The Garrett Family Preserve at Cape Island Creek—upland forest, farm fields and tidal marsh and part of the watershed that includes the Conservancy's noted South Cape May Meadows Preserve—was originally slated for development.
Acquired by the Conservancy in 2000, the preserve offered an unusual opportunity to manage a significant piece of land for migratory songbirds, whose stopover habitat, especially at the southern tip of the peninsula, has been all but wiped out.
In 2013, the generosity of the Garrett family enabled The Nature Conservancy to further protect Cape Island Creek for future generations by acquiring crucial land, improving and stewarding habitat, performing coastal research and installing enhanced visitor amenities.
With its expansive native wildflower meadows, successional fields and taller tree lines, the preserve is a haven for migrating songbirds, raptors, and pollinators like bumblebees and monarch butterflies. The saltwater tidal marsh is a nursery for many fish species, a place where shorebirds can forage and fiddler crabs make their homes. The Nature Conservancy has added many people-friendly amenities including a picnic pavilion, bird blind and artists’ easels, to make the visitor experience enjoyable.