The Pole Farm section of Mercer Meadows was originally
the location of the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) shortwave international
telecommunication station from 1929 – 1975. 
To create their facility, AT&T purchased several family farms,
relocated the farmhouses, and clear-cut much of the property.  Two transmitter buildings were constructed on
the southern end of the property, and the remaining fields housed the steel
antenna arrays and later, many rhombic antennas.  These fields were grazed by a local farmer’s
livestock.  Farming continued on much of
the property until Mercer County purchased the land in 1998.  A small portion of the Pole Farm was leased
to farmers, but the majority of the fields are currently native
grasslands.  Today, the park consists of
435 acres of grassland, including wetland meadows, and approximately 380 acres
of shrubland and second growth forest.  

Ornithological Summary

Conservation Concern ? State-special concern: Northern Harrier (W)

Regional Responsibility Species: BCR 29 Forest (Wood Thrush, Eastern Wood-pewee, Chimney Swift, Gray Catbird, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Flicker, Wild Turkey) (B)

Regional Responsibility Species: BCR 29 Shrub-scrub (Blue-winged Warbler, Field Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, Wild Turkey) (B)

Conservation Issues

The Pole Farm section of Mercer
Meadows was renovated into a natural park that strives to balance conservation
and passive recreation.  As part of this
renovation, the Park Commission formalized a trail system throughout the park
with way finding and interpretive signage. 
A 435 acre grassland restoration was completed in 2014.  The two year project was funded by a $250,000
grant from Conservation Resources Inc. and was performed in partnership with
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service.  As part of the grassland
restoration, tree rows that fragmented some of the fields were removed to
benefit the spatially sensitive grassland birds that inhabit the Pole
Farm.  The remaining post-agricultural
grasses and non-native vegetation were removed and then the area was seeded
with custom mixed native warm and cool season grasses and wildflowers.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also
created several series of vernal wetlands within the grasslands which will
further diversify the plant, insect and amphibian community.  To complement the restoration, a deer
management program was initiated in 2013 to reduce the impact of white-tailed
deer at the park.  The Park Commission
also built a five acre dog park adjacent to the Pole Farm grasslands in an
effort to reduce the number of off-leash dogs in the sensitive areas of Mercer
Meadows.

Ownership

County of Mercer

640 South Broad Street

PO Box 8086

Trenton, NJ 08650

Habitat

grassland including wetland meadow
and vernal wetlands and second growth forest&nbsp;<strong></strong>