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January 18, 2021

From ACRES–A Letter of Thanks & Farewell

Dear ACRES Supporters and Friends,

Effective 12/31/2020, our non-profit ACRES, Active Citizens for Responsible Sustainability, Inc. is formally closing its operations as a federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, a registered corporation in the state of New Jersey.

From April, 2013 to present, with the help and commitment of passionate stakeholders and supporters like you, we have worked to protect pocket woodlands, one acre at a time.

As stated in our mission, our goal has always been to serve as a catalyst for sustainable development by raising awareness while encouraging action that helps to preserve and protect rapidly vanishing parcels of land, ‘pocket woodlands’; and while small, each is critically rich in biodiversity–a green quilt that sustains life.

We thank each and every one of you for your support; financial, advice and wisdom and/or action.   

When faced with development choices–whether encouraging the use of natural buffers, insisting that wetland areas be preserved as required by law, or reducing the number of trees proposed for removal–while our work is never complete, we close one chapter and begin another.

As is required by IRS regulations for 501(c)(3) non-profits, our remaining funds have been distributed to area environmental non-profits, all of whom are like-minded and we trust to carry on.

These groups are very well-positioned to support and defend our natural resources while helping to educate the public as to the critical need for sustainable development.  On an individual basis, we will likely see you in the field or on the trail as we all have work to do, together.

And, to all concerned citizens, we urge you to stay informed, get involved, and be a voice; all while thinking globally and acting locally to protect pocket woodlands, one acre at a time.

Thank you,

Dave DePodwin

President, ACRES, Inc.


January 22, 2020

Audi Property: Letter supporting resolution #19-254: Condemnation Property.


December 29, 2019

The Miyawaki Method: A Better Way to Build Forests?

India’s forest production company is following the tenets of the master Japanese botanist, restoring biodiversity in resource-depleted communities.


November 20, 2019

LETTER: ‘Pocket park, not a parking lot,’ needed in Bernardsville

EDITOR: Let’s face it, much of our town’s Route 202 streetscape continues to be well, regrettably, unappealing.

Large, glowing commercial monoliths, colored to shout their brand and not our town’s rich and diverse history and cultures, now compete for our eyes and wallets, and hardly support our health and collective well-being.

Despite good strides and effort made recently by many to buy up tracts of welcome open space, preserving and protecting them for the public to enjoy, the undercurrent to continue commercial development in Bernardsville continues to bubble.

After reading last week’s article in The Bernardsville News on ideas for re-development of the defunct Audi dealership on Route 202, I was dismayed. Of all of the ideas mentioned, not one touched on the unique opportunity to remediate the property and create a pocket park, at one time an early consideration.

This central and therefore high visibility location provides the perfect chance to stem the tide.

Imagine how the strain of a once relatively easy act of driving along Bernardsville’s section of Route 202 could be eased if we could walk or drive by a peaceful sliver of greenspace, Audi park.

Now, instead, we duel one another in oncoming cars – or at risk on foot or bike – whether exiting Bernardsville Centre or attempting to maneuver to park virtually anywhere, safely.

At 7:30 p.m. this Thursday evening, Nov. 21, let your opinion be known at the Bernardsville Planning Board meeting. The Audi dealer property re-development issue will be open for public input.

With the addition of a pocket park at the Audi property, what a great way to re-engineer the fateful Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi” that contains the memorable lines: “Don’t it always seem to go. That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

If we can make it happen, we will all breathe a little easier, stay a little calmer and cooler, and rest a little more comfortably if we take a stand to create an attractive, functional, tree and plant-rich, bench-lined green space in the heart of our town. Our friends – our neighbors and commercial customers will thank us.

The time is right for a pocket park not a parking lot. No more concrete, asphalt, steel and glass.


Old Colony Road



November 12, 2019

Examining the Viability of Planting Trees to Help Mitigate Climate Change

Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet



May 23, 2019

Stormwater & Green Infrastructure Know-How:
A Wonderful resource for all things stormwater, both residential and commercial from the hard working professionals at Water Resources Program at Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station  (NJAES):

April 4, 2019

Any day, not just Arbor Day (April 26) is a great day to plant trees. This Video from the Arbor Day Foundation reminds us the time is now:

January 30, 2019

Water Cycle, A Refresher: Impacts On Our Lands

In a natural watershed (with 0% impervious surface), ground water infiltration is 50%, but as development increases, impervious surface penetration decreases ranging from 42% infiltration—in low density development to areas—down to 15% infiltration in urban watersheds.
A great refresher video, provided here by The Watershed Institute, as how human activity and development impacts stormwater run-off:
Also, did you know that similar helpful environmental resources and planning tools are nicely organized and provided by ANJEC, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions available at:


January 30, 2019

New research with broad reaching findings

‘Without habitat management, small land parcels do not protect birds,’ Jeff Mulhollem

5 birds


November 4, 2018

How trees ward off disease, injury, and decay

A helpful primer from the late father of modern arboriculture, Alex Shigo, chief scientist U.S. Forest Service informs us of how trees ward off disease, injury and decay: Trees fighting back


March 24, 2018

Weather events, major and minor, are cause for concern urging needed action now. Further focusing and re-thinking the high value and need to integrate non-structural best management practices to new and existing impervious land surfaces is key. From PSU:

The Role of Trees and Forests in Healthy Watersheds


fifty foot buffer

Pocket woodlands take on a different character depending on the season.


February 27, 2018

ACRES applauds these 5 New Jersey Towns for their sustainability efforts


February 23, 2018

4th Annual Franklin R. Myers Scholarship

Applications now being accepted for all New Jersey graduating high school seniors: scholarship announcement and app 2018


December 31, 2017

2017 Encouraging Environmental News:‘Rare sighting in North Jersey: world’s largest falcon’

JIM WRIGHT, SPECIAL TO THE RECORD Published 1:57 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2017


December 30, 2017

How ‘green’ is your yard?  ‘Jersey Yards’ state-wide garden initiative can help.

ACRES applauds this state-wide, Ocean County, NJ-based public education landscape gardening campaign.

As you plan changes to your greenscape this year, consult a powerful website tool at: for sustainable ideas.

Big shout out to The Barnegat Bay Partnership, The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Ocean County Soil Conservation District for their multi-year effort to create an environmentally informative, easy-to-use website for improved private and neighborhood planting beds and landscapes that promote non-invasive, water-wise plant species selections.


June 26, 2017

Franklin R. Myers Scholarship: Winner Announced

ACRES is pleased to present the 2017 Franklin R. Myers Scholarship to Graham Brady, a Bernards High School graduating senior pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies at Pitzer College in the fall. The award was presented at the Bernards High School Awards Assembly on June 13.

The $500 scholarship was established in 2015 to honor 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.

As creator of New Jersey’s first-in-state living laboratory, the BHS Nature Trail and Wildlife Sanctuary on the school’s six-acre pocket woodland, Franklin Myers’ passion for teaching and preserving the environment encouraged young minds while serving as a role model for the community.

Graham Brady achieved outstanding academic performance and demonstrated leadership and commitment to his school and community through his four years as Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for Troop 150 of The Boy Scouts of America. His two and half month Eagle project, planning and constructing a 220 foot path and arbor at his elementary school, provides students with an outdoor classroom for interdisciplinary learning.

Serving as a role model to younger Scouts, Graham participated as a Crew Reporter in an 86-mile, twelve day backpacking trek at Philmont Scout Ranch with the Boy Scouts. The following year, he individually participated in a demanding 200 mile, twenty-one day backpacking trek at Philmont, using his outdoor and creative problem-solving skills.

As founding member of the Bernards Jazz Quartet, Graham played his tenor saxophone for multiple community events, engineered live/studio recordings, managed finances and assisted younger musicians in the high school and community. Additionally, Graham participated in his church’s Music and Eucharistic Ministries.

ACRES  is delighted to award the 2017 Franklin R. Myers Scholarship to Graham Brady.

For more information on this scholarship and other ACRES’ initiatives, visit the website at


May 8, 2017

Article: “Tree Therapy? ‘Forest Bathers’ Say It Helps” 

The Wall Street Journal


Letter to the Editor:  “Elimination of Bernardsville trees called tragic”

May 16, 2016

The Bernardsville News


Article:  “Trees removed for Bernardsville Bank, residents shocked by clearing”

May 4, 2016

The Bernardsville News


Editorial: “Hideous Tree Removal in Bernardsville”

April 29, 2016

The Bernardsville News


Article:  “Another Bernardsville Bank”

April 26, 2016

The Bernardsville News


Press Release

October 28, 2014

ACRES, local pocket woodlands advocacy group is granted non-profit status

ACRES, Active Citizens for Responsible Sustainability, Inc. is pleased to announce it has been granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status as a non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service, effective April 12, 2013.

ACRES’ mission is to promote and protect neighborhood pocket woodlands, one acre at a time.

ACRES empowers citizens and grassroots groups to seek responsible and sustainable land use practices.

ACRES promotes awareness of the intrinsic value of pocket woodlands.

ACRES facilitates environmentally-based education programs that underscore the tangible benefits of these small parcels of land.

Small, neighborhood pocket woodlands, especially in New Jersey–the most-densely populated state–create wildlife corridors, are a critical part of our local watersheds, and provide habitat for flora and fauna. ACRES’ concern is that development continually fragments these parcels, threatening critical buffer areas. ACRES maintains that human need for development can co-exist with sound environmental stewardship.

ACRES’ initial efforts began with the Bernards High School lower athletic field ‘regrading’ project. ACRES involvement, in part, resulted in a stream designation, woodland buffers and a stormwater management system. For full project chronology, see our website.

ACRES has come a long way in over a year. We look forward to playing a part in New Jersey’s environmental future.

ACRES thanks its supporters for their ongoing commitment to sustainable and responsible land use.

To find out how to contribute to ACRES, go to or write us at P.O. Box 555, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. All contributions are tax deductible.



For a complete chronology of the news, click HERE.

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

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