Nulelìntàm èli paan (Lenape, ‘I am glad because you came’)
The Abbott Marshlands are a place where sky and land meet tidal waters. Where if you listen, with imagination, you can hear Lenape Indian children playing, mule tenders guiding their barges through the locks of the D&R Canal, or even the French accent of royalty fleeing disaster in Europe. The marshlands are actually a mix of wetlands and nearby upland forests. The diverse habitats – freshwater tidal and non-tidal marshes and swamps, ponds, and woodlands – are home to many kinds of plants and animals. The rich natural history is complemented by a long cultural history, with evidence that Indians lived here 13,000 years ago. There are also connections to the Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. Thomas Paine lived in Bordentown, Patience Wright, while living in London, was a spy, and Clara Barton launched free schooling.
The 3000-acre Abbott Marshlands include both wetlands and surrounding upland forests (Getting There map). The tidal freshwater marshes are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, rivaling tropical rainforests in the amount of plant production each year. The varied habitats found in the Marshlands support a diverse array of plants, animals, and other organisms.
Although often not appreciated, wetlands are tremendously important because of the essential services they provide. These include: habitat for wildlife, recharge of groundwater, removal of pollutants from the water and air, and containment of flood waters. A recent assessment of ecosystem services estimated a yearly value of more than $12,600 per acre, making the 1250 acres of wetlands here worth more than $15 million.
The rich natural history of the Abbott Marshlands is complemented by an extraordinary cultural history. Artifacts indicate that Native Americans began living here 13,000 years ago. Within the Marshlands boundaries are the Abbott Farm National Historic Landmark, which recognizes the Indian legacy and the contributions of archaeologists such as Charles Conrad Abbott, and the 1708 Watson House, the oldest structure in Mercer County. Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, lived at Point Breeze near Bordentown for 22 years.
The Abbott Marshlands are located on the western edge of central New Jersey, and bordered on the west by the Delaware River, and are surrounded by Trenton, Hamilton Township, Bordentown Township, and Bordentown City. Getting There
Acknowledgements and Copyrights:
This site is a contribution of Friends for the Abbott Marshlands. Donations are tax-deductible.
Support is provided by Friends for the Abbott Marshlands, D&R Greenway Land Trust, and volunteers who provided time and expertise. Photographs and the Marsh logo are copyrighted by their makers and their use for purposes other than this website requires permission (email@example.com).
Photographs on the home page are:
September Reflections – Maia Reim
Autumn Memories (Shagbark Hickory, Tulip Tree) – Mary Allessio Leck
Autumn Sunset – Turner Abbott
Chicken of the Woods – Mary Anne Borge
Eastern Comma – Jeff Worthington