Save Breton Woods

Brick residents voicing their support for protecting the woods.

Breton Woods is the forested area around Laurel Avenue, Drum Point Road, Downey Avenue, Cedar Knoll Drive, and Mayfair Court, and it represents one of last slivers of natural land in Brick, NJ.

Earlier in 2022, the Diocese of Trenton announced it was planning to sell these beautiful healthy woods for destruction by a developer. The plan was to build 59 houses on the site. This transaction threatened the 30 acres of oak-pine forest, turtles, migratory birds, and the many plants and others animals that find habitat within this valuable natural area. Local community members were concerned about the amount of traffic that would have also been added to already-overburdened roads in the area. Polluted stormwater runoff that would enter Barnegat Bay either directly or by groundwater as a result of the neighborhood’s construction was another major issue cited with the proposal.

After months of grassroots advocacy, input from stormwater and planning experts, and support from Save Barnegat Bay, a successful conclusion to the fight to preserve the Woods was announced. According to the Asbury Park Press reporting on the victory, “A total of $8.5 million in public funds will be spent to preserve more than 30 acres in the Breton Woods neighborhood of Brick that a developer had planned to build 59 single-family homes on.The Ocean County Board of Commissioners announced the agreement with the builder[,] D.R. Horton of Mount Laurel.” 
Geoff Goll (Princeton Hydro) speaks with members of the community at a Brick Planning Board Meeting.

The news comes as a triumph in the fight against imprudent overdevelopment in the Shore region, which has cascading negative effects on stormwater runoff, the survival of native plant and animal species, and quality of life for local residents. 

Breton Woods will come under the fold of the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust, which has preserved roughly 25,000 acres of permanent open space since its inception in 1997. The roughly thirty acres will be divided into about twenty-four acres left as undeveloped woods and owned by Ocean County. The six remaining acres will be owned by the Township of Brick and converted into a low-key children’s park, a small parking lot, and a real entrance to the Osbornville School intended to relieve traffic at the intersection of Laurel Avenue and Drum Point Road.

Save Barnegat Bay is extremely grateful to all who have helped make this project happen, including the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust; the Ocean County Commissioners; Brick Township Mayor John Ducey; the Brick Township Council; the Brick Township Planning Board; the attorney representing Save Barnegat Bay, Stuart Lieberman of Lieberman of Belcher and Sinkevich; civil engineer Geoff Goll of Princeton Hydro; and planner Carlos Rodriguez of Design Solutions for a Crowded Planet. 

Most of all, we are grateful to the primary movers of this project, the dedicated and indefatigable citizens of the neighborhoods surrounding Breton Woods. Thank you!


JUNE BRICK PLAN from Robin Purtell on Vimeo.


May Brick Planning Board .mp4 from Robin Purtell on Vimeo.


April Brick Planning Board Meeting- Save Breton Woods from Robin Purtell on Vimeo.


Save Barnegat Bay has been supporting a group Brick residents who have been organizing against the overdevelopment of Breton Woods. Check out their pages below.