DEP’s “WILD OUTDOOR EXPO” SET FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
FREE FAMILY EVENT SHOWCASES OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES POSSIBLE IN NEW JERSEY’S
STATE PARKS, WILDLIFE AREAS AND VAST NATURAL SPACES
(14/P96) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection’s fifth annual New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo, which celebrates the state’s natural resources and outdoor heritage, will be held this weekend, rain or shine, at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township.
The Expo, which will include a variety of activities, demonstrations and exhibits on outdoor activities, will be run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14. It will feature many environmental and conservation exhibits, and a host of demonstrations and seminars.
Participants can try a wide variety of hands-on activities or take in some outdoors learning on fishing, kayaking, camping, rock climbing, wildlife watching, shooting sports, among many more activities.
“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 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.
The Expo is a one-stop information, demonstration and participatory event for outdoor adventure activities. Participants can sharpen camping and backpacking skills, learn to build a bat house, get an introduction to archery, do some trap shooting, participate in the “insect safari for young explorers,’’ learn about 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 raptors, or participate in nature photography workshops, plus many other activities.
There also will be hands-on fun for families, including 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.
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/