Date of this Version
The Morris County Park Commission, manager of hundreds of acres of open space in this central New Jersey county, realized that the white-tailed deer residing on park land were having a detrimental effect on the vegetation on these properties. A Wildlife Management Advisory Committee to the Commission was formed to measure the dimensions of the problem and to find ways to mitigate the effects of the deer population of deer. One recommendation of the Committee was to determine if a landscape design could be developed to use plantings less attractive to the deer; planted in ways that might discourage heavy browsing. In 1990, the Morris County Park Commission commissioned landscape architect, Helen Heinrich to design a garden based on the lines and spaces of the gardens surrounding the Tracy mansion in the 1920s and 1930s. No attempt was made to restore the original plants in the garden, but to adapt the garden as much as necessary to the demands of the present deer population. The first step in developing such a design was to determine which plants were browsed by deer in this area, and which could be utilized in the garden design. No damage controls, such as fencing or repellents, would be used.