D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Princeton campus will become a Conservation Campus. The YWCA Princeton Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) will be its first campus partner by moving into 2 Preservation Place.
“The new strategic alliance between the two nonprofits celebrates the healing value that nature brings to our lives,” says D&R Greenway President and CEO Linda Mead. “D&R Greenway Land Trust has been working for more than 25 years to preserve open space and has recognized the important connection between the outdoors and health. The YWCA Princeton BCRC will be able to offer a welcoming and nurturing home setting for women and families, establishing a direct connection between nature and well-being.”
Surrounded by more than 60 acres of open space, D&R Greenway’s campus presents a healing environment with fresh air, sunshine and nature right outside the door.
The Johnson Education Center, headquarters for D&R Greenway, is known for its conservation-focused art exhibits and educational programs, and for its community meeting space used by five garden clubs, the Princeton Photography club, educational institutions and government partners.
D&R Greenway acquired the three homes adjacent to its Johnson Education Center through a generous grant from the George H. and Estelle M. Sands Foundation. It is developing a vision for a Conservation Campus where nonprofits aligned with D&R Greenway’s mission of inspiring a conservation ethic can share resources and ideas.
“The BCRC represents an opportunity to partner with another nonprofit in a way that benefits both organizations,” Ms. Mead said.
“In order to serve more survivors and to expand the scope of offerings, we are working with D&R Greenway to lease the beautiful home that sits along Rosedale Road, walking distance from our campus,” said YWCA Princeton CEO Judy Hutton. “We are delighted to be on the property of an organization that finds value and beauty in open space and greenery, because a healthy environment is so beneficial to good health. Thanks to extraordinary donors, BCRC will be able to keep a presence at 59 Paul Robeson Place and successfully expand and grow into this second home.”
“We look forward to expanding to this peaceful and nurturing campus where women can reconnect with nature and experience the good feelings that will help get them through this crisis,” said Nancy Faherty, director of Advocacy & Development for the YWCA Princeton. “With this new partnership, we’re looking toward holistic health models. This move represents the intersection of health care, environment and real estate, and we hope to model this for other YWCAs empowering women.”
Recent scientific studies have shown that green space offers numerous health benefits. Walking in nature reduces depression and anxiety, it reduces stress hormones and blood pressure; being outdoors near preserved land increases opportunities for exercise and offers greater health benefits than indoor exercise. (For more information on these studies and sources, please visit www.drgreenway.org.)
The three campus houses, once part of the Robert Wood Johnson Estate that D&R Greenway and partners preserved in 2001, were originally sold to the Hun School of Princeton to help fund the purchase of Greenway Meadows. The Johnson Education Center, a model of adaptive reuse of a circa 1900 barn, opened on the campus in 2006.
When the Hun School decided to move teachers back to its own campus and sell the three houses, D&R Greenway bought back all three houses, thanks to the Sands Foundation.
“The new conservation campus will include nonprofits that can benefit from this shared resource,” Ms. Mead said. “This destination campus will benefit our local community and beyond, and will stay relevant no matter what the future brings.”
“The acquisition of the three houses gives the D&R Greenway the opportunity to examine its campus and explore ways to further connect people with the land as it continues to pursue its essential mission of preserving open space for all,” said Betsy Sands, co-chair of the D&R Greenway Campus Master Plan Committee. “Partnering with effective organizations like the YWCA Princeton makes us think about how we are conserving and why it matters, inspiring us all to get outside and connect with nature to preserve our spirit, which is perhaps the most important of all.”
“D&R Greenway and the YWCA Princeton are working diligently to move our missions forward, and with this partnership we can tell our stories in a way that will attract more support for both organizations,” Ms. Mead said. “Even, better, it will impact lives in a positive way. Such collaboration can only help everyone involved.”