Alpha Grasslands Bird Sanctuary

Oberly Road, Pohatcong Township, Warren County, NJ

128 acres

The Pohatcong/Alpha Grasslands is a Natural Heritage Priority Site comprising 2,500 acres (almost 1,000 of which are now preserved as open space/farmland). Oberly Road is found just west of the town of Alpha.

(For maps see:


US 80 west to US 287 south to US 78 west; get off at exit 7; take Route 173 west for 1.4 miles and take the left for for Route 629 west; turn right onto Route 636 (Lemmedu Drive); at the T-intersection turn right onto Route 635; turn right onto Oberly Road.  Oberly Road is 1.5 miles long and surrounded by farmland.  The grasslands are in the mid-way up the road, so drive about 0.75 of a mile and park along the road.  The grasslands are on the left side.


6/28/04.  There are no real trails here.  The grasslands just extend a long ways west of Oberly Road.  I walked a ways into the grasslands, looking for plants.  This is an interesting place since this is the only grasslands I know of in the area.  I wish I knew my grasses better because I do not know the names of the two dominant grasses.  The predominant grass has a wide green blade that nods at the end.  The other grass reminds me of a sheep sorrel type grass with a beautiful color of glaucous blue (with at times some red at the tips).  It was interesting walking in the grasslands because I found out that it was not difficult to walk through the area.  The grasses are in clumps and the clumps are surrounded by dirt.  So one can side-step the grass clumps rather than being forced to wade through them.  There are wildflowers in the mix, of course, but they are spread out and not all that numerous compared to the grasses. Patrick Cooney.


Pohatcong Creek flows through the grasslands and flows into the Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic River.


The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) funded the Alpha Grasslands project.


short-eared owl, northern harrier, horned lark, rough-legged hawk, and vesper, savannah and grasshopper sparrows

(For maps see:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney; * = date plant found in bloom, 6/28/04

Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)

Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) *
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) *
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) * waning
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 
Hieracium caespitosum (field hawkweed) *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) *
Silene latifolia (white campion) *
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle) *
Solidago sp. (goldenrod) 
Sonchus sp. (sow thistle)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *

Andropogon gerardii (turkey claw grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass)
Setaria viridis (green foxtail grass)