Spring is a wonderful time of year to take a trip to the Plainsboro Preserve for a hike around beautiful McCormack Lake. The 50-acre lake is home to fish and wildlife and is the centerpiece of the 1,000 acres of undisturbed open space that makes up the Preserve. But did you know McCormack Lake was once more of an eyesore and hazard than the scenic area it is now? In 1969, the township approved the creation of a 400-acre sandpit off of Scotts Corner Road by the McCormack Sand and Gravel Company from Long Island, NY.  By the time the company went out of business in 1976, years of mining left the area blemished and virtually unusable. However,  by 2002, plans were underway to reclaim the mining site, construct the Plainsboro Preserve’s Nature Center and establish hiking trails.  A combination of forested areas and wetland environments were established so all types of creatures could move back to the area and trees, grasses and wildflowers could begin to reclaim and heal the scarred landscape.  Today, the sound of excavators and dump trucks has been replaced with the sounds of chirping birds and buzzing insects.  If one is fortunate, a hike might provide a glimpse of the resident family of beavers that call McCormack Lake and its environs home.