Saving Historic Whitesbog Village: Preservation, Restoration, Interpretation & Education

 In 1967, the State of New Jersey purchased the Whitesbog tract under the provisions of the New Jersey Green Acres Land Acquisition Act, with administrative oversight assigned to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, as part of the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.

In the ensuing years, efforts to preserve and protect Whitesbog were assigned to the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest staff and actively supported by the Conservation and Environmental Studies Center, an affiliate of Glassboro State College, under the leadership of Dr. Eugene Vivian, and later by Michelle Byers and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s nomination of the Whitesbog Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1982, in order to preserve Whitesbog, a group of New Jersey citizens established The Whitesbog Preservation Trust as a not-for-profit organization. Incorporated in 1984 as a 501 (c)(3) corporation, the Trust leases Whitesbog from the State of New Jersey in an innovative partnership agreement that supports the Trust’s mission to restore, protect and enhance the land, historic sites, and buildings and to provide educational materials and interpretive programs about the history, culture, and natural environment of Whitesbog.

The Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Studies, (PINES) was established in 1985 under Glassboro College and later Rowan University. In 2002, PINES became a program of Burlington County College; in 2015, it became a program of Rowan College at Burlington County. The enduring mission of PINES is to provide educational programs about the culture, history, and natural environment of the New Jersey Pinelands.

In 1988, Whitesbog was listed on the National Historic Register and the New Jersey State register of Historic Places.

Today, Historic Whitesbog Village is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.  In collaboration with Brendan Byrne State forest, the Whitesbog Preservation Trust and the Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Studies work to preserve, protect, and interpret Historic Whitesbog village.

The Whitesbog Preservation Trust is designated as an Officially Recognized Friends Organization of the State of New Jersey and receives General Operating Support from New Jersey Historical Commission.