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John Anderson, community activist, stands by the North Branch of the Rancocas Creek in Westampton, N.J. The view is upriver towards the town of Mt. Holly. MEG McGUIRE Photo

Rancocas Creek:
A small creek with big ideas


The Rancocas Creek in southern New Jersey twists and turns on the map like Christmas curly ribbon with its headwaters deep in the Pine Barrens, it flows west and empties into the Delaware River across from northeast Philadelphia.

It snakes its way through some pretty typical South Jersey development.

And then it doesn't.

If you look at Google Maps, from where the New Jersey Turnpike crosses the creek (near where the two branches converge) east to Mt. Holly, you discover a great polygon of green, beginning where the north and south branches of the creek separate. Most of that land is the Rancocas State Park and some of it is farmland. Green patches haphazardly abut the creek wherever it runs.

Standing on the bank of the North Branch, you can watch as the tide pushes the waters up toward Mt. Holly and back down again. Marsh grasses populate the farther banks. And the sky is bigger ...


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