REEVES-REED ARBORETUM TO BEGIN DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN COOPERATION WITH CITY OF SUMMIT
Summit, NJ – December, 2013 - Reeves-Reed Arboretum, located in Summit, NJ, will begin a deer management program on the Arboretum grounds. The program will run from January 9, 2014, through February 15, 2014. The cull will take place on Thursdays with Fridays as snow or rain days; on these days the Arboretum will be CLOSED to the public from 3:00 PM.
This program is being initiated in response to concerns for visitor health and safety due to the number of deer that have become trapped inside the fence at the Arboretum. The general increase in population of white-tail deer in this region has contributed to a rise in health and safety risks, including the spread of Lyme disease and deer-vehicle collisions. Deer browse also causes immense economic damage to the landscape and prevents native trees and shrubs, which local birds and insects rely on for food and shelter, from regenerating in any open forest gaps such as those created in the Arboretum woods by recent storms.
Damage caused by recent storms, as well as vandalism, have resulted in occasional breaches in the deer fence surrounding the Arboretum. Finding the Arboretum to be an abundant food source, the deer began to reproduce more quickly than in the wild and now number upwards of eight deer on the property. The ideal number to retain ecosystem balance and curtail spread of Lyme disease is less than 10 deer per 640 acres. The number of deer at RRA significantly exceeds that ideal for this region. Previous attempts to drive the deer out have proven unsuccessful and dangerous.
The management program is being conducted in partnership with the Oak Ridge Sportsmen's Association. At least 75% of the deer harvested will be donated to Hunters for the Hungry, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation working with regional food banks which enables hunters to donate venison while addressing the overpopulation of deer in New Jersey. Hunters participate in the program by donating deer through an approved butcher. The deer management program complies with all of the regulations set by the State. All hunting will be done from an elevated tree stand; hunters are not permitted to hunt from the ground. All hunters are licensed by the state and possess the proper seasonal permits.
About Reeves-Reed Arboretum: Reeves-Reed Arboretum is the only public garden and one of the largest green spaces in the city of Summit. It is a conservancy dedicated to preserving the 13-acre historic estate and gardens and promoting environmental and horticultural education for children and adults. Established as a community resource in 1973 by a group of visionary neighbors who purchased the property and building from private owners, the Arboretum protects and maintains its grounds, which includes miles of trails through original hardwood forest, 5 ½ acres of formal gardens and its century old architecture.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum, located at 165 Hobart Avenue, Summit, NJ, is open to the public free of charge from dawn to dusk, seven days a week throughout the year. Individual, group and corporate memberships are available at all levels. For more information, or to inquire about private or corporate donations, please visit www.reeves-reedarboretum.org, or contact Frank Juliano, Executive Director, Reeves-Reed Arboretum at 908-273-8787 ext.1717, firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: Reeves-Reed Arboretum, 165 Hobart Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901.