Fawn by Lloyd ShawProject mission:  Distill art, nature, history and science into a living land legacy that will preserve precious passive open space in perpetuity, serve as an open classroom and pay homage to the iconic American poet Walt Whitman.

North American Land Trust mission:  To promote long-term stewardship of our natural and cultural heritage by implementing successful private land conservation projects and promoting innovative land conservation techniques.

 “This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals…”


  • To establish “Whitman Woods” assures a creative continuum for the legion of painters, photographers, poets and students of the arts drawn to this enchanting woodland for decades.
  • To create an open classroom in harmony with nature for cultural workshops.


  • To protect the rare tract from development in Walt Whitman’s name and enable others to revel in the solitude of wild Nature that he so famously celebrated is the park’s highest purpose — distinguishing it from all other regional parks and conservation efforts.
  • To sow the seeds of conservation and community, area naturalists will now formally lead birding and nature walks on the century-old trails.


  • To reclaim the wooded lakefront as a remnant of the now near-relic native Inner Coastal Plain Forest (as it existed in Whitman’s day), and to document periods of human habitation, preserving otherwise vanishing historic reference points for future generations.


  • To preserve the forest canopy, the rare native flora, the threatened and/or endangered fauna that shelter or forage here, and the geologic Vincentown Formation will provide a living laboratory for topical environmental science and a community platform for lake stewardship.
  • To protect specimen trees and retain the substrates in which they grow are primary goals.
  • To implement sound, science-based management of the woodland via NALT.
  • To accomplish preservation and restoration in league with university-level environmental studies programs (Rowan/Rutgers/Penn, etc.) in an open classroom setting.
Fawn in understory photographed by naturalist Lloyd Shaw