By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Cape May National Wildlife Refuge has grown after a years-long effort to preserve nearly 500 acres in Cape May Court House. It’s part of the largest intact forest on the Cape May peninsula.

Nature Conservancy Assistant State Director Bob Allen says it took more than ten years and the efforts of a number of conservation groups, including Ducks Unlimited and the American Littoral Society, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, before a sand-mining company sold the tract for $1.3 million.

“The property is made up of forest, and forested wetlands, some open meadows areas, and is just a fantastic piece of habitat,” Allen said. “The great thing about a property like this is that for people who live locally, it increases the amount of trail space, hunting opportunities, it’s gonna be a wonderful place to see birds.”

But it’s not just for birds.

“I’ve gone out on warm spring nights when the frogs were so loud that it actually hurt my ears,” Allen explained. “And knowing that a property like this is protected forever is just one of those things that warms your heart, and you know that it’ll be there for other people to experience that as well.”