The New Jersey Pinelands,
Our Country's First National Reserve

Definitions are provided for words as they are used in the audio-visual program.. In some cases, examples are provided that are specific to the New Jersey Pinelands.

soil or water that has a pH value of less than 7, a high concentration of hydrogen ions and contains very few nutrients (The-sandy soil of the Pinelands is very acidic.)


changes to fit different conditions (The pitch pine has developed adaptations to fire.)


having to do with or done by aircraft; occurring or done in the air


people who study human life and activities through such things as fossils, tools, weapons, buildings

Biosphere Reserve

Designated a "biosphere reserve" in 1983 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), New Jersey's Pinelands contains a sparsely populated and forested Preservation Area surrounded by a more heavily populated Protection Area. Scientists from around the world plan to study the impact of human activity on the unique ecosystem of the Preservation Area.


a wet, level area with spongy soil where the water table is at or very near the earth's surface

cedar swamp

a swamp or bog near cedar trees


hundreds of years (Two centuries is two hundred years)

Cohansey Aquifer

sand formation holding a large quantity of water beneath the surface of the Pinelands of New Jersey


a group of people elected or appointed with the authority to do certain things such as the New Jersey Pinelands Commission that is responsible for overseeing the management of the 1.1 million acre Pinelands National Reserve

company towns

towns that grew around a local industry (Batsto was a company town.),


able to get along well together; able to agree (Not all of people's activities are compatible with the Pinelands.)


decayed, rotted (Large amounts of decomposed plant material and dissolved iron give water in Pinelands streams a reddish brown color.)


changed from a solid or gas into a liquid (The dissolved iron helped to make the water look reddish brown.)


the whole group of living and non-living things in the environment of a given area which affect each other (If anything in the Pinelands ecosystem is disturbed, all of the rest will be affected.)


in risk or danger of harm (The Pine Barrens tree frog is among the Pinelands plants and animals which are endangered.)


the surroundings which affect the growth of living things (Few changes in the environment will help to preserve the balanced ecosystem.)


of cultural , national or racial groups (Many religious and ethnic groups have settled in the Pine Barrens.)


the central government of the United States (Local, state, and federal governments cooperate to protect a National Reserve.)


customs, beliefs, stories and sayings of a people (Stories of pirates and the Jersey Devil are part of the folklore of the Pinelands.)

food chain

a "chain" of plants and animals in which each depends on the next as a source of food (Humans are at the top of many food chains.)


a large body of ice moving down a slope over a wide area of land (A melting glacier once moved near the area that now includes the New Jersey Pinelands.)


places where a plant or animal naturally lives or grows (the wetlands provide habitats for 80% of the New Jersey Pinelands plants and animals.)

hardwood swamp

a swamp or bog near hardwood trees, such as oaks

Harper's Weekly

a magazine that came out once a week


narrow strips of water leading from a large body of water into the land or between islands (The sneakbox was designed for fishing and hunting in the shallow inlets and bays of southern New Jersey.)

International Biosphere Reserve

a unique piece of land recognized by the United Nations as a place to be studied (The Pinelands has been recognized as an International Biospbere Reserve.)

iron ore

a substance that was smelted and made into cannon and shot during the Revolutionary War (An industry was built around the iron ore found in the Pinelands.)

iron oxide

the compound which is made of iron and oxygen, commonly called rust (In the Pinelands, iron oxide combines with sand and gravel- to form a low grade iron ore which is deposited along stream banks.)


a substance, not a plant or animal , which is found in the earth (Some examples of minerals are coal, gold, iron, and sand.)

natural resources

matter and energy supplied by nature which is useful to people (Some examples of natural resources are minerals, forests, and water power.)


foods; nourishing substances (Wetlands soils in the New Jersey Pinelands, although high in iron content, are low in other minerals and nutrients.)


the person who supervises others in their work (The overseer at the farm directed the workers' activities.)

Pine Barrens

the name given by early settlers to more than a million acres of the Atlantic or Outer Coastal Plain in southern New Jersey. The settlers called the area the "barrens" because most agricultural crops could not grow in its sandy, nutrient-poor soils.


a more recent name for the Pine Barrens, covers essentially the same geographic area as the Pine Barrens. The region is 1.1 million acres in size and includes portions of seven New Jersey Counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Ocean.

Pinelands National Reserve

was established by Section 502 of the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978. Generally, the Reserve includes the state designated Preservation and Protection Areas as well as certain coastal areas protected under New Jersey's Coastal Areas Facility Review Act. In a national. reserve, local, state and federal governments cooperate to protect natural and historical resources and traditional lifestyles while providing for development in environmentally suitable locations.


impurities in water, land or air which make conditions less favorable for living things (Phosphates can be pollutants of water.)


full of tiny holes (pores) through which water, air, etc., can pass (Pinelands sandy soil is quite porous.)

Preservation Area

an area whose boundaries are defined by New Jersey's Pinelands Protection Act. It is the area of the Pinelands that has been least developed and it includes 368,000 acres of semi-wilderness. Most of the streams and rivers in this area are part of the Mullica River watershed.

Protection Area

an area whose boundaries are defined by the New Jersey Pinelands Protection Act. It is the 565,000 acre area surrounding the Preservation Area. It is divided into six management areas where the use of land is determined by how it would affect the environmental resources.


dwarf, very small for its kind (In parts of the Pinelands, called "the Plains," full grown pines and oaks are no taller than a man. Scientists are still unsure why trees in these pygmy forests are small, although frequent fire is thought to be a major cause.)


uncommon; scarce; in short supply (The curly grass fern is a rare plant.)

raw materials

materials in their natural state, not manufactured or processed (Forests and iron ore were raw materials for early settlers.)


to change to a desirable condition or state (Some abandoned settlements in the Pinelands were reclaimed by the forest.)


to refill or resupply (Rain water replenishes the Cohansey Aquifer.)


to produce plant shoots once more (Roots of trees, ferns, and shrubs resprout soon after an area burns in the Pinelands.)


iron oxide, a compound made of iron and oxygen (Rust is a reddish-brown to orange coating which forms on iron or steel after exposure to air or moisture.)

seventeen trillion

17,000,000,000,000 (The Cohansey Aquifer contains seventeen trillion gallons of unpolluted water.)


a small boat shaped like a melon seed and used for hunting and fishing in shallow waters (My grandfather used a sneakbox when he hunted ducks in the Pine Barrens.)


special methods or systems used to do something (Good forestry techniques keep forests from being devastated.)


growing well; flourishing (Some very special plants thrive in the Pinelands.)


quite different or one of a kind (The New Jersey Pinelands is a truly unique area that has been recognized locally and at the national and international levels.)

United Nations

a world-wide organization, established in 1945, to promote world peace and social and economic welfare (The United Nations has recognized the Pinelands as an International Biosphere Reserve.)


plant life (Pinelands vegetation includes such unique plants as the pitcher plant, the sundew, and the curly grass fern.)


land that is usually wet such as a bog, swamp, or the banks of a stream or river (Wetlands cover one quarter of the Pinelands.)