Control Certification. DRG was also responsible for the implementation of the project including construction, excavation, stabilization, landscaping, and five years of maintenance and monitoring.
The project features public access and educational elements to highlight the surrounding natural resources and the restored wetland and riparian zone communities. The project will ultimately feature a stabilized fishing access area and a public trail to access the rear portions of the property. Educational kiosks and information platforms will also be added in the near future. The Kenco project has been built in accordance with the approved plans. This project was the recipient of the 2018 Firman E. Bear Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society Ecological Excellence Award and the 2019 NJ Section of the American Water Resources Association Excellence in Water Resources Ecological Restoration Award.