This property was first acquired by Green Township, with the assistance of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, on behalf of the State of New Jersey and the Natural Lands Trust. Preserving this property was also the first step in Green Township’s planned greenway to link the nearby Whittingham Wildlife Management Area to the Pequest River. First Time Fen was so named by New Jersey Natural Heritage Program Botanist David Snyder after his initial plant survey of the area highlighted its rich plant diversity. The property consists of an upland mixed hardwood forest with many areas of steep dolomite rock outcrops. The preserve includes an area of low-lying forested swamp edged in part with small groves of northern hemlock along the slopes and ravine. The yellow water buttercup occurs on this property. The property also provides important habitat for animals including wood turtle, black bear, turkey and songbirds. A maze of old logging roads zigzag across the property providing access for hiking, although dense areas of the prickly invasive plant Japanese barberry pose a challenge. The Trust, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey and Green Township hope to partner on habitat stewardship projects to tackle this and other invasive species.
The preserve is open during daylight hours. Hikers can follow non-maintained woods roads over hills and along the edges of forested wetlands. Limited roadside parking is found along Phillips Road. The Trust provides registration for bow hunting only at this Preserve.