DEP’s FREE “WILD OUTDOOR EXPO” TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 13 AND 14
SHOWCASES A WIDE ARRAY OF ACTIVITIES IN NEW JERSEY STATE
PARKS, WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS AND VAST NATURAL SPACES
(14/P88) TRENTON —New Jersey’s great outdoor venues and experiences will be featured on the weekend of Sept. 13 and 14, at the Department of Environmental Protection’s fifth annual New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo, which will be held rain or shine at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township.
The Expo, which celebrates the state's natural resources and outdoor heritage, will include a variety of activities, demonstrations and exhibits on outdoor activities. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
A host of environmental and conservation exhibits, demonstrations and seminars are planned. Participants of all ages can try a wide variety of activities at the Expo or just take in some outdoors learning on everything from fishing, kayaking and camping skills to rock climbing, wildlife watching or shooting sports.
“The goal of the Expo is to connect our residents with the natural world through a blend of conservation information, education and hands-on opportunities to learn outdoor skills and activities,’’ said Dave Chanda, Director of the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The WILD Outdoor Expo is a one-stop information, demonstration and participatory event for outdoor adventure activities. Participants can sharpen camping skills, participate in turkey calling, get an introduction to archery, do some trap shooting, learn about local bats, get a primer on the Barnegat Bay watershed, hone their bird and tree identification skills, take in a hunting dog retrieval demonstration, get a close-up look at some quail and raptors, or participate in nature photography workshops, plus many other activities.
There also will plenty of hands-on fun for families, including insect safari shows, an inflatable soil tunnel, WILD crafts, and demonstrations on birds of prey and snakes of New Jersey.
A centerpiece of the Expo is the giant mobile aquarium, which shows off the great fishing opportunities in New Jersey. This large fishing tank holds thousands of gallons of water and will be loaded with huge trout and warm water game fish from the state’s Pequest and Hackettstown fish hatcheries.
More than 100 conservation, environmental and recreation exhibits, demonstrations and seminars are planned about the state’s air, water, soil, flora and fauna, and history. Numerous experts will be available to provide information on an array of topics from hunting to bird watching to scuba diving and forestry stewardship in New Jersey. There also will be a historic encampment and demonstrations of crafting dating to the 1740s.
Many of the free activities and programs offered can also help to fulfill Boy Scout and Girl Scout badge requirements. The complete list of free scout badge activities at this event can be found on the event website.
The Expo also features an outdoor equipment flea market for getting or resupplying the gear needed for outdoor recreation or to purchase other environmental-related products. Food will be available from a variety of vendors, or bring your own if you prefer.
The Expo is sponsored by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, State Forest Service and State Parks Service, as well as the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. It is partly financed by a grant from the USSAF Trailblazer Adventure Program and funding from the New Jersey Sportsmen’s Wildlife Foundation and the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance.
Admission and parking are free. Most activities are free, except for a few that are offered for a modest fee.
A complete listing of events, and directions to the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, can be found at: www.wildoutdoorexpo.com.
For more information on New Jersey’s wildlife management areas, visit:
For more information on New Jersey’s state parks and forests, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/