The Borough of Norwood celebrated its 100th birthday in 2005. That same year, Norwood donated 125 acres of open space to the Meadowlands Conservation Trust in order to protect and preserve these valuable woods. This 125-acre tract of land is located on the corner of Broadway and Hemlock Court known as Central Woods. The property consists of upland and forested wetlands and provides an essential habitat for the numerous species of wildlife that inhabit and migrate through the woods and also serves as a piece of the environmental greenway that extends beyond Norwood’s boundaries. Open space like Central Woods is important not only for the Borough but also for neighboring municipalities that benefit from the positive impacts of preserved natural areas and precious water conservation. The land, in its preserved state, offers flood protection, enhanced water quality and an overall healthier environment. Dwarskill Creek travels through the southern most region of the property and the woods contain two vernal ponds, critical habitat for breeding amphibians.
The land provides local residents with an outlet for passive recreation and remains an essential habitat for the numerous species of wildlife that makes Central Woods their home. Future projects such as trail creation are in the preliminary stages of development.
Central Woods is owned by Norwood; however, the town will no longer hold the development rights to the land. The Meadowlands Conservation Trust will hold a conservation easement on the property. The easement will act as another layer of protection and also ensure that the land is preserved forever.
Future plans for the land may include hiking trails, wildlife observation platforms and other passive recreational activities that maintain the natural beauty of the property. The legacy left behind by all those who worked tirelessly on this project will serve as a shining example of how local, state, and environmental entities can come together and make a lasting impact on the way people co-exist with nature.