Mission: To ensure the protection of the natural resources of the headwaters region of the raritan river basin through science, education, advocacy, land preservation and stewardship.
Programs: Biological and chemical stream monitoring was accomplished at 66 sites located in the raritan river headwaters region by 176 citizen scientists. In partnership with rutgers we conducted a micro plastics study throughout the watershed. Water quality data was presented to the njdep, regional municipalities and to the public through a "state of the watershed conference and published report. Through rha's well test program, citizens in 40 communities were provided the opportunity to test their ground water supplies - conducting 7,228 well tests. Rha led 1,400 volunteers to clean up 14 tons of trash at 52 stream sites. Rha engaged 2,676 citizens, representing 7,500 volunteer hours, in hands-on outdoor activities including volunteer monitoring, tree planting, trail clearing, invasive removal,etc. Education programs were provided to 12,712 children thru field trips, the waterways and riverfest school programs, family programs, and nature day camp. We provided science-based information and expertise to 385 elected officials. 450 acres of wildlife habitat were enhanced and improved with the assistance of more than 693 stewardship volunteers. Yearround, rha advocated for land use policies that protect water supplies on a local, regional and statewide basis and challenged bad policies that promote irresponsible development. The association participated in sustainable raritan river iniative, nj highlands coalition, watershed watch network, anjec environmental summit, nj watershed council, nj land trust network, and the alliance for nj environmental education. In partnership with others, rha worked to preserve in perpetuity over 1,000 acres of critical lands that protect drinking water supplies and provide citizens an opportunity for passive outdoor recreation. Thirty two conservation easements, representing 890 acres held by rha were monitored and individual landowners were provided with stewardship tools and education. The association managed 11 preserves for public access including fairview farm, a 170 acre wildlife preserve that offers 6 miles of hiking trails, including a bird & butterfly garden, a science and education center, and model stewardship projects.
Raritan Headwaters Association became an accredited land trust in August 2018, a status that can be renewed every five years. Accreditation means Raritan Headwaters Association meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Raritan Headwaters Association demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate the commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. To learn more about land trust accreditation and the current accreditation status of Raritan Headwaters Association, visit http//www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.