Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Middletown Commission on Conservation & Agriculture HIKE

Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10 am (Rain date, Sunday, June 4, 10 am)
Daniels/Schwarzkopf Open Space Property
Johnson Lane, off of Millbrook Road, Middletown 

In celebration of 2017 Trails Day, Commission members Liz Holder and Kate Miller will lead a hike on this forested 120-acre property, which features a variety of native tree species, stone walls, a vernal pool and the "bottle tree". They will provide information about the history, topography, flora and fauna, and be on hand to answer questions. The terrain is gentle, family-friendly, and is a good introduction to Middletown’s many hiking trails. Since the ticks are numerous this year, it is advised that you wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Total distance is about 1.3 miles, 1 1/4 hrs. Questions can be directed to Liz Holder at eholder007@gmail.com. Copies of the Middletown Trail Guide will be on sale, and can also be found online at http://www.middletownplanning.com/documents/MdtnTrails2016_2_23__Interactive.pdf. 

Additional information about the Daniels/Schwarzkopf Open Space Property  
The newly formed Commission on Conservation and Agriculture encourages residents to enjoy and appreciate this newly blazed property, one of Middletown's many open space properties with walking/hiking trails. In addition to providing free passive recreational opportunities, these parcels serve many functions, such as extending greenways, providing wildlife habitat, protecting water quality, and contributing to the rural character of the city. 

The combined Daniels/Schwarzkopf property was purchased in the early 1990s from the Daniels and Schwarzkopf families. Members of both families lived in Middletown for many years as well. Respected farmers and insurance agents, they also participated in many city and state affairs.  In 1991 Lew Daniels (1917-2000), an insurance agent and owner of the property on the west side of Millbrook Road, wrote to Paul Gionfriddo, then mayor of Middletown, asking if the city was interested in preserving his property as "Open Space that can be enjoyed forever by Middletown residents."  After an evaluation by the Conservation Commission, it was recommended that this parcel be purchased, along with the contiguous Schwarzkopf  property, which had been offered to the city shortly after the Daniels property by Erika Schwarzkopf and her mother. Over 120 acres were bought at a lower than market price. 

Many older residents of Middletown remember that prior to the closure of the Daniels Dairy Farm in 1980, fresh milk and eggs from the Schwarzkopf's  poultry farm were delivered to their homes. Some also recall Lew Daniels' Christmas Tree Farm, and the preservation of 23 acres of  Ray Daniels' property. At one point the Daniels Farm was the largest dairy in Middlesex County. Interesting trails to be used for passive recreation have now been established on this property for all our residents.

By: Ellen Lukens, Member of the Middletown Commission on Conservation and Agriculture
Contributors: Erika Schwarzkopf, the daughter of Kurt Schwarzkopf, and Bob
Daniels, nephew of Lew Daniels

No comments: