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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2016

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795

 
 

ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK TO HOST FIRST MAY DAY CELEBRATION ON SUNDAY, MAY 1
FAMILY FUN DAY TO INCLUDE THREE SPORTING EVENTS FOR
FRIENDS OF ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK FUNDRAISER

(16/27) TRENTON – Island Beach State Park will host the first May Day celebration, featuring a series of fun, athletic events, on Sunday, May 1, to benefit the non-profit volunteer group, Friends of Island Beach State Park, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

Starting at 9 a.m., featured events will include a 5K Run/Walk, a volleyball tournament and an ocean paddleboard contest. DEP’s State Park Service is allowing Friends of Island Beach State Park to collect a donation at the gate in lieu of standard park admission.

Registration for the events is currently open at www.friendsofibsp.org/events/may-day/. Interested participants will meet at the Ocean Bathing Area 1 pavilion for all events. The May Day celebration will be held rain or shine.

“We are delighted to host this fun event for the first time for our dedicated partners, who provide so much to our park year after year,” said Mark Texel, Director of the State Park Service. “We encourage everyone to come out this Sunday with their game face on and to have some great fun.”

“Island Beach State Park is proud to have this unique event in a setting where everyone can watch the action,” said park manager Jenifer Clayton. “It will be a fun day for the family to enjoy three different sporting events on our beautiful beach.”

The volunteer Friends of Island Beach State Park formed in 1996 to encourage protection of the barrier island ecosystem and to enhance both educational and recreational programs at the park. The group now has 460 members, publishes and distributes 30,000 copies of the park’s Visitor Guide annually, has funded improvements to the park’s Nature Center and Interpretive Center, picnic tables, radios for Nature Center staff, and installation of state-of-the-art camera system to monitor an osprey nest at the park, among other needs.

“We really wanted to try to have an active ocean and beach day,” said Angelo Sico, president of Friends of Island Beach State Park. “Our love of Island Beach State Park goes very deep. So we’re happy that events like this will enable us to continue to help out the park.”

May Day events will include:

  • May Day 5K A unique 5K run/walk on the beach, with post-race wraps and subs in the pavilion.
  • May Day Ocean Paddleboard Contest – A 3.5-mile Ocean Paddle Race, which will run parallel to the beach. While all levels of paddlers are encouraged, ocean racing is more challenging than flat-water paddling. Island Beach State Park lifeguards will be monitoring the event.
  • May Day Volleyball Tournament – Throughout the course of the day, a volleyball tournament featuring teams of two will be held. The tournament will be organized by the Ocean County Volleyball Club, All registrants will receive T-shirts.

Shaped by storms and tides, Island Beach State Park is a narrow barrier island stretching for 10 miles between the ocean and Barnegat Bay. It is one of New Jersey's last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem and is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast.

For more information on Island Beach State Park, visit www.nj.gov/de/parksandforests/parks/island.html

Like the New Jersey State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites page at www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStateParks

For more information on the Friends of Island Beach State Park, visit www.thefriendsofislandbeach.org

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Last Updated: April 27, 2016