About the Refuge
Background and History
In 1951, Jim and Betty Woodford bought a 185 acre parcel of land, in what were then the wilds of Medford Township, to use as a summer get-away. They quickly fell in love with the beauty of the Pinelands and decided to live here full time. By 1957 they built their first home with a view of the lake, and founded Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. Betty became a local authority on the flora and fauna of the NJ Pinelands, and quickly began teaching others what she knew.
Over the next 40 years, Betty and Jim devoted their lives to Pinelands preservation, environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation. Betty became an expert botanist, naturalist, nature photographer and wildlife rehabilitator. She was renowned for her Pinelands education programs. In 1997 the Woodford's ultimate dream was realized when a Green Acres grant preserved Cedar Run's land and buildings for future generations.
What began as one woman’s passion for the NJ Pinelands quickly grew into a more than full time endeavor. Today, Cedar Run staff and board members continue Betty and Jim's work, along with their daughter, Jeanne, who is the Refuge president.We welcome visitors throughout the year to our wildlife housing area, where you can see American bald eagles, great horned owls, screech-owls, fox, and other resident wildlife that cannot be returned to the wild due to their injuries. Our Nature Center offers fun and educational programs for all, while our hiking trails offer an opportunity to enjoy native Pinelands habitats.
- 171 wooded acres surrounding pristine Cedar Run Lake
Elizabeth Woodford Nature Center with hands-on exhibits, library and offices
Outdoor Animal Housing Area with more than 60 native animals
Wooded nature trails that link uplands and wetlands
More than 20,000 students participate annually in the Refuge's school and scout programs and hundreds more join us for guided hikes, night hikes, and birthday parties. Programs include field trips and tours, Refuge on Wheels, and scout badges.
Adults enjoy wandering the trails, watching the bird feeders, and observing the resident animals. Programs for adults include hikes, educator led tours, photography outings, and talks on a variety of subjects from wildlife rehabilitation to native plant gardens to non-profit management.
More than 4,700 wild animals are treated in our rehabilitation hospital in 2017. Many are returned to the wild. Others, whose injuries prevent release, remain in our outdoor Wildlife Housing Area to help the public learn about native species.
We would like to thank the Animal and Bird Health Care Center and Hospital for providing medical and surgical care for our patients and resident animals.
Through the New Jersey Green Acres Program, the Woodford Family has been able to preserve Cedar Run for future generations. We are working with state and local agencies and private non-profits to create a Greenway across the southern parts of Medford and Evesham townships. The Refuge has also provided educational programs on behalf of the Rattlesnake Protection Coalition working to save endangered species habitat at "The Sanctuary."