Friday, March 21st was a beautiful day in one of New Jersey’s most renowned wildlife preserves. As many people know, New Jersey is not a place that people typically go to for nature and animals. The Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge is located in what is known as the Pine Barrens. The Pine Barrens stretches over seven counties of Southern New Jersey and remains undisturbed by any industrialization. Because of its unique ecology and need for land the 1.1 million acre area was the first designated national reserve in the country. On this sunny day numerous families, couples, friends and nomads traveled to see the great refuge of South Jersey.
The Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge was established by Jim and Betty Woodford after they bought some land and after falling in love with the area all they wanted to do was dedicate their lives to helping animals and preserving the area. The refuge is open to public and there are various trails to explore and see the great outdoors and rehabilitated animals. Shane Carrigan, a man who frequently visited the refuge told everyone he encountered why he loved the refuge so much. One day while grilling he noticed a large hawk laying face down with his wings spread which was obviously hurt. He made some phone calls and it turns out the hawk he found ran into electric wires and now permanently resides at the Refuge.
One women who was there with her two children said how much she loved the place, “I think this place is great, the animals can’t survive in the wild so knowing they have a place like this to come and be free is awesome”. There were plenty of other tragic stories about the animals that people were talking about but the energy of the environment was so tranquil that it reflected positively on all the visitors that day. Glenn was the groundskeeper who routinely walked the premises to make sure everything remained as it was. The Refuge accepts donations and they even have the option to “Adopt a pet” for a year, in which your support pays for its medicine, food, treatment and loving care. There are over 65 animals that permanently reside in the refuge and there are nearly 4,000 animals in need of care that are dropped off. Eleanor, an elderly women who liked to briskly walk the trails with her husband was telling people to look out for the two bald eagles that live on the reserve, “They came all the way from Wyoming to live here, I’d like to live like they do” is what she told the other visitors. The Cedar Run wildlife preserve is a landmark of New Jersey that needs to be recognized and taken care of.