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Jackson's Place - TravelStorys

St. Michaels Farm Preserve

Location Trip Time Travel Type
New Jersey 1 hour

Jackson's Place

This special place was built in memory of Jackson McGrath Place. It was dedicated on Earth Day 2021. Jackson’s family chose this site for a memorial because Jackson loved taking walks at St. Michaels Farm Preserve. The gazebo and kiosk were a gift from Jackson's family to the community. The wildflower garden beside it was planted by Jackson's mother and two of his childhood friends. Other moms who lost children lovingly planted the first flowers – the bright daffodils near the boulder that recognizes Jackson’s Place. Further back towards the woods sits a kiosk which shares Jackson's love for nature and explains the need for habitats that sustain pollinators. The views from the new gazebo look across fields of milkweed and purple martin houses, with sweeping views of the town of Hopewell and the distant Sourland Mountains. The gazebo was built by David Robinson, who also built welcome arbors at D&R Greenway's Iron Mike Trail and Kate's Trail, and the benches at our Johnson Education Center in Princeton. The bricks are from the former General Robert Wood Johnson Estate, now Greenway Meadows Park in Princeton, preserved by D&R Greenway. Bricks from the same source were also used at our Johnson Education Center, at the Charles Evans Overlook just up the hill on this preserve, and at Capital City Farm in Trenton. St. Michaels Farm Preserve Manager Bill Flemer built the wooden kiosk. You are here in a very special place. Since Jackson was a child he loved crawling insects, especially spiders and pollinators. Even as a young child he was fascinated by nature with its abundance of insects and toads. Jackson had a magical connection with nature and he respected ‘all creatures great and small’. He was proud to be from Hopewell and loved spending time here. He would hike during the days, enjoy the butterflies that always seemed to land on him, and spent many evenings celebrating beautiful sunsets. Please enjoy this remarkable spot as a chance to decompress and absorb all the amazing things around you. Looking out on a field full of butterflies, bees and purple martins, Jackson's Place is a perfect place to relax and contemplate the life-giving qualities of nature. We are grateful to John and Karen and their family for sharing Jackson's love of nature with the community at St. Michaels Farm Preserve.

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