The Township of Lawrence and the Lawrence Hopewell Trail have been awarded a $200,000 grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) to help complete the 20-mile multi-purpose bicycle and pedestrian path linking Hopewell and Lawrence Townships.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a founding partner and major supporter of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail.

“We are very grateful to Bristol-Myers Squibb and its employees for their efforts to ensure that the people of Lawrence and Hopewell Townships fully enjoy this wonderful public amenity,” said Lawrence Township Mayor Mark W. Holmes. “Our goal is to use this generous gift to extend the Trail through the Dyson Tract, a 184-acre parcel of land adjacent to Princeton Pike and the historic Brearley House, with fields that access the D&R Canal.”

Lawrence Hopewell Trail Co-chair and ETS Vice President Eleanor Horne praised Bristol-Myers Squibb for its contributions.

“Of course we appreciate the financial support provided by BMS, but equally as important is the vision and leadership it provides,” said Horne. “BMS has characterized its support of the Trail as a gift to the community, and it is just that.”

“Bristol-Myers Squibb initiated this project in 2001 in partnership with other public and private organizations to create a trail system that would benefit all Hopewell and Lawrence residents,” said Bristol-Myers Squibb Vice President of Facilities Louis Fedele. “We are pleased to continue supporting the trail which links neighborhoods, will provide safe traveling routes and offers recreational opportunities in the community.”

In addition to the Dyson Tract, some of the destinations along the 20-mile Trail loop include Lawrenceville School, the Main Street district of Lawrenceville, Lawrence Township parks, Mercer County Park Northwest, Rosedale Park, the Bristol-Myers Squibb research campus in Hopewell and worldwide pharmaceutical headquarters in Lawrence, Hopewell Township open spaces, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association farmlands, and the Educational Testing Service campus.

“We have more preparation to do before we begin actual work on the Dyson Tract, including more detailed conversations with Lawrence officials and local residents, particularly neighbors near the tract,” said Horne. “It is our hope to complete the Dyson Tract segment this year.”

According to Trail leaders, proposals for the Dyson Tract envision a path of stone dust beginning at Foxcroft Drive and proceeding south.  In environmentally sensitive areas, the path may be constructed with other natural materials, minimizing disruption to the many animals and plants that live there.  Consideration is also being given to building an impermeable hedge to prevent Trail users from entering environmentally sensitive areas or private property.

“The Lawrence Township Council fully supports the Trail and takes great pride in our long-standing efforts to preserve open space and encourage recreational enjoyment and healthy lifestyles,” said Lawrence Township Councilwoman Pam Mount, who also serves as the Township’s representative on the Trail’s Executive Committee.  “We also want to protect the environment and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging less use of automobiles.”

Mount pointed out that Lawrence Township owns the Dyson Tract.

Since joining forces in 2002 with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Educational Testing Service, Hopewell Township, Mercer County, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and a wide array of local organizations to form the non-profit Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Lawrence Township has been an active partner in the design and promotion of the Trail, completing the following segments:

  • Lawrence Village Park – Paved trail leads from Yeger Drive through the park, down Craven Lane and through the Village of Lawrenceville to the corner of Gordon Lane and Main Street (Route 206).
  • Keefe Road Segment – Paved 600 feet segment that links Village Park with the County’s Northwest and Rosedale Parks, future sites for Trail segments.
  • Lawrence Main Street Segment – Trail takes existing streets and roads to the Lawrenceville School.

Other partners have completed two major segments of the Trail in Lawrence Township.  They are:

  • Lawrenceville School – The Trail winds through the campus of this private school to an exit onto Lewisville Road in Lawrence Township.
  • Educational Testing Service – Residents and visitors can enjoy about 1.2 miles of paved Trail through the park-like campus off of Rosedale Road.

In Hopewell Township, a completed segment of the Trail currently runs along Pennington-Rocky Hill Road on the Bristol-Myers Squibb Hopewell Campus between Old Mill and Titus Mill Roads, providing safe passage to hikers, joggers and cyclists on this very busy stretch of roadway. The Trail passes a popular seasonal produce stand and allows users to take in views of surrounding, state-preserved farm lands.