A Brief History

shadow trees

We are your neighbors. We believe that human need for development can co-exist with sound environmental stewardship.

ACRES is a non-profit, non-partisan, environmental advocacy and education organization that believes that we can make a difference protecting neighborhood pocket woodlands, one acre at a time.

We look forward to playing a part in New Jersey’s environmental future.

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For the latest news and photos, click HERE.

A Brief History

Active Citizens for Responsible Sustainability, Inc. (ACRES)


Active Citizens Organize:

The need for ACRES became clear, arising in direct response to the perceived unchecked development of a small triangular parcel of environmentally-sensitive land, owned by the Somerset Hills Board of Education. The board’s plans called for an athletic playing field expansion which ACRES argued could be achieved in a more sustainable way. The so called ‘lower field regrading project’ located behind Bernards High School is sandwiched between Bernardsville Centre and adjacent neighbors.


Article:  Chainsaws begin taking down trees for disputed Bernardsville athletic field expansion, Walter O’Brian, NJ.com, appearing March 11, 2014,

Raising Public Awareness:

Also in 2013, during ACRES’ formative years, a public awareness campaign included a full-page opinion letter appearing in The Bernardsville News, written by journalists Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers in which they urged for vigorous protection.  They compared the town’s unchecked development, especially the increasingly unsightly Route 202 corridor to “fast becoming Paramus”.


Opinion:  Bernardsville shouldn’t sacrifice local ecology for athletic fields, Judith and Bill Moyers say, December 19, 2013


A More Sustainable Athletic Field Is Achieved:

Concerned citizens further organize and achieve the following results, in part due to ACRES’ involvement and subsequent legal action against The Somerset Hills Board of Education ball-field expansion:

  1. A state open water stream classification,
  2. A 50-foot riparian buffer, fewer cut trees and preserved habitat,
  3. A stormwater management system,
  4. Increased public involvement and scrutiny of local development projects, and
  5. Improved protection of a sensitive wetland turned forested upland, a unique ‘pocket woodland’.


Editorial:  B’ville field fiasco, Part II, The Bernardsville News, March 14, 2014

ACRES Granted Non-Profit Status:

In October, 2014, ACRES was designated by the IRS as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, effective April 12, 2013. 


Press Release: October 28, 2014, ACRES, local pocket woodlands advocacy group is granted non-profit status, Link:  https://acresinfo.org/latest-news/

2015 – Present Day

ACRES Continues To Fulfill Its Mission; Scholarship Established & Other Work:

ACRES has worked to fulfill its mission to serve as a catalyst for public advocacy and environmental education. The Franklin R. Myers scholarship was established in 2015 and continues to be funded for awarding New Jersey graduating high school seniors who intend to study environmental science, conservation, biology, landscape/horticulture, sustainability, urban planning, park administration, forestry, or a related environmental or scientific field.

The Myer’s scholarship honors the memory of the late esteemed educator and conservationist, Franklin R. Myers.  For over thirty years as a biology teacher at Bernards High School, this visionary educator inspired and motivated a generation of students in conservation, land stewardship and wildlife management principles.

A year prior, in 2014, Bernards High School selected Franklin R. Myers to be honored and included in their inaugural ‘Wall of Honor’. Myers’ name, along with other ‘universally famous alumni’ of the high school, are honored by inclusion on branched leaves and plaques displayed in the school’s Performing Arts Center.

‘Pocket Woodland’ Is Coined:
By creating a definition for the term ‘pocket woodland,’ the unique woodland habitats of fragmented parcels of land are shown to be of critical importance, worthy of preservation and protection, one acre at a time.

Reference: Online posting and related article

Similarly, ACRES has worked to keep the public informed of noteworthy environmental issues that relate to protecting pocket woodlands by way of posts to ACRES website www.acresinfo.org.

Ongoing Fundraising Efforts:

Public donations continue to be solicited and are utilized to:

  1. Empower ACRES to act as a catalyst to inspire individuals and
    community groups to seek environmentally sustainable land use
  2. Support our ongoing educational initiatives to promote the tangible
    benefits of small pocket woodlands.
  3. Enable ACRES to raise awareness that man and nature are inextricably

Tax deductible charitable gift donations can be made payable to:

Active Citizens for Responsible Sustainability, Inc. (ACRES)

And mailed to:

P.O. Box 555

Bernardsville, NJ  07924

ACRES is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Copyright © 2013 Active Citizens for Responsible Sustainability, Inc. All rights reserved