Thank you to the energetic volunteers who helped the Friends of West Windsor Open Space clear the Millstone River East—upper and lower trails—on July 28.

Myself, Sylvia Ascarelli, Aadi Gawas-Sarma, Matthew Halpin, Thomas Halpin, Clive Jenner, Elliot Kleiman, Frank Lavadera, Ace Miller, Ram Sarma and YZ Zhang cleared the overgrown brush and fallen trees making the trails passable by foot and bicycle again.

One of the young volunteers showed me the “awesome” hill they use in the winter for sledding. There are trail spurs that lead down to the banks of the Millstone River where it may be possible to launch a canoe.

These wooded trails connect Millstone and Melville roads with beautiful views of the Millstone River along the West Windsor and Plainsboro border. Now that they are clear, a person could walk or ride their bike on sidewalks and trails from the neighborhood just north of Grover’s Mill Pond to Ellsworth Shopping Center near the train station.

There is one road crossing (with no crosswalk) on Millstone Road between the Millstone River East Trail parking area and Joanne Street.

The most recent piece of this open space area of Millstone River East (formerly known as the Yeger Property), was preserved in 2003 with the help of FOWWOS and FOWWOS members, and from the township, county and state governments, and the D&R Greenway.

The 22-acre Yeger property (#94 on the township open space acquisition list) is located on Millstone Road adjacent to the Millstone River, which is West Windsor’s border with Plainsboro.

This property is an important link in the series of properties along the river known as the Millstone River Greenway. It also contains upland forest, including stands of oaks, as well as wetlands. It is a habitat for abundant wildlife.

FOWWOS plans to hold more trail clearing and litter clean-up events. In preparation for this year’s 80th anniversary of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast featuring Grover’s Mill, FOWWOS is organizing a clean-up of the Van Nest Park on Cranbury Road on Oct. 20.

Also, any scout groups or others interested in adding signposts at any of the trails, adopting a trail or park, building birdhouses, or learning more about nature, please contact FOWWOS at fowwos@yahoo.com. Please visit our website for more information about FOWWOS at fowwos.org.

— Kristin Epstein
Epstein is president of Friends of West Windsor Open Space