It's October, and that means one thing here in New Jersey. Pinelands Month!
There's much to do in the Pinelands this month, from cranberry harvesting to the Pinelands Jamboree at Wells Mill Park.
The Jamboree takes place this Saturday and features pinelands crafts, food and music! Wells Mill Park is located at 905 Wells Mill Road (Route 532) in Waretown. This is the 16th Annual Pinelands Jamboree. Stop by from 10:30am til 4 pm Saturday, October 9th.
The New Jersey Pinelands, also known as the Pine Barrens, is a heavily forested area of coastal plain stretching across southern New Jersey. It's name the 'Pine Barrens' refers to the nutrient-poor soil, which didn't support the crops originally imported by European settlers.
But these conditions enable the Pine Barrens to support unique plant life, including orchids, carnivorous plants and rare pygmy Pitch Pines. Many of the plants are dependant on the frequent fires of the Pine Barrens to reproduce.
Though it's close to Philadelphia and New York City, and the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway run through it, the Pine Barrens remains largely rural and undeveloped. That's a good thing, because the NJ Pine Barrens also helps recharge the 17 trillion gallon Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer. This aquifer contains some of the purest water in the United States.
As a result of all these factors, 1.1 million acres of the Pine Barrens were designated the Pinelands National Reserve (the nation's first National Reserve) in 1978, and it was designated a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve in 1988. Development in and around the New Jersey Pinelands is strictly regulated.