Although much of this approximately 100 acre wooded area is “preserved” in one way or another, it still is not yet a public open space. Looking at the Open Space and Recreation Map may help to explain this dilemma. The mosaic-looking appearance of South Valley Woods on the map is the result of a mix of uncolored unbuildable lots in private, individual ownership and colored open space parcels held by the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust. These very tiny lots are still being acquired for preservation.
CAREZ, a group of local volunteers, started the acquisition process. Their acquisitions plus the 1994 Township donation of tax defaulted lots combined to protect much of the woods that occupies most of the space enclosed by Route 38, Mount Laurel Road, Marter Avenue, and the rear of Oldershaw Avenue homes.
This lowland woods slopes toward Hooten Run, a Strawbridge Lake tributary that flows along the Route 38 side. The woods is riddled with wetlands and seeps and has a few small tributaries to Hooten Run. Neighbors have reported sightings of the threatened red-headed woodpecker, as well numerous other birds and wildlife.