William Tantum Park

Meadowbrook Road, Washington Township, Mercer County, New Jersey


New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 8; turn right heading west on Route 33; turn left onto Main Street and then take the next right onto Route 571; drive 0.8 of a mile and turn left heading south on Route 130.  Shortly after crossing over the bridge spanning the Assunpink Creek turn right (just 0.3 of a mile south of green mileage marker 65) onto Meadow Brook Road.  Drive 0.6 of a mile and turn right into the park entrance. 


The funding is from the land developers.

1964 (June 27) -- the park was dedicated.

The Thomas J. May Nature Trail honors Thomas J. Mann (1951-1988), a scientist and senior geologist with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and a member of the Washington Township Environmental Commission.  "Tomm" helped provide the research to stop the plan to built a large landfill in Washington Township.   He had attended the local Piddie School in Hightstown, earned a B.S. from Rider University, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, and was pursuing a Ph.D. in civil engineering when he was killed in an accident.


Thomas J. May Nature Trail

Washington Township is considering constructing a bike path from Tatum Park to Robbinsville High School.  The trail heads to Tindall Road (in the Saran Woods neighborhood) and then to the high school on Robbinsville-Edinburg Road. Eventually the path will connect to the Town Center residential-commercial developments along Route 33.

Washington Township already has bike and walk areas at Washington Township Community Park at West Manor and Gordon Roads and at the municipal complex on Route 130.


three Little League fields, two lighted basketball courts, two tennis courts, playground, picnic areas

Source: Chris Sturgis. 09/18/2003.  "Washington Township Committee contemplating construction of bike and pedestrian path from Tatum Park to Robbinsville High School." The Messenger-Press. A Packet Publishing Website. http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1091&dept_id=456072&newsid=10177189&PAG=461&rfi=9

Washington Township, Mercer County, New Jersey: Recreation Areas: http://www.washington-twp.org/recreation/areas.asp


10/21/04.  In the park there is a small woods along the south side of Assunpink Creek.  The formal entrance to the Thomas J. May Nature Trail is on the left side (west side) of the park.  Park in the parking area and walk west past Ball Field #3 into an area with a huge lawn.  Looking to the woods on the right, you will notice a sign about Thomas J. May and and elaborate, white lattice-work arch entrance.  There is also a map of the trail with the locations of the 17 numbered viewing stations on a brown wooden sign. 

I took the perimeter walk, including the walk east parallel to Assunpink Creek.  There are a lot of sweetgum trees.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom on date of field trip, 10/21/04

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula nigra (river birch)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus strobus (white pine) planted
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus phellos (willow oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Thuja occidentalis (arbor-vitae) planted

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (forsythia) planted
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)  lots of it
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)

Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Polygonum scandens (climbing hempweed) *
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Aster spp. (aster) *
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) *

Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Cinna arundinacea (wood reed grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)