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Trenton Central & Princeton HS Students (© MA Leck)

In addition to natural and cultural attractions, the Abbott Marshlands are a significant educational and scientific resource.  They serve local schools and colleges as an outdoor laboratory for scientific and archaeological study.

School groups ranging from kindergarten to graduate students visit the Marshlands each year.   Wetland and Ecology classes from local colleges and universities, such as Mercer County Community College, Rider University, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania, regularly include study of these wetlands in their curricula.

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Rider College Student – Independent Study Project (© MA Leck)

The Marshlands have long been a center for archaeological study.  In 1872, Charles Conrad Abbot reported finding man-made implements in the Trenton glacial gravels on his farm.  This discovery sparked an international debate and forty year controversy concerning the antiquity of man in the New World.  Studies continue to explore Marshland cultures ranging from Indians to Joseph Bonaparte.

In recent years more than 60 scientific papers about marsh ecology  have been published concerning the Abbott Marshlands.  These have contributed to our understanding of the value of wetlands, the productivity of tidal freshwater wetlands, as well as the relationships of seeds in the soil to vegetation.  Currently, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is engaged in a climate change study, and archaeologists from Temple and Monmouth universities continue to probe the past.

For more information see Resources and Resource Organizations.