The Native American Advancement Corporation announced the acquisition of the Cohanzick Nature Reserve in Salem County, NJ.
The Native American Advancement Corporation, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Acres Program, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy acquired the former Morningstar Fellowship Church property in Quinton Township, about 16 miles south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
The inland site is about nine miles from the Delaware River and is east of St. Georges.
The forested 63-acre property is the traditional homeland of the Cohanzick Lenape people, a part of the original Lenape inhabitants in a region that includes Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
The land was transferred to the sole ownership of NAAC, and will be known as the Cohanzick Nature Reserve. A former church building on the property will be converted into an educational, cultural, and environmental center.
“The acquisition of the Cohanzick Nature Reserve is a monumental step toward preserving this ancestral homeland and sharing its significance with the broader community,” said Tyrese Gould Jacinto CEO of NAAC.
Jacinto and her father, former Chief Mark “Quiet Hawk” Gould, are citizens of the Nanticoke Lenape Nation and have direct ancestral ties to the land. This acquisition marks a homecoming for the pair, whose grandparents were born and raised on the land.
NAAC plans to launch Indigenous conservation education programs at the reserve. These programs will offer experiences, workshops, and guided tours.
“It’s been an honor to work with all of the partners to see the Cohanzick Nature Reserve come to fruition,” said Rob Ferber, who led the project as New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s regional manager for the Delaware Bay Watershed. “NAAC’s past, present, and future work is a testament to the ways conservation can be guided by Indigenous values.”
For more information, click on this link https://www.nativeadvancement.org