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CONTENTS:
PEEC 2020 Weekend Activities Calendar!
Winter Fun on the Farm – Children’s Read & Explore, Music
Call for Anton Banko Award - Excellence in Teaching Nominations
Save the Date: Surf Tournament May 17
Rusty Green Thumb? We got this.
Birds are Disappearing - What about in Central Jersey?
Upcoming events at your state parks & forests
Upcoming January & February Programs at PEEC!
NWF: Photo Contest Opens Today!
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: Growing Healthy Communities
Jump Start Your Garden Indoors
We need you: Vote today to choose our species focus in 2020
Species On the Edge Contest for HS Students
100 days to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!
ALS: Race into Spring with the 5th Annual Lobster Run
Farm Camp at Terhune Orchards
Petty's Island Happenings 2020
OCSCD News & Events - January
Math or Science Presidential Awards Announcement 2020
Free Great Backyard Bird Count Event at Cattus Island Park
Events and news from the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife & Parks and Forestry
Summer Camp, Fresh Greens & Sunday Music at Terhune Orchards
Essex County Environmental Center - Winter 2019/20 Programs
Upcoming Events At Liberty State Park
Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest Now Open
NJ Envirothon is looking for teams to compete in this year’s event on May 2nd
Art & Essay Contest for 5th Graders
Join the National Geographic GeoChallenge
PEEC 2020 Weekend Activities Calendar!             (Posted: 1-30-20)

Winter Fun on the Farm – Children’s Read & Explore, Music             (Posted: 1-30-20)

Winter Fun on the Farm – Children’s Read & Explore, Winery Music

The weather outside might be chilly but there is plenty of fun to be had on the farm in winter. Join us this winter season for exploration and time with family and friends.

Read & Explore, our winter educational series includes hands-on fun and informative programs to get young minds thinking about nature and the world around them. Getting out on the farm is a sure cure cabin fever. Children (ages preschool – 8 years) gather inside our big, heated indoor space.

After story time the children participate in educational activities and make a craft to take home. That may include decorating building a bird feeder, creating a compost container or planting seeds. Full descriptions of programs are on the calendar at terhuneorchards.com

Read & Explore sessions are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m and last about an hour. The cost is $10 per child and includes the craft activity and hands on fun.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is requested. Please call (609) 924-2310 or visit

terhuneorchards.com/read-explore-sign-up

Read & Explore 2020 Schedule:

Gingerbread Man: Jan 25th

Animal Tracks – February 4th and February 8th

Fur, Feathers & Fluff: Keeping Warm in Winter – February 18th and 22nd

Getting Ready for Spring: March 17th and 21st

Birds and Birdhouses – March 31st and April 4th

Composting – April 21st and 25th

Wine Lovers have a lot to enjoy during this winter season. Terhune winery tasting room is open every Friday – Sunday 12-5pm. Warm up with our hot mulled wine and try a tasting flight or glass of our wines.

Join us the winter Sunday Music Series on Sundays in the winery. Enjoy local musicians each week, as they play country, bluegrass and jazz, from 1:00pm-4:00pm. No cover charge. Wine tasting is $7 per person. Wine by the glass and light fare is available.  Enjoy the fire pits as well. Families welcome. Cookie decorating and hot cocoa kits are available.

Winery Sunday Music Series 2020

Feb 2 -  Bill O’Neal & Andy Koontz Kevin McGowen

Feb 9  -  Larry Tritel

Feb 16 – Brook DiCaro

Feb 23 – Jerry Steele

March 1 – Carmen Marranco

March 8 – Jim Matlack & Jerry Monk

On Feb. 8 & 9 and Feb. 15 & 16 we join other wineries across the state for The Wine and Chocolate Trail Weekend. Enjoy chocolate baked goods homemade in Terhune’s own bakery and locally made Pierre’s chocolates paired with our award-winning wines.  Bring your loved ones, friends and family to enjoy sweet treats on this festive Wine Trail Weekend. Be a sweetheart and bring your valentine a bottle of wine and chocolate to share at home.

We look forward to seeing on the farm all year long!

The farm store is open daily, Mon-Fri 9 a.m. –6 p.m. Sat & Sun 9a.m- 5p.m.

The winery is open Friday-Sun 12:00 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Find Terhune Orchards online at terhuneorchards.com, on Facebook, Instagram.

Terhune Orchards is located at 330 Cold Soil Rd.

The Mount Family
330 Cold Soil Road Princeton, NJ 08540
609-924-2310 terhuneorchards.com

Call for Anton Banko Award - Excellence in Teaching Nominations             (Posted: 1-29-20)

Do you know an elementary teacher who makes science "come to life" for his or her students?

Nominate him or her for...
The Anton Banko Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Science
Presented by the New Jersey Science Convention

The Anton Banko Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Science recognizes an educator teaching in grades K-5 who is an outstanding teacher of science. The Banko Award covers expenses to attend the New Jersey Science Convention (up to $1000) and $2000 to purchase science supplies at the teacherˇ¦s discretion.

The eligibility requirements for the Banko Award are:
Currently teaching Kindergarten through 5th grade at a NJ public or private school
A demonstrated ability to engage children in the study of science, in accordance with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science and NGSS

To nominate a teacher for the Anton Banko Award, please complete this Google Form by May 15. NJSC will contact nominees to give them the opportunity to complete the application process. The application deadline is June 30.

Contact Kim Feltre, NJSC Anton Banko Award Chairperson, with any questions or for more information at kfeltre@htps.us.

This award honors Anton Banko, an engineer who co-invented small incision cataract surgery. The technologies and procedures he pioneered are still used by surgeons today, and represent a true milestone in the evolution of STEM applications. It is in his memory that we celebrate an exceptional elementary teacher from New Jersey who is inspiring the next generation of inventors, scientists, and engineers.

www.knowingscience.com

Save the Date: Surf Tournament May 17             (Posted: 1-29-20)

F&W Beach 2 Banner

Register Now For Discount, Prizes and Fast Park Entry


Rusty Green Thumb? We got this.             (Posted: 1-29-20)

Rusty Green Thumb? We Got This.
Join us for these special upcoming classes and events!
Winter Blues Floral Class
2/2, 3-4pm | 2/9, 3-4pm

Got the winter blues? Well, join us for these floral blooms! Create a beautiful blue and white design with Jenifer Michaud - just show up and all materials will be provided (including light refreshments).

$75 / person
Landscape Days
2/8, 9-5pm | 3/20, 9-5pm | 3/21, 9-5pm

It ain't easy being green (but we'll make it easier for you). Get a free 30 minutes with one of our designers - just bring photos of your property and the talk is on us!

Call into the store to make an appointment
Succulent Workshop
3/7, 1-2pm

Learn about our new succulents and take them home yourself! The workshop is free, simply buy what you want to make the perfect succulent planter. We offer beautiful containers, soil, rocks, sand, and of course, succulents!

Phalenopsis 101 Class
3/14, 10-11am

Join Will Hendershot as he teaches us the basics of orchid care along with a few special tricks of his own! Bring your orchids and repot them with a professional. Then go home with organic fungicide, fertilizer, and moss, included upon registration!

$10 / person
Green Florals Class
3/14, 3-4pm

Are ya feeling lucky? Hosting a party? Celebrating Spring? Come by and make a St. Patrick's Day themed floral arrangement with our professional florist, Jen! All materials will be provided and light refreshments will be served

$50 / person
Terrarium Workshop
3/22, 1-3pm

Join us in creating a beautiful, lively terrarium for free! Simply pick out and purchase your plants, rocks, and charcoal and we'll help you make the perfect terrarium for your home!

For more information about any of the classes, please contact us at (908) 350-7506 or via email at info@backtonature.net

Birds are Disappearing - What about in Central Jersey?             (Posted: 1-29-20)

Click HERE.

Upcoming events at your state parks & forests             (Posted: 1-28-20)

Wednesday Walk & Dog Hike at Bass River State Forest

Dog Hike at Bass River State Forest
Saturday, February 8, 2020
9 a.m. FREE
Register by contacting Kathy at
Home (609) 296-6574
Office (609) 296-1114

Volunteer Master Naturalist Kathy Gardiner invites you to bring your pooch on a free 3-5 mile hike in Bass River State Forest, Saturday, February 8th 2020 at 9AM.
Meet Kathy by 9am at the Forest Office parking lot. Bring water for you and your dog. Heavy rain cancels.
Dogs must be on a leash at all times. There is a limit of 15 dogs but if you are without a dog you are welcome to join the group.
Register by contacting the Bass River State Forest Office at (609) 296-1114 or Kathy at (609) 296-6574. You can also find information on our website at www.njparksandforests.org.

Wednesday Walk in the Woods
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
9 a.m. FREE
Register by contacting Kathy at
Home (609) 296-6574
Cell (609) 405-0360

Join Volunteer Master Naturalist Kathy Gardiner for a 7 moderate paced hike February 19th 2020 at 9AM. This season of Wednesday Walk in the Woods will be on the Batona Trail. This trail is 52 miles long and we will be hiking it in sections. The trail goes through three State Forest. (Brendan T. Byrne, Wharton State Forest and Bass River State Forest).
On February 19th we will be hiking from Quaker Bridge to Batsto.This is the 5th leg of the Batona Trail and requires a shuttle provided by Kathy. Meet at Atsion Recreation Area located on 206 8 miles north of Hammonton at 9AM. Bring lunch and beverage. Heavy rain cancels. Hike is free but donations are welcomed.
You can also find information by calling Bass River Office at (609) 296-1114 or on our web site at www.njparksandforest.org www.njparksandforests.org.
________________________________________
Hike the Burn Zone of the West Pine Plains at Bass River State Forest

HIKE THE BURN ZONE OF THE WEST PINE PLAINS
Saturday, February 8, 2020
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. FREE
Please register: (609) 296-1114

Join us on February 8 to hike in the burn zone of the Spring Hill Wildfire.
The hike will be nearly 6-miles and take place in Bass River State Forest "North" which encompasses the West Pine Plains Natural Area and the "Pygmy Pines" - the world's largest acreage of this globally rare forest community.
This volunteer-led hike will depart promptly at 1 p.m. and will end at approximately 4 p.m.
The hike will meander along sand roads and trails near the NJ Forest Fire Service's Coyle Field in Woodland Township, Burlington County.
The hike will be almost entirely through portions of the forest that was burned in the March 2019 Spring Hill wildfire. You will be able to see first-hand the regeneration of the forest that has occurred in the 10 months since the fire as well as the devastation that the fire wrought. One participant on a earlier hike through this area remarked that "It was like hiking on Mars." Several sections of the hike will be through places where the mature trees are scarcely taller than the hikers themselves and in some places are not. The hike will traverse several ridges that will provide fantastic views of the surrounding area which is a rarity for this part of the state. This is especially true now since the fire removed almost all of the vegetation which previously blocked the views.
Participants must be at least 10 years of age.
Service animals only are permitted.
Wear appropriate clothes and shoes.
Wear clothes you do not mind getting ash and soot on.
Bring plenty of water and snacks.
This hike is not ADA accessible.
There are no restrooms or drinking water available.
The hike will be cancelled if there are thunderstorms in the area or if heavy rain/snow is falling. Light rain/snow will not cancel the hike.
Registration is required and is capped at 25 participants.
To register or for more information, contact the Bass River State Forest office at 609-296-1114.
MEETING LOCATION: N 39 49.238 W 74 25.819 which is located along NJ 72 at the WESTERN BOUNDARY of Coyle Field. The meeting location is approximately 10.3 miles east of the intersection of NJ 72 and NJ 70 and approximately 3.4 miles west of the intersection of NJ 72 and Ocean County Road 539 and just west of Mile Marker 10.5. Parking is along NJ 72. There is no street address for this location.
________________________________________
Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/bassriverstateforest/
________________________________________
FREC EVENT

1st Annual Species Celebration
Saturday, February 15, 2020
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. FREE

Double Trouble, ghost forest, cedar shakes. While this isn't a recipe for witch's brew, these three things do have something in common: The Atlantic white cedar tree.
Do you want to build a historic-style cedar shingle roof with a hammer and nails? Want to hear the story of uncovering the Meadowlands ghost forest? Want to hike into and explore a cedar swamp?
Come to the first annual Species Celebration at the Forest Resource Education Center on Saturday February 15th, 2020 from 1PM to 4PM to experience all this, see a sawmill cut lumber from logs, and more…
Plus, you can bring home your very own Atlantic white cedar seedling to plant!
Call (732) 928-2360 with questions.
Forest Resource Education Center
495 Don Connor Blvd Jackson, NJ

Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/forestrycenter/
________________________________________
Forest Resource Education Center
495 Don Connor Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527
FREC@dep.nj.gov 732.928.2360
________________________________________
Volunteer Service

Volunteer Service for NJ Forest Service and Tree Nursery
February 17 - March 31, 2020

Spring is around the corner so that we need groups and individual volunteers for ongoing work in our "packing house". The hours can be morning or afternoon shifts on weekdays during the last 2 weeks in February and all March.
It's easy, fun work inspecting 2-ft tree saplings and batching them for shipping out to community events for Arbor Day 2020.
Please email: jane.mattson@dep.nj.gov for more info!

Forest Resource Education Center
495 Don Connor Blvd Jackson, NJ
NJ Forest Service Nursery
370 East Veterans Highway, Jackson, NJ
________________________________________
Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/forestrycenter/

Forest Resource Education Center
495 Don Connor Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527
FREC@dep.nj.gov 732.928.2360
________________________________________
Hike the Burn Zone of the West Pine Plains at Bass River State Forest
-DATE ADDED-

HIKE THE BURN ZONE OF THE WEST PINE PLAINS
SATURDAY HIKE IS FILLED

---ADDED DATE----
Sunday, February 9, 2020
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. FREE
Please register: (609) 296-1114

Join us on February 8 to hike in the burn zone of the Spring Hill Wildfire.
The hike will be nearly 6-miles and take place in Bass River State Forest "North" which encompasses the West Pine Plains Natural Area and the "Pygmy Pines" - the world's largest acreage of this globally rare forest community.
This volunteer-led hike will depart promptly at 1 p.m. and will end at approximately 4 p.m.
The hike will meander along sand roads and trails near the NJ Forest Fire Service's Coyle Field in Woodland Township, Burlington County.
The hike will be almost entirely through portions of the forest that was burned in the March 2019 Spring Hill wildfire. You will be able to see first-hand the regeneration of the forest that has occurred in the 10 months since the fire as well as the devastation that the fire wrought. One participant on a earlier hike through this area remarked that "It was like hiking on Mars." Several sections of the hike will be through places where the mature trees are scarcely taller than the hikers themselves and in some places are not. The hike will traverse several ridges that will provide fantastic views of the surrounding area which is a rarity for this part of the state. This is especially true now since the fire removed almost all of the vegetation which previously blocked the views.
Participants must be at least 10 years of age.
Service animals only are permitted.
Wear appropriate clothes and shoes.
Wear clothes you do not mind getting ash and soot on.
Bring plenty of water and snacks.
This hike is not ADA accessible.
There are no restrooms or drinking water available.
The hike will be cancelled if there are thunderstorms in the area or if heavy rain/snow is falling. Light rain/snow will not cancel the hike.
Registration is required and is capped at 25 participants.
To register or for more information, contact the Bass River State Forest office at 609-296-1114.
MEETING LOCATION: N 39 49.238 W 74 25.819 which is located along NJ 72 at the WESTERN BOUNDARY of Coyle Field. The meeting location is approximately 10.3 miles east of the intersection of NJ 72 and NJ 70 and approximately 3.4 miles west of the intersection of NJ 72 and Ocean County Road 539 and just west of Mile Marker 10.5. Parking is along NJ 72. There is no street address for this location.
________________________________________
Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/bassriverstateforest/
________________________________________

Upcoming January & February Programs at PEEC!             (Posted: 1-21-20)

NWF: Photo Contest Opens Today!             (Posted: 1-17-20)

Click HERE.

Animals are talking. Are you listening? The National Wildlife Federation is teaming up with Dolittle to ask all Americans to Be a Voice for Wildlife.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: Growing Healthy Communities             (Posted: 1-17-20)

Click HERE.

Jump Start Your Garden Indoors             (Posted: 1-17-20)

Event Date: February 14, 2020 (10:00AM-11:00AM)
Registration Due: February 10, 2020
Cost: $10 per person

The Rutgers Master Gardener's present a new course focused on unearthing the benefits of indoor seed starting. Attendees will find out which materials are needed, how to select seeds, when to plant, how to manage seedling growth, as well as how to harden off young plants before moving them outdoors! All participants will walk away with a confidence to put their new-found knowledge to work. For more information about this event, as well as how to register, please visit: https://go.rutgers.edu/4fhsucd8.

Rutgers Master Gardeners: https://somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/garden/
Contact: Marilyn Cubano - mcubano@co.somerset.nj.us - 908-526-6293

We need you: Vote today to choose our species focus in 2020             (Posted: 1-17-20)

Earth Day Network’s Conservation and Biodiversity campaign needs your help choosing the 10 species to focus our efforts on in 2020. Will you cast your vote?

To make sure you’re well informed on the 2020 candidates, we’ve put together a profile for each one that lets you know where they’re found, why they’re important and why they’re endangered.

Learn about the species on the ballot.

VOTE
VOTE

We’ll be using these species to focus our conservation efforts throughout events like IUCN’s World Conservation Congress, the UN’s environment day, the UN’s 2020 Climate Change Conference, as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity. Each month we will highlight a species to let you know what’s being done to save them and how you can help.

Voting will end on January 24th, so make sure you don’t delay.Share the voting page with your friends and family to ensure your species are chosen!

Katie Wood
Conservation and Biodiversity Manager

Earth Day Network · 1616 P St NW, 340, Washington, DC 20036, United States

Species On the Edge Contest for HS Students             (Posted: 1-17-20)

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Social Media Contest Perfect For Today's Students


100 days to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!             (Posted: 1-14-20)

The countdown begins: Today marks 100 days to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020. This is a historic year that needs to be a turning point for our planet on everything from climate action to protections for our land, water, air and wildlife.

2020 is already off to a tumultuous start, but it’s not too late to make this one the year where we turn it all around.

Ready to get to work? Check our new website and new monthly newsletter below. Earth Day Network is pleased to share our expert content with you to help inform and inspire action around the world.

We can’t wait to see you—and your actions—in 100 days. Let’s get to it!


12 New Year’s resolutions for the planet in 2020

2020 is going to be a pivotal year for our planet. Here are 12 climate resolutions, one for each month, to make this year.

A burning need for climate action amid record Australian bushfires

Record bushfires across Australia have threatened thousands of people and hundreds of millions of animals. As we’ve pumped millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we’ve created a world where fires like these could become the new normal.

5 ways you can tackle plastic pollution

Think you can’t make a dent in our global plastic problem? Think again. Here are 5 ways you can tackle our plastic problem, from picking-up to policy change.

Golden Globes goes plant-based

As over 18 million people watched the Golden Globe Awards last week, almost 1,300 guests took their seats at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for a pre-show dinner that was entirely plant-based. With that, a message was sent to the world: We can fight climate change with diet change.

Read More of Today's Picks.

Earth Day Network · 1616 P St NW, 340, Washington, DC
20036, United States
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ALS: Race into Spring with the 5th Annual Lobster Run             (Posted: 1-14-20)

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5k Run/Walk to Care for the Coast
10 a.m., Saturday, April 18 on Asbury Park, NJ Boardwalk

Race into Spring with the
5th Annual
American Littoral Society Lobster Run 
Your participation will support the Littoral Society's efforts
to protect and preserve the ocean and coast

Click your claws, lace up your running shoes and hit the boardwalk for the 5th Annual Lobster Run/Walk 5k to Care for the Coast, on Saturday, April 18 in Asbury Park, NJ.

This limited-registration event will have a rolling start from 10-10:30 a.m., with food and live music by The Attic from 10:30-12:30 p.m. and start/finish outside the Langosta Lounge, 1000 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ. Registration will be open until event is full. T-shirts will be included for race/walk participants only and are guaranteed for those who sign up before April 1.

The run/walk will be followed by an optional after-party with a lobster themed brunch buffet, optional half lobster brunch upgrade, live music by the Attic and drink specials.

All event proceeds will benefit the American Littoral Society.

Lobster 5K Run Meal Ticket Included, $45.00
Lobster 5K Walk Meal Ticket Included, $45.00
5K Run Only No Meal Ticket, $25.00
5K Walk Only No Meal Ticket, $25.00
Lobster Meal Ticket only, no run or walk, $25.00
Half Lobster Brunch Upgrade (meal tickets only): $10.00

The course is suitable for all ages and will take participants out and back on the boardwalk from Asbury Park to Ocean Grove. Parking available across the street and plenty of parking in public lots. the event is rain or shine, registration is not refundable.
If you would like to join the Lobster Run as a sponsor, please download and return the linked form or email Hillary Critelli, Director of Development at the American Littoral Society.
If you're unable to attend the event, consider making a donation!
Thank You to Our Generous Host and Sponsor

Farm Camp at Terhune Orchards             (Posted: 1-14-20)

Farm Camp at Terhune Orchards

Terhune Orchards offers two summer camp programs for children ages 7-12.  Experience life on the farm and become a farmer for the week. Activities blend learning, doing and of course fun! Campers will explore the Children’s Garden, orchards and barnyard here on our family farm. They will harvest and eat their own “Jersey Fresh” snacks from fruits and vegetables they pick. There is nothing like eating what you grow!


Terhune Camps are certified by the State of New Jersey Youth Camp Standards.Camp sessions meet from 9 a.m. - 3:30pm.

Register early. Space is limited. For additional details or questions, call the Farm Store at 609-924-2310 or visit https://terhuneorchards.com/summer-camp/


Farm Camp

These one-week sessions focus on how the farmer and nature work together to grow healthy crops. This hands-on program includes a variety of activities, games, crafts that will teach the campers about farm life. The children will visit Terhune Orchards’ fields to pick fruits and vegetables and prepare them for healthy snacks. Activities include becoming friends with our animals, including gathering our chickens’ eggs, brushing and feeding animals, studying insects, butterflies, and bees, identifying trees on the nature trail, learning about how farm and nature work together. Discover nature in the Children’s Garden. Additional fun includes hiking the Farm Trail, exploring the habitat of woods and learning about water quality at the Stony Brook stream.


Farm Camp is directed by Elaine Madigan, Terhune Orchards Education Director and Operations Manager.

Sessions: 

July 6 to July 10
July 13 to July 17


Farm Explorers Camp

Campers will have a full week of hands-on activities. Have fun being farmers in Terhune Orchards Children’s Garden: garden preparation and planting, tool safety, weeding, watering, plant types and harvesting. Campers will harvest from among the 40 different crops grown here at Terhune Orchards. They also go behind the scenes into understanding the machinery, animals, crops and business of running a farm. 


Campers will discover insects and pollinators, take a nature hike, learn about water cycles. They will also explore the farm’s natural habitats, wildlife and ecology to understand the environmental context of the farm.  Investigate STEM through hands on activities, explorations, and experiments

We also make sure to bring in a historical perspective to see how farming began and compare to where it is today. Throughout we play games, do activities and keep learning fun!


Farm Explorers Camp Leader is John Emmons, Elementary Lab Science teacher and STEM teacher.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University in Environmental Planning and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey. 

Sessions:
July 20 to July 24
July 27 to July 31
August 3 to August 7


Terhune Orchards is located at 330 Cold Soil Rd.

 

The farm store is open daily Mon. – Fri., 9a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 9 am -5 pm

Petty's Island Happenings 2020             (Posted: 1-13-20)

Welcome to the Petty's Island Newsletter.
Join New Jersey Audubon and our partner organizations
for some historic first looks at Petty’s Island!

Situated in the Delaware River between Camden and Philadelphia, Petty’s Island 
is an oasis for birds and other wildlife.

Please note that registration may be limited to accommodate program requirements.

Access to the island is restricted;
directions are provided upon registration.

Registration is required – no exceptions.

 To register please go to the registration link provided.
Registration links available 4 to 6 weeks prior to 
event.
Sorry, no phone or email registrations accepted.


All participants MUST be 12 years or older.
(grade 6 and up)


Email questions about programs or registration to:
Kelly Wenzel
 

2020 Programs


Please note registration openings. Some programs fill quickly!

Pro tip:
Go to Eventbrite.com today, search "Petty's Island" or the specific event, scroll to the event you want and set a reminder to notify you when registration opens!
You can also put the event right on your digital calendar!
Shoreline Cleanup
Saturday, March 28
8:30 a.m. to Noon
Petty's Island is privately-owned and is during an amazing transformation from an active marine terminal and oil storage facility into a State Park. Access to the island is limited, so don't miss this opportunity to see the island and help in its transformation. We will be doing a cleanup of the shoreline where marine debris threatens the health of wildlife and humans. Children MUST be 12 and older to participate. Registration is REQUIRED for this event; space is limited. Directions and other details are given upon registration. No phone or email registrations accepted. Registration opens February 12.
Please register here: https://pispringcleanup20.eventbrite.com
 
Migration Madness Birding Walk
Saturday, April 25
7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Discover this hidden treasure in the Delaware River! With access granted only a few times a year this urban oasis offers a great variety of wading, shore and woodland birds in addition to views of Bald Eagles. We will be looking for spring arrivals using the Delaware River to navigate and Petty’s Island to rest and nest. Children MUST be 12 and older to participate. Registration is REQUIRED for this event; space is limited. Directions and other details are given upon registration. No phone or email registrations accepted. Registration opens March 11.
Please register here: https://pispringirding20.eventbrite.com
 
Youth Birding on Petty’s Island
Sunday, April 26
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
This hike is open to youth grades 6 through 12 and their parent or guardian.
Adults attending MUST be accompanying a youth.
Join New Jersey Audubon and the New Jersey Young Birders Club for an exciting field trip to Petty's Island. Learn about the island's industrial past and its transformation to a wildlife sanctuary as we hike along the Delaware River looking for spring migrants. The varied habitats allow for opportunities to see a variety of birds (and other wildlife too!). Bring an adult along and enjoy this rare opportunity.
Children MUST be 12 and older (grade 6+) to participate and accompanied by an adult or in a group with an adult to child ratio of 1:7. Each child must have a waiver signed by their parent or guardian. All adult chaperones must also have a signed waiver to participate. Registration is REQUIRED for this event; space is limited. Directions and other details are given upon registration. No phone or email registrations accepted.Registration opens March 11.
Please register here:  https://piyouthbirding.eventbrite.com
 
Petty’s Island History Hike
Saturday, June 20
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Explore this gem with local historian and author, Bob Shinn, on a hike through time on Petty’s Island. Hike along the Delaware River where points of interest will bring history to life. We will have opportunities for spectacular views of Philadelphia and other significant landmarks. Registration is REQUIRED for this trip. Details are given upon registration. No phone or email registrations accepted. Registration opens May 6. Please register here: https://pijunehh20.eventbrite.com
 
Place-Based Field Experience Workshop for All
Led by Kelly Wenzel, Project Director – Urban Education and Outreach, NJ Audubon
Friday, July 15
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kelly Wenzel has more than 20 years of experience using the outdoors as a classroom. She has worked extensively with classroom teachers as well as after school and daycare teachers and administrators.
 
Join Kelly for a day of hands-on experiences designed to get your students outside. Learn the basics of running your own place-based field experiences. Using Petty’s Island as the backdrop, discover how history and environment are connected and can be found in every neighborhood. Utilize the roadway, parking lot and natural areas to simulate different teaching spaces in your community. Learn seining, water quality monitoring, soil testing, plant and tree identification and much more!
 
This workshop is appropriate for anyone who works with children. All activities are aligned to NJ Student Learning Standards for Science and can be adapted to any teaching opportunity. Registration is REQUIRED for this event; space is limited. Directions and other details are given upon registration. Registration opens May 15.
Please register here: https://piteachers.eventbrite.com
 
Bats of Petty’s Night Hike
Saturday, August 1
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Join us for this special evening program and learn all about bats and their many important roles in nature. With the oil tanks gone we have permission to walk the road and explore the field habitats of Petty’s Island. We know bats use the island, but we’ve never been out at night to explore. We will bust some common myths about these fascinating but misunderstood animals and discuss some of the ways we can help to protect them. As the sun goes down, we will head out and try to pick up their echolocation calls with our bat detector. There is nothing quite like a nature walk at night, so come get batty with us! Children must be 12 and older to participate. Registration is REQUIRED for this trip. Details are given upon registration. No phone or email registrations. Registration opens June 17.
Please register here: https://pibathike20.eventbrite.com
 
Petty’s Island History Hike
Saturday, September 12
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Explore this gem with local historian and author, Bob Shinn, on a hike through time on Petty’s Island. Hike along the Delaware River where points of interest will bring history to life. We will have fabulous opportunities for spectacular views of Philadelphia and other significant landmarks. Registration is REQUIRED for this trip. Details are given upon registration. Registration opens July 29.
Please register here: https://pifallhh20.eventbrite.com
  
Early Fall Birding on the Delaware River
Saturday, September 19
7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
This wooded island in the Delaware River is truly an urban oasis for woodland, wading and shore birds. Learn some interesting history along the way and discover how this industrial port is transforming into a wildlife sanctuary. Registration is REQUIRED for this trip. Details are given upon registration. Registration opens August 5.
Please register here: https://pifallbirding20.eventbrite.com
 
Petty’s Island Community Clean Up Day
Saturday, October 3
8:30 a.m. to Noon
Here’s your chance to be part of the restoration of Petty’s Island. Join our team of enthusiastic volunteers to help clean up and restore the shoreline of this majestic island as part of the larger restoration project taking place. This cleanup is great for scout, religious, after school and other civic groups looking for a local volunteer project.
Children MUST be 12 and older to participate. Registration is REQUIRED for this event; space is limited. Directions and other details are given upon registration. Registration opens September 30.
Please register here: https://pifallcleanup20.eventbrite.com

Find Petty's Island on the TravelStorys App! Download the app using Google Play or the App Store and install the app to your phone. Open the app, then OK location and you're set! Search, scroll down or use the map to find Petty's Island. Then click the down arrow to download the story and the play arrow to play the story. Click on the various speach bubble icons to hear each story stop.
Let us know what you think!
www.njaudubon.org

For more information about Petty's Island Programs please visit
https://njaudubon.org/places-to-visit/pettys-island-preserve/

For more information about the NJ Natural Lands Trust and Petty's Island please visit
http://nj.gov/dep/njnlt/pettysisland.htm
Copyright © 2019 New Jersey Audubon, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
New Jersey Audubon
Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary
11 Hardscrabble Road
Bernardsville, NJ07924


OCSCD News & Events - January             (Posted: 1-10-20)

happy-holidays-header3.jpg
Celebrating a Year of
?Conservation Accomplishments!
Christine Raabe, District Director Completes State of New Jersey Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program
The nationally accredited State of New Jersey certified Public Manager Program is administered by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) and delivered by Rutgers University - Newark's School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA). The graduation ceremony on August 16, 2019 marked the end of 21 courses designed to instill the necessary skills for participants to advance within their organizations by becoming stronger leaders, more strategic thinkers, and more knowledgeable and experienced managers.

In order to attain success as a local conservation leader, OCSCD requires financial resources coupled with broad support from the communities and partners within the county. Utilizing a team approach, OCSCD will engage staff in developing a strategic plan while also maximizing staff talents, expertise and interests, and expanding its primary mission. Through a thoughtful and systematic process, the District will focus on implementing: "2020 Vision for the Ocean County Soil Conservation District - Creating a Sustainable Future for Conservation and Stewardship - A Strategic Plan".
Christine would like to recognize the Ocean County Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors for their continued support and confidence in the District's success. The Board acknowledges the efforts of the entire staff at the District for their efforts in creating an efficient and effective organization!
Accolades for Staff
Ocean County Soil Conservation District staff received numerous accolades at this year's New Jersey Association of Conservation District's Annual Meeting in December. Four technical staff were recognized for their "Outstanding Implementation of the Soil Erosion & Sediment Control Program", and OCSCD's Education Outreach Specialist received the 2019 Award for "Outstanding Service as a Professional Conservationist". 
(Pictured above L-R: Kristin Adams, Jessica Pinto, Brittany Moore, Jean Baluski, Becky Laboy)
Becky Laboy, M.Ed., was honored as "Professional Conservationist" for her education and outreach efforts. Since joining the OCSCD team in 2014, she has significantly expanded programs, attracted record attendance, cultivated strong partnerships with constituents and secured more than $150,000 in grant funding. Through her efforts, OCSCD earned the distinguished Pennsylvania Horticulture Society's 2018 Garden of Distinction Award for one of the District's Jersey-Friendly gardens. Becky was recently recognized by Ocean County College as an "Environmental Superhero" alumni. Ms. Laboy offers the District over 20 years of experience as a professional educator.
Jean Baluski, Resource Conservationist, has served nearly 15 years at the District. She serves dual roles as Office Manager and Erosion Control Specialist. In addition to administrative work, she coordinates directly with the technical staff. She reviews plans for Lakewood, one of the busiest municipalities in Ocean County, and steadfastly maintains her CPESC certification. Ms. Baluski is extremely dedicated, detail oriented, and keeps all District operations in order and working efficiently. She is committed to improving and ensuring the success of the District.
Jessica Pinto graduated in May 2014, with a degree in Environmental Science, and began as an intern at the District that spring. In the fall of 2014 she served as the NJ Watershed Ambassador to the Mullica River. She was hired as Inspector I by OCSCD in 2015 and promoted to Inspector II in 2018. She has served as Erosion Control Specialist since September, 2019. Ms. Pinto has become an integral part of the District, assisting with the training of new inspectors and has taken on responsibilities as a Reviewer.
Kristin Adams received a BS in Conservation and Wildlife Management from Delaware Valley University in 2015, and a Professional Science Masters in Environmental Science from Stockton University in 2017. She was hired by OCSCD in the same year as Inspector I, and promoted to Erosion Control Specialist in September 2019. Her previous job experiences include positions with USFWS, Save Barnegat Bay, Ducks Unlimited and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ. Ms. Adams has exceptional communication skills and continues to seek professional development opportunities to enhance her technical skills.
Brittany Moore received her Associates of Science degree from Ocean County College in 2014 (GPA 4.0) and graduated from Richard Stockton University in May 2017 (GPA 3.8). After interning at Cape Atlantic Soil Conservation in 2016-2017, she was hired by OCSCD in June 2017 as an Inspector I. She quickly surpassed the skills and abilities expected for a two-year employee by exhibiting exceptional mathematical and engineering abilities and a clear and thorough understanding of the concepts, theories and practices inherent to the NJ Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act. She was promoted to Erosion Control Specialist in September, 2019.
For information about OCSCD's Strategic Plan, New Jersey's Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, or OCSCD's Education and Outreach program, please call (609) 971-7002.
January 2020
new-year-header5.jpg
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy 2020!
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OCEAN COUNTY SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT NEWS, PROGRAMS & EVENTS
Soil is the foundation of all life on earth! Attend one of OCSCD's educational programs, or engage with our many environmental education partners throughout Ocean County. Experience nature at its roots!
Seed Swap Day at Insectropolis
Insectropolis, the "Bugseum" of New Jersey, is hosting their 2nd annual "Community Seed Swap Day" on Sunday, January 26, 11am-2pm. Join Ocean County Soil Conservation District and an array of environmental and garden-focused organizations for seed swapping, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits and more. Bring seeds to swap or purchase some from onsite vendors. FREE! Location: Insectropolis, 1761 Route 9, Toms River, 08755. For more information contact (732) 349-7090 or visit www.insectropolis.com.
Poster Contest for Kids
The NJ Conservation Poster Contest is an annual contest sponsored by the NJ Department of Agriculture, the New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts and the Ocean County Soil Conservation District, which aims to promote a better understanding of the connection between natural resources and humans, in a fun and creative way that engages students throughout the county, state and nation. It is open to all students from grades 2-12. The 2020 theme is: "Where would we BEE without Pollinators?" The Ocean County Grand Champion Winner will receive a $50 cash prize. Find out more about the contest, the prizes and how to enter. All Ocean County entries must be received by March 1, 2020. Contact Becky Laboy (619) 971-7002 ext. 114 education@soildistrict.org 
Sights and Sounds of the Pines
Joel M. Mott IV, Principal Programs Specialist of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, will offer a virtual walk in the woods showcasing the flora and fauna of the Pinelands. The talk will focus on the importance of water to the area's vegetation, as well as the cultural and historical resources of the region, while revealing this unique but fragile treasure. Thursday, March 5, 6:30-8:00pm in the Mancini Room at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington Street, Toms River, 08753. Sponsored by the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey and the Barnegat Bay Partnership. For questions and information contact Karen Walzer, Public Outreach Coordinator for the Barnegat Bay Partnership, kwalzer@ocean.edu (732) ext. 114
2020 Rain Barrel Challenge!
The Barnegat Bay Partnership is taking the lead on organizing the NJDEP's Rain Barrel Challenge. This is an annual art competition with an environmental theme for schools and youth organizations. The Rain Barrel Challenge aims to educate young people about the Barnegat Bay and its 660-square mile watershed and engage them in stewardship actions. The 2020 theme is: "Earth Day - Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting Our Planet!" Visit the BBP's website to learn more, or contact Karen Walzer, BBP's Public Outreach Coordinator, kwalzer@ocean.edu or (732) 255-0472 ext. 2.
Build a Better Yard: Jersey-Friendly Yards Program Series
The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve is hosting a 2020 series of Jersey-Friendly Yards programs in collaboration with OCSCD and Barnegat Bay Partnership. Gain knowledge about selecting appropriate native plants, water conservation and other sustainable gardening practices. Attend one, or all 4 programs. Location: Cousteau Coastal Center at 130 Great Bay Blvd., Tuckerton. To register contact Kaitlin Gannon (609) 812-0649 x206 or gannon@marine.rutgers.edu

February 3, 6:00-7:30pm: The Importance of a Healthy Watershed. An introduction on watersheds, as well as green infrastructure, pollution reduction, and bay water quality monitoring.

February 10, 6:00-7:00pm: Jersey-Friendly Yards. How to choose the right native plants using the Jersey-Friendly Yards website.

February 17, 6:00-7:00pm: Start With Healthy Soil. Learn about the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of soil, soil testing, plus the fundamentals of composting.

February 24, 6:00-7:00pm: Water Wisely. Water conservation techniques, as well as storm water management, rain barrels, rain gardens and more.
Get the Dirt on Your Soil
Healthy lawns and gardens start with healthy soil. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County is hosting a 2020 series of workshops focusing on SOIL. Learn more about your soil and how to keep it healthy. Location: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, 1623 Whitesville Road, Toms River, 08755. Please register by calling (732) 505-3671 or tbecker@co.ocean.nj.us Nonrefundable program fee of $10 each day.
March 4, 6:00-8:00pm:

?Start with Healthy Soil: Don't treat your soil like dirt! This program will teach you the basics about your soil, so you can start building a healthy foundation for your garden! Presented by Becky Laboy, OCSCD

Get the Lay of Your Land: Learn more about the soil under your feet at home. We will walk you through the Web Soil Survey to map your yard or garden's soil. Presented by Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers Extension of Ocean & Atlantic Counties
April 16, 6:00-8:00pm

Digging Deeper: What's Your Soil Telling You?
Get the scoop on your soil by taking a soil test! Come find out the importance of testing your soil, how to conduct a soil test, and how to interpret the results to keep your lawn and garden healthy and happy. Presented by Dr. Stephanie Murphy, Director of the Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory
May 14, 6:00-8:00pm

?Root Out Soil Compaction: Soil compaction is a major problem impacting your yard and garden. Come learn about what causes compaction, how it affects soil health, and how to correct soil compaction in the home landscape. Presented by Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers Extension of Ocean & Atlantic Counties
Pinelands Short Course: Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard
The NJ Pinelands Commission will once again host their annual Pinelands Short Course - a day-long event featuring educational presentations that explore the unique history, ecology and culture of the Pinelands. OCSCD and Barnegat Bay Partnership are teaming-up to present "Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard". Learn about the challenges that climate change poses to the residential landscape and how to mitigate the impacts. March 14, 2020. Location: Stockton University 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ 08205. Cost: Adult: $50, Senior: $45, Student: $45. For more information, contact Joel Mott (609) 684-7300, ext. 125 or info@pinelands.nj.gov
Jersey-Friendly Yards
This program features spring planting and landscaping tips designed for homeowners that offer easy, yet comprehensive information about creating a healthy and sustainable backyard using native plants. The benefits of a Jersey-Friendly Yard include a healthier foundation of soil for your garden, appropriate plants for your soil conditions, plants that support the needs of wildlife such as birds and butterflies, and water conservation in the garden. A Jersey-Friendly Yard supports a healthier watershed by emphasizing the importance of eliminating or reducing the amount of fertilizer and pesticides you need to put on your lawn and garden. March 25, 2020, 2:00-3:00pm. Location: Berkeley Branch of the Ocean County Library, 30 Station Road, Bayville, 08721. Please register through the Library. Free! For more information, contact Becky Laboy education@soildistrict.org or (609) 971-7002 ext. 114.
Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable
SAVE THE DATE, April 22, 2020, celebrate Earth Day with us at OCSCD's 23rd Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable! Engage in a variety of workshops and field trips that support STEM/STEAM-based activities and Next Generation Science Standards. Keynote Speaker, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Kelly Gill of Xerces Society will address pollinator conservation efforts through education. Event highlights also include networking opportunities, resource sharing, light dinner and dessert, and door prizes. Registration opens in January, 2020. Cost: $25. For more information, visit our website, or contact Becky Laboy (609) 971-7002, ext. 114 or education@soildistrict.org

Math or Science Presidential Awards Announcement 2020             (Posted: 1-10-20)

PAEMST logoNominate a deserving K-6 mathematics or science teacher within your district to win $10,000.

Anyone – including principals, teachers, parents, students, business leaders or members of the general public – may nominate exceptional mathematics or science teachers who are currently teaching grades K-6 for the 2019-20 award year.

Teachers may also apply directly on the PAEMST website.

 

Free Great Backyard Bird Count Event at Cattus Island Park             (Posted: 1-9-20)

Free Bird Walk and Count at Cattus Island Park on February 15th


It’s free, it’s fun, and it helps scientific research! Join Ocean County Parks and Recreation naturalists and the Barnegat Bay Partnership at a Great Backyard Bird Count event at Cattus Island County Park on Saturday, February 15, 2020 from 8:30-11:00 a.m.
 

More than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life join the four-day Great Backyard Bird Count each February to create an annual snapshot of bird populations worldwide.  Whether you’re an expert or first-time birder, you can help collect data for scientists to use in their research and conservation efforts, even in your own backyard!

At the Cattus Island Park event, naturalists will begin with a short talk about how to spot and identify bird species that spend the winter here, followed by a bird walk and count. Everyone from beginning birders to experts is welcome. Please dress appropriately for the weather, and bring binoculars if you have them (there will also be a few pairs available for sharing).

The Barnegat Bay Partnership is proud to be a sponsor of this local event. One of 28 National Estuary Programs, the Barnegat Bay Partnership comprises more than 30 government, academic, business, and community partners working together for clean water and healthy wildlife habitat in the Barnegat Bay watershed.

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Walzer at kwalzer@ocean.edu.

Barnegat Bay Partnership

Ocean County College, Building #7

College Drive

PO Box 2001

Toms River, NJ  08753

Ph:  732-255-0472

Fx:  732-255-0358
http://www.barnegatbaypartnership.org/

Events with the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife & Parks and Forestry             (Posted: 1-9-20+)

Ice Fishing Banner

The Division's Outdoor Women of NJ Program is offering an ice fishing workshop February 15, 2020 at Kittatinny Valley State Park from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Learn ice fishing basics, ice safety, and how to prepare your catch. For more information and to register visit the links below:

If ice conditions are unsafe the workshop will be rescheduled if possible.
Questions? Call 609-748-4347 or e-mail Karen.Byrne@dep.nj.gov.

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Winter Lake Banner

The Division's Annual Report, for Fiscal Year 2019, is available. The report summarizes the year's major efforts and accomplishments of each bureau and program, and includes the Division's financial report. The report, along with those for the past 10 years are available on the Division's website:

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Bog Hike

Winter Hike

Saturday, January 18, 2020

1 p.m. - 4 p.m.  FREE

Please register: (609) 561-0024


Join us for a winter hike exploring one of Wharton State Forest's newest aquisitions:  the Cutts Bogs Property in Tabernacle.  The hike will be about 5 miles and will traverse sections of abandoned cranberry bogs, white cedar bogs, and tributaries of the Rancocas Creek.  
FREE!  Limited to 25 people - registration is REQUIRED.  Call (609) 561-0024 to register.  Children must be 10 or older and with an adult.

Severe weather will cancel / Light rain/light snow/flurries do not.  Bring water and snacks.

Cutts Bogs Property corner of Route 532 and Patty Bowker Rd. in Tabernacle

Learn More

Wharton State Forest

whartoncamping@dep.nj.gov    609.561-0024

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New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry

Trailblazers Volunteer Days at Liberty State Park

Volunteers

Trailblazers Volunteer Days

Sunday, January 12th and 19th, 2020

10:00 AM - Noon

FREE; Pre-registration required

 


LSP Trailblazers focus on removing invasive weeds and vines and mulching native shrubs to improve habitat in the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area. We recommend that you dress for the weather, wear long sleeves and pants, sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves if you have them. Gloves, tools and trash bags will be provided.

We will meet at the Nature Center, which is the blue building on Freedom Way. Free parking is available across the street. This program is recommended for adults and families with children ages 10 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult for entire time they are volunteering. Groups of more than six, please call for special arrangements.

Pre-registration is required.  For more information or to register for your date(s) of choice, please contact the Nature Center at 201-915-3400 x202 or email LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov. In case of inclement weather, please call or email for program status.


Like us on Facebook! 
www.facebook.com/LibertyStateParkOfficial/

Liberty State Park Nature Center

LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov    201-915-3400 x202

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New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry

Recycled Papermaking at

Liberty State Park

 

Paper

Recycled Papermaking

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

10:00 AM - Noon

$3 per person; pre-registration required

Please call or email for registration info

Come create your own, unique, hand-made recycled art from used paper and other natural materials! The program will take place in the classrooms inside CRRNJ Terminal building located at 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305.

This program is recommended for adults and families with children ages 6 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the program. Groups of more than six, please call for special arrangements.

Program fee is $3 per person and re-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact the Nature Center at 201-915-3400 x202 or email LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov. Free parking is available is available in the lot across the street from the building (2 hour limit).

Like us on Facebook! 
www.facebook.com/LibertyStateParkOfficial

Liberty State Park Nature Center

LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov    201-915-3400 x202

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New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry

Volunteer Gardening at Liberty State Park

Daffodil

Volunteer Gardening at Liberty State Park

Every Saturday

9:00 AM to Noon in all seasons

FREE; No experience necessary

Come on out to Liberty State Park to enjoy the fresh air, get some exercise, learn how to plant a tree, make some new friends and do something positive for the environment! Please join us on Saturday mornings for a variety of gardening activities, including planting, weeding, mulching, and pruning.

Individuals and volunteer groups are welcome. The Volunteer Gardening Program is co-sponsored by The Friends of Liberty State Park.

For more information about our Saturday Volunteer Gardening, or for other volunteer opportunities for companies and organized groups during the week, please contact LSP gardener, Maria, at 201-915-3418 or email Rosemarie.Cuillerier@dep.nj.gov.

Like us on Facebook! 
www.facebook.com/libertystateparkofficial

Liberty State Park

LibertyStatePark@dep.nj.gov    201-915-3400 x101

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New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry

Bass River
State Forest Events 

bass river dog walk

Dog walk

January 11, 2020

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Bass River State Forest Office. Moderate-paced hike, 3-5 miles, bring drink and lunch

Free; donations are welcome

Pre-registration required, limit 15 dogs
(609) 296-6574 (hike leader)

NOTE: Do not have to have a dog to walk. Severe weather cancels.

 

Wednesday Walk in the Woods

January 15, 2020

9 a.m.

Caranza Memorial to Quaker Bridge
Free; donations are welcome
Moderate-paced hike, 7-8 miles, bring drink and lunch
(609) 296-6574 (trip leader)
Severe weather cancels

 

Dog Walk

February 8, 2020

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Bass River State Forest Office
Moderate-paced hike, 3-5 miles, bring drink and lunch
Pre-registration required, limit 15 dogs
(609) 296-6574 (trip leader)
Note: Dog not required to attend hike!
Severe weather cancels

 

Wednesday Walk in the Woods 

February 19, 2020

9 a.m.

Quaker Bridge to Batsto
Free; donations are welcome
Moderate-paced hike, 10 miles, bring drink and lunch
(609) 296-6574 (trip leader)
Severe weather cancels

Like us on Facebook! 
www.facebook.com/bassriverstateforest

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Hike in Cutts Bogs
Wharton State Forest

Bog Hike

Winter Hike

Sunday, January 19, 2020

1 p.m. - 4 p.m.  FREE

Please register: (609) 561-0024


Due to the popularity of the Saturday hike, a SECOND DAY/HIKE HAS BEEN ADDED!  Join us for a winter hike exploring one of Wharton State Forest's newest aquisitions:  the Cutts Bogs Property in Tabernacle.  The hike will be about 5 miles and will traverse sections of abandoned cranberry bogs, white cedar bogs, and tributaries of the Rancocas Creek.  
FREE!  Limited to 25 people - registration is REQUIRED.  Call (609) 561-0024 to register.  Children must be 10 or older and with an adult.

Severe weather will cancel / Light rain/light snow/flurries do not.  Bring water and snacks.

Cutts Bogs Property corner of Route 532 and Patty Bowker Rd. in Tabernacle.  This is where the hike will meet and begin.

Learn More

Like us on Facebook! 
www.facebook.com/whartonsf/

Wharton State Forest

whartoncamping@dep.nj.gov    609.561-0024

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Trailblazers Volunteer Day at Liberty State Park
Sunday, January 26th, 2020
10:00 AM - Noon
FREE; Pre-registration required
________________________________________
LSP Trailblazers focus on removing invasive weeds and vines and general trail maintenance to improve habitat in the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area. We recommend that you dress for the weather, wear long sleeves and pants, sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves if you have them. Gloves, tools and trash bags will be provided.
We will meet at the Nature Center, which is the blue building on Freedom Way. Free parking is available across the street. This program is recommended for adults and families with children ages 10 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult for entire time they are volunteering. Groups of more than six, please call for special arrangements.
Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact the Nature Center at 201-915-3400 x202 or email LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov. In case of inclement weather, please call or email for program status.

Summer Camp, Fresh Greens & Sunday Music at Terhune Orchards             (Posted: 1-9-20)

Click HERE.

Essex County Environmental Center - Winter 2019/20 Programs             (Posted: 12-12-19)

ESSEX COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

WINTER 2019/2020 PROGRAMS

CLUBS FOR CHILDREN

LITTLE EXPLORERS WINTER NATURE PROGRAM
For 2 year olds (Toddlers)
Tuesdays—February 4, 11, 18, 25 10am to 11am
For 3 year olds (Tots)
Thursdays—February 6, 13, 20, 27 1pm to 2pm
For 4 and 5 year olds (Pre-K)
Tuesdays—February 4, 11, 18, 25 1pm to 2pm
OR Thursdays—February 6, 13, 20, 27 10am to 11am
Children love to explore nature and observe all the natural wonders around them. We shall take magnifiers and our imaginations into the wooded wetland. Join us as we investigate what winter means to the forest plants and animals around our Environmental Center. Please come dressed for the weather since we will be spending time outside. Advanced registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $12 per child/session

FROG POND CLUB
Tuesdays—February 11 4pm to 5pm
Wednesdays—February 19 4pm to 5pm
For children ages 5 through 9. Uncover and discover ecosystem interactions at the frog pond. Explore with nets, magnifiers and microscopes to investigate what lives at the pond and learn from a naturalist what can be done to protect and conserve the pond inhabitants. Advanced registration, payment and minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $10 per child per session

FOREST FRIENDS CLUB
Thursdays—February 13 4pm to 5pm
For children ages 5 years and up. We’ll explore the forest using nets, binoculars, magnifiers, and microscopes to investigate nature in our wooded wetland habitat. Together we hope to foster an ethic of stewardship and offer an opportunity to take part in hands-on conservation projects. Advanced registration, payment and minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $10 per child per session

WINTER WONDERLAND CLUB
Saturdays—February 29 11am to 12pm
For children ages 4-8. Let your child enjoy the winter landscape and outdoor play once a month on Saturday from December through February. Drop off your grade school child for a fun adventure. This is an exploratory club. Warm mint tea and a book reading after outdoor activities may be occasionally held indoors, weather dependent. Dress warmly and in layers! Good boots are a must! Limited space available. Advanced registration, pre-payment and a minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776 Fee: $10 per child per session


WEEKLY PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
CHAIR YOGA
Tuesdays—February 4, 11, 18, 25 3pm to 4pm
For adults. If you are new to yoga or feel that most yoga classes might be too strenuous for you, chair yoga can provide the more easy-going supported style that you’ve been wishing. Come experience how gentle yogic breath decreases stress and increases comfort and fluidity of movement, not only through your yoga practice, but potentially throughout your life. All poses are enjoyed at your own pace, seated or standing next to a chair and using it for support whenever you like. Our class will end in a peaceful restorative pose and optional gentle shoulder massage, and may you float out of class with a song in your heart. All levels are welcome. Dress comfortably. Advanced registration, monthly pre-payment and a minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776. No refunds for missed classes. Fee: $15 class, $12 for those 65 and older

THURSDAY EVENING YOGA 6:30pm to 7:45pm
Thursdays—January 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27
For adults. In this “all levels” yoga series, each student is invited to explore and play through the breath and asanas/poses, flowing at your own pace with self-compassion and joy; followed by an optional gentle shoulder massage and restorative pose or Savasana of transformation and peace. All levels are welcome. Dress comfortably and please bring your own mat. Advanced registration, monthly payment and minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776. No refunds for missed classes. Fee: $15 per class, $10 for those 65 and older

MONTHLY PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS

HORTICULTURE FOR SENIORS
Mondays—February 24 1pm to 3pm
For senior citizens. Join the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County for this horticulture class especially designed for senior citizens. The monthly topics are Make a Holiday Decoration, Air Plants and How They Grow, and Ferns in February. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advanced registration is required one week prior to program; contact Amy Trimarco at 973.731.2449 or aatrimarco@comcast.net or the Master Gardner Helpline at 973.228.2210 or mastergardenerec@gmail.com. Free

NEW JERSEY WOODTURNERS
Mondays—February 24 7pm to 9:30pm
For adults and children ages 3 and up. Learn to turn with the NJ Woodturners Association. Discover the wonders of creating art from found pieces of wood. Topics vary by the month. Call Gualberto Malave at 908.310.3557 for details. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Fee: $10 per child, $12 per adult; free for NJWA members

ESSEX COUNTY BEEKEEPERS SOCIETY – “Optimizing the Hive”
Tuesdays—December 10; January 14 7pm to 9 pm
For adults and children ages 12 and up. In December, Master Beekeeper Grant Stiles of Stiles Apiaries will be speaking about varroa management at the ECBS Holiday Get- Together. During the January meeting, Master Beekeeper Kevin Inglin will speak to the club on non-traditional hive designs and their success in northern NJ. There will be no regular meeting in February. The ECBS, a chapter of the NJ Beekeepers Association, is dedicated to teaching new beekeepers how to manage their bees and helping experienced beekeepers to do it better. If you think you might be interested in keeping honeybees and would like to explore what's involved, you're welcome to join us. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Call ahead to confirm meeting as monthly meeting locations may change from time to time. Fee: $10 per child, $12 per adult, free for ECBS and NJBA members


December 2019 SEASONAL PROGRAMS
GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING WORKSHOP
Saturday, December 7 11am to 1pm
ON SITE REGISTRATION AND CREATION OF YOUR GINGERBREAD HOME OR HABITAT. Stop by the Essex County Environmental Center and our resourceful staff will get you started on your own unique creation. Must pre-register by this date to participate in the contest. Some materials will be provided, however, you are encouraged to bring your own items. This is the last day to register for the contest. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: Free if entering a home in the Sustainable Homes and Habitats Gingerbread Contest; otherwise, $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child; $12 per adult

14th ANNUAL SUSTAINABLE HOMES & HABITATS GINGERBREAD CONTEST & EXHIBIT
All entries must be registered by Saturday, December 7 and submitted by Monday, December 9
Create a unique gingerbread house with natural accents and green building design features. Sustainable Gingerbread Homes will be on display from Wednesday, December 11 through Saturday, December 21. Prizes will be awarded in various categories on Saturday, December 21st. To register or for more information, please call the Environmental Center at 973.228.8776.

COOKIES WITH SANTA
Saturday, December 7 1:30pm to 3pm
Bring your pets and join Essex County 4-H for a family picture with Santa. Hot cocoa and cookies for all! Meet in Garibaldi Hall. For information, contact Chrystine Gaffney at cg709@njaes.rutgers.edu. To register, visit http://go.rutgers.edu/phelb03p
Fee: $20 per family of 4

FAMILY HOLIDAY GIFT MAKING
Saturday, December 14 11am to 1pm
All ages. Stop by between the hours of 11am and 1pm for some family fun. Choose from making a picture frame wreath/or decorating individual picture frames, a garden stepping stone, or holiday tree ornaments. Individual family members can work on their own projects or work together to create something for someone special. At the time of registration, please inform our staff how many people will be attending, as well as how many will be making a holiday gift. For more information, please call 973.228.8776. Pre-registration and minimum number of participants are required. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child, $12 per adult

HOLIDAY SNOWMAN ORNAMENT WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
Monday, December 16 7pm to 8pm
For adults. Join Jenn Forino, founder of plusoils.com, in making an ornament that acts as a natural wooden diffuser for essential oils. This workshop will start with a mini-lesson teaching you how to use therapeutic essential oils for your overall health and well-being. For more information, call 973.228.8776. Pre-registration, payment and minimum number of participants required by December 10th. Fee: $15 per adult

WINTER WILDLIFE EXPLORERS CAMP
Monday, Dec. 23; Tuesday, Dec. 24; Thursday, Dec. 26 9:30am to 3:30pm
For children in kindergarten to 3rd grade. Campers enjoy stories, crafts, campfires and forest adventures exploring our wooded wetland forests in winter time. For more information, call 973.228.8776. Pre-registration, payment and minimum number of participants required. Fee: $180 per child for all three days OR $70 per child per day

FAMILY YOGA
Saturday, December 28 11am to 12pm
For ages 5 and up. Happy Baby, Cats and Cows, Tree, Elephant and Child’s Pose. Welcome to our Family Yoga Class, where you’ll share and enjoy an adventure of calming breath, fun asanas/poses, and gentle stretches with your nearest and dearest in a friendly, go-with-the-flow atmosphere. Advance registration and minimum number of participants are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $10 per child, $12 per adult

January 2020 SEASONAL PROGRAMS
THE ECO-FRIENDLY HOME
Saturday, January 4 11am to 12:30pm
For families. Make and take a hand-made food storage wrap with eco-friendly materials. Learn how to customize your own stationary and recycle paper at the same time. Let’s talk about how to reduce waste at home, be kind to our environment and make special customized usable and fun crafts. Bring your family, friends or come alone. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child; $12 per adult

HOT CHOCOLATE HIKE
Saturday, January 11 11am to 12:30pm
For families. Join us for a hike around the Environmental Center forest, build a winter campfire, sip hot cocoa and make s’mores. Dress warmly. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child, $12 per adult

OWL PELLET DISSECTION
Thursday, January 16 6pm to 7:30 pm
For children ages 7-12. Learn about our beautiful and mysterious silent hunters of the night. Discover what they’re eating as we discuss predators and prey and food chain dynamics. Carefully reconstruct the bones found inside owl pellets! Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10 per child

FAMILY YOGA
Saturday, January 18 11am to 12pm
For ages 5 and up. Happy Baby, Cats and Cows, Tree, Elephant and Child’s Pose. Welcome to our Family Yoga Class, where you’ll share and enjoy an adventure of calming breath, fun asanas/poses, and gentle stretches with your nearest and dearest in a friendly, go-with-the-flow atmosphere. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child, $12 per adult

MLK DAY: FOREST ANIMALS WINTER SURVIVAL – ONE DAY CAMP
Monday, January 20 9:30am to 3:30pm
For kids ages 5-10. Look at winter habitats and how New Jersey nature survives the cold season! Children will explore the winter wetlands and do indoor activities that are both fun and educational. Provide your child with good footwear and outer wear so we can fully enjoy the seasonal discoveries. Fee: $75 per child

SMART CYCLING
Tuesday, January 21 7pm to 8:30pm
For Adults. The Smart Cycling workshop offered by TransOptions https://www.transoptions.org/ is designed to develop confidence and competence of a bicycle rider. You’ll want to attend this class if you’re looking to add more cycling in your life or to improve your current understanding of core content. Participants will review how to best choose a bicycle, essential equipment, local bike law, as well as how to safely and comfortably ride your bike in various traffic conditions, terrain and climates. This workshop will cover the building blocks to meet the needs of any rider and we will be happy to work with you on a curriculum tailored to your needs. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $12 per adult

BOOK CIRCLE: BRAIDING SWEETGRASS BY ROBIN WALL KIMMERER
Tuesday, January 28 7pm to 8:30 pm
Come share the stories and reflections on personal and ecological wisdom and ways of being in right relationship with the Earth. Essex County Environmental Center is offering three different workshops (two others in March 2020) to explore supporting self-care and sustainability. Weaving together botany, books and hands on learning about stress reduction practices, each workshop will focus on resiliency and well-being. Interactive and inspiring, these offerings are facilitated by Jill Wodnick, mother, community herbalist and maternal health specialist at Montclair State University. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $12 per adult

WINTER WELLNESS WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
Tuesday, January 28 7pm to 8pm
For adults. No one has time for sickness to slow them down! Learn from Jenn Forino, founder of plusoils.com, how you can easily incorporate the benefits of therapeutic essential oils into your busy lifestyle to achieve the health you need. Pre-registration, payment and minimum number of participants required by January 27th. For information, call 973.228.8776. Fee: $12 per adult

February 2020 SEASONAL PROGRAMS
WINTER JOURNALING
Saturday, February 1 11am to 12:30pm
All ages (children under 5 require caregiver supervision). Discover the joy of phenology, the cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. Let us find a special place to write down and draw our winter discoveries and appreciate the cold and brisk change of the season. Maybe partake in some winter birding! We will also hike the grounds to note seasonal changes and beautiful discoveries. We will make our journals here on site. Friends and family are encouraged to join. Dress warmly. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child, $12 per adult

ELDERBERRY SYRUP & ESSENTIAL OILS
Tuesday, February 4 7pm to 8pm
For adults. With the seasons changing, it is important to do all we can to support a healthy immune system. No one has time to get sick! Be ready the next time someone sneezes in your house! Jenn Forino, from plusoils.com, is teaming up with local elderberry syrup supplier, Diana Weeks, to teach about the power of plants! The presentation includes information on elderberry syrup, essential oils, vitamins, and more! Each registered guest goes home with a bottle of elderberry syrup. Register by January 31st. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $20 per adult

FAMILY YOGA
Saturday, February 8 11am to 12pm
For ages 5 and up. Happy Baby, Cats and Cows, Tree, Elephant and Child’s Pose. Welcome to our Family Yoga Class, where you’ll share and enjoy an adventure of calming breath, fun asanas/poses, and gentle stretches with your nearest and dearest in a friendly, go-with-the-flow atmosphere. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child, $12 per adult

BUILD A BIRD HOUSE
Saturday, February 15 11am to 12:30pm
For adults and children ages 8 and older who are accompanied by an adult. Join us to build a home that encourages breeding birds and other wildlife to take residence. Putting out your bird house now creates a good chance of having a nesting pair of songbirds in your garden by spring. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10 per child; $12 per adult

PRESIDENTS DAY: AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, LOVE YOUR LAND
Monday, February 17 1pm to 4pm
For children ages 7-12. On this day, your children will learn how to conserve resources and preserve nature. Projects will include using recycled materials collected here at the Center, fun role-playing scenarios in order to make healthy and good choices for our environment and a lesson about our wetlands. Our future leaders will explore their attachment to this great country and its land. Dress warmly. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $35 per child

WINTER CAMPFIRE AND CHARCOAL ART
Thursday, February 20 6:15pm to 7:45pm
All ages (under 5 requires caregiver supervision). Friends and family welcome. Come alone or bring a group. Join us for a winter campfire and make your own charcoal art stick. We can collect our perfect charcoal pencil and watch it turn into a tool of art magic! Charcoal art paper will be provided and expect to get your hands dirty with this fun project! Dress warmly. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child, $12 per adult

WINTER ADVENTURE
Saturday, February 22 12pm to 1:30pm
For children ages 7-10. Together we’ll explore team building exercises out on our forest trails and discuss and develop the skills we use to cooperate and make beneficial decisions about ourselves, each other and our environment. All challenges are meant to encourage growth and cooperation skills. Consider sending in age appropriate siblings! Dress warmly. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10 per child

ESSEX COUNTY BEEKEEPERS SOCIETY: BASIC BEEKEEPING: 3-DAY SHORT COURSE
Saturdays, February 22 & 29; Field Day TBA 8:30am to 4pm For adults and children ages 12 and older. This short course is appropriate for new beekeepers, as well as those who need a refresher. It is presented by the Essex County Beekeepers Society, http://ecbs.njbeekeepers.org/index.htm, a branch of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, with head instructor/coordinator Master Beekeeper Landi Simone. The class will cover everything beginning beekeepers need to know, from purchasing equipment to harvesting honey and the basics of disease and mite management. The third day of class will be a hands-on Field Day to be held in April 2019 at various area apiaries. For more information, contact registrar Pat Gamsby at BJORNLASS@aol.com or 973.960.2997. Email is the preferred means of reaching Pat. Online registration available at https://njba38.wildapricot.org/events  Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Snow date: March 2nd. Fee: $130, which includes all class materials, continental breakfast, and afternoon snack.

NEW THIS YEAR! BICYCLE FRIENDLY DRIVER
Monday, February 24 7pm to 8:30pm
For Adults. The Bicycle Friendly Driver program TransOptions https://www.transoptions.org/ includes knowledge useful to all drivers. Through interactive discussions and videos, participants learn the principles for sharing the road safety with people on bicycles. We’ll cover local law for both motorists and bicyclists, common crashes and how to avoid them, safe passing and how to navigate bicycle infrastructure. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $12 per adult

New Jersey Audubon
URBAN OASIS BIRDING FIELD TRIPS
Led by Dave Hall, Associate Naturalist
Field trips are designed for ages 12 and up. Have you ever wanted to “bird watch” but didn’t know where to begin? Would you like to find some of the hidden gems in Essex County? Let New Jersey Audubon be your guide. We will look for resident and over-wintering birds as well as scenic vistas. Many of these trips are to Essex County parks, the first county parks system created in the United States. Dave will set an easy pace, and most of the trails are on level and wide paths. Hikes take place unless trails are impassable due to snow or ice; heavy rain or snow cancels. Registrants will receive a confirmation call/e-mail in the event of a cancellation. Advance payment may be made via credit card. Onsite payment by exact cash or check only. To register, please contact the Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary at 908.396.6386.

THURSDAY MORNING FIELD TRIPS

Essex County Hatfield Swamp
Thursday, December 19 8:30am to 11am
Take a journey into the frozen swamp to search for winter visitors and lingering fall migrants that call the heart of western Essex County home. Meet at Stop & Shop, 875 Bloomfield Avenue, West Caldwell. Free

Essex County Weequahic Park
Thursday, January 2 8:45am to 11am Visit an Essex County oasis while searching for wintering ducks, gulls and passerine birds. All can be viewed along an easy trail around the lake. Enter and park at Meeker Avenue and Empire Street and meet in the large parking area on the south side of the lake. Free

Essex County Hilltop Reservation
Thursday, January 16 8:30am to 11am
Take a leisurely winter hike while looking for winter wildlife, especially field and forest birds. Meet at Mountain Avenue and Courter Lane, North Caldwell. Free

Troy Meadows
Thursday, February 20 8:30am to 11am
Search the edges of the swamp for wintering birds and early migrants. Be prepared for muddy or icy conditions. Meet at the Essex County Environmental Center, 621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, and carpool to the trail head. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members.

SATURDAY MORNING FIELD TRIPS
Troy Meadows
Saturday, December 7 8:30am to 11:00am
Search the edges of the frozen swamp for wintering birds and early migrants. Be prepared for muddy or icy conditions. Meet at the Essex County Environmental Center, 621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, and carpool to the trail head. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members

Essex County Riker Hill and Becker Tract
Saturday, January 4 8:30am to 11am
Walk through old farm fields to discover overwintering field birds. Hike along the ridge at Riker Hill for great views and a look at woodland birds. Meet at the Environmental Center, 621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, and carpool to the hiking site. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members

Essex County Hatfield Swamp
Saturday, February 22 8:30am to 11am
Take a journey into the frozen swamp to search for winter visitors and early spring migrants that call the heart of western Essex County home. Footing could be icy or muddy depending on the weather. Meet at Stop & Shop, 875 Bloomfield Avenue, West Caldwell, and carpool to the trail head. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members


LOOKING AHEAD
SPRING CAMP
Monday, April 6; Tuesday, April 7; Wednesday, April 8 12:30pm to 4:30pm
OR Tuesday, April 14; Wednesday, April 15; Thursday, April 16
For children in grades 1 through 5. Restore the bond between children and nature. Children will have the opportunity to explore nature right here at the Essex County Environmental Center. For details, call the Center at 973.228.8776. Advanced registration and payment are required. Fees: $170 per child for all 3 days OR $70 per child/per day

EARTH DAY 2020
Saturday, April 25 11am to 4pm
HAPPY 50 YEARS EARTH DAY! Bring your family, friends, and neighbors for our annual outdoor Earth festival. On this special day, celebrating its 50th anniversary year, the Essex County Environmental Center will make extra efforts to share its wonder and appreciation of the natural world with its patrons, partners and friends. Enjoy a day filled with crafts, games, and recreational opportunities, such as canoeing and hiking. Enjoy demonstrations, information, a local eco-vendors’ sale, with Environmental Center staff and partner groups on hand to guide you throughout the day. FREE EVENT (items may be for sale)


Essex County Environmental Center
County of Essex, Department of Parks
621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, NJ 07068
P: 973-228-8776  |  F: 973-228-3793
Visit our Environmental Center Website

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Upcoming Events At Liberty State Park             (Posted: 12-12-19)

Volunteer Gardening at Liberty State Park
Every Saturday
9:00 AM to Noon in all seasons
FREE; No experience necessary

Come on out to Liberty State Park to enjoy the fresh air, get some exercise, learn how to plant a tree, make some new friends and do something positive for the environment! Please join us on Saturday mornings for a variety of gardening activities, including planting, weeding, mulching, and pruning.
Individuals and volunteer groups are welcome. The Volunteer Gardening Program is co-sponsored by The Friends of Liberty State Park.
For more information about our Saturday Volunteer Gardening, or for other volunteer opportunities for companies and organized groups during the week, please contact LSP gardener, Maria, at 201-915-3418 or email Rosemarie.Cuillerier@dep.nj.gov.

For more information, please call 201-915-3400 x202 or email LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov. Free parking is available in the lot across the street from the Terminal building (2-hour limit).

OCSCD News & Events - December             (Posted: 12-12-19)

December 2019
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OCEAN COUNTY SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT NEWS & EVENTS
Upcoming Programs & Events:
Soil is the foundation of all life on earth! Attend one of OCSCD's educational programs, or engage with our many environmental education partners throughout Ocean County. Experience nature at its roots!
Seed Swap Day at Insectropolis
Insectropolis, the "Bugseum" of New Jersey, is hosting their 2nd annual "Community Seed Swap Day" on Sunday, January 26, 11am-2pm. Join Ocean County Soil Conservation District and an array of environmental and garden-focused organizations for seed swapping, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits and more. Bring seeds to swap or purchase some from onsite vendors. FREE! Location: Insectropolis, 1761 Route 9, Toms River, 08755. For more information contact (732) 349-7090 or visit www.insectropolis.com.
Poster Contest for Kids
The NJ Conservation Poster Contest is an annual contest sponsored by the NJ Department of Agriculture, the New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts and the Ocean County Soil Conservation District, which aims to promote a better understanding of the connection between natural resources and humans, in a fun and creative way that engages students throughout the county, state and nation. It is open to all students from grades 2-12. The 2020 theme is: "Where would we BEE without Pollinators?" The Ocean County Grand Champion Winner will receive a $50 cash prize. Find out more about the contest, the prizes and how to enter. All Ocean County entries must be received by March 1, 2020. Contact Becky Laboy (619) 971-7002 ext. 114 education@soildistrict.org 
2020 Rain Barrel Challenge!
The Barnegat Bay Partnership is taking the lead on organizing the NJDEP's Rain Barrel Challenge. This is an annual art competition with an environmental theme for schools and youth organizations. The Rain Barrel Challenge aims to educate young people about the Barnegat Bay and its 660-square mile watershed and engage them in stewardship actions. The 2020 theme is: "Earth Day - Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting Our Planet!" Visit the BBP's website to learn more, or contact Karen Walzer, BBP's Public Outreach Coordinator, kwalzer@ocean.edu or (732) 255-0472 ext. 2.
Build a Better Yard: Jersey-Friendly Yards Program Series
The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve is hosting a 2020 series of Jersey-Friendly Yards programs in collaboration with OCSCD and Barnegat Bay Partnership. Gain knowledge about selecting appropriate native plants, water conservation and other sustainable gardening practices. Attend one, or all 4 programs. Location: Cousteau Coastal Center at 130 Great Bay Blvd., Tuckerton. To register contact Kaitlin Gannon (609) 812-0649 x206 or gannon@marine.rutgers.edu

February 3, 6:00-7:30pm: The Importance of a Healthy Watershed. An introduction on watersheds, as well as green infrastructure, pollution reduction, and bay water quality monitoring.

February 10, 6:00-7:00pm: Jersey-Friendly Yards. How to choose the right native plants using the Jersey-Friendly Yards website.

February 17, 6:00-7:00pm: Start With Healthy Soil. Learn about the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of soil, soil testing, plus the fundamentals of composting.

February 24, 6:00-7:00pm: Water Wisely. Water conservation techniques, as well as storm water management, rain barrels, rain gardens and more.
Get the Dirt on Your Soil
Healthy lawns and gardens start with healthy soil. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County is hosting a 2020 series of workshops focusing on SOIL. Learn more about your soil and how to keep it healthy. Location: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, 1623 Whitesville Road, Toms River, 08755. Please register by calling (732) 505-3671 or tbecker@co.ocean.nj.us Nonrefundable program fee of $10 each day.
March 4, 6:00-8:00pm:

Start with Healthy Soil: Don't treat your soil like dirt! This program will teach you the basics about your soil, so you can start building a healthy foundation for your garden! Presented by Becky Laboy, OCSCD

Get the Lay of Your Land: Learn more about the soil under your feet at home. We will walk you through the Web Soil Survey to map your yard or garden's soil. Presented by Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers Extension of Ocean & Atlantic Counties
April 16, 6:00-8:00pm

Digging Deeper: What's Your Soil Telling You?
Get the scoop on your soil by taking a soil test! Come find out the importance of testing your soil, how to conduct a soil test, and how to interpret the results to keep your lawn and garden healthy and happy. Presented by Dr. Stephanie Murphy, Director of the Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory
May 14, 6:00-8:00pm

Root Out Soil Compaction: Soil compaction is a major problem impacting your yard and garden. Come learn about what causes compaction, how it affects soil health, and how to correct soil compaction in the home landscape. Presented by Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers Extension of Ocean & Atlantic Counties
Pinelands Short Course: Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard
The NJ Pinelands Commission will once again host their annual Pinelands Short Course - a day-long event featuring educational presentations that explore the unique history, ecology and culture of the Pinelands. OCSCD and Barnegat Bay Partnership are teaming-up to present "Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard". Learn about the challenges that climate change poses to the residential landscape and how to mitigate the impacts. March 14, 2020. Location: Stockton University 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ 08205. Cost: Adult: $50, Senior: $45, Student: $45. For more information, contact Joel Mott (609) 684-7300, ext. 125 or info@pinelands.nj.gov
Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable
SAVE THE DATE, April 22, 2020, celebrate Earth Day with us at OCSCD's 23rd Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable! Engage in a variety of workshops and field trips that support STEM/STEAM-based activities and Next Generation Science Standards. Keynote Speaker, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Kelly Gill of Xerces Society will address pollinator conservation efforts through education. Event highlights also include networking opportunities, resource sharing, light dinner and dessert, and door prizes. Registration opens in January, 2020. Cost: $25. For more information, visit our website, or contact Becky Laboy (609) 971-7002, ext. 114 or education@soildistrict.org
Conservation Conversation
OCSCD's Education Program Highlights
Connect with Jersey-Friendly Yards!
Since the launch of the Jersey-Friendly Yards website in 2015 (www.JerseyYards.org), OCSCD, Barnegat Bay Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County have presented over 100 programs, garden tours and speaking events, engaged over 2,500 constituents, given-away 200 native plants, and facilitated the installation of 25 Jersey-Friendly gardens and landscapes in the Barnegat Bay watershed. Jersey-Friendly gardens are friendly to people, friendly to wildlife, friendly to our communities, and friendly to our planet! 
You, too, can be a Jersey-Friendly gardener! Connect with us through facebook and YouTube, and stay in-the-know about the friendliest garden practices for your Jersey yard. 
Connect with the Jersey-Friendly Yards facebook page for Jersey-Friendly gardening tips, including how to create a foundation of healthy soil, implementing water conservation strategies, identifying invasive species, and selecting appropriate native plants for your yard. 
View our Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard program on YouTube, presented at the Pinelands Commission on November 14.

Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest Now Open             (Posted: 12-11-19)

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2020 Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest
Open until January 31, 2020
Attention Educators and Parents: Fifth Grade Contest Now Open!

New Jersey's fifth grade students can become champions for local wildlife by entering the Species on the Edge Contest. Students learn where wildlife lives, what they look like, and what threatens their futures to create a well researched essay and original artwork. The contest allows a diverse range of learners to engage in a real-world research project where science, writing and art take on significance beyond the walls of the classroom.

Entries for the 2020 contest are being accepted until January 31, 2020. Winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in the Spring. 

Students are invited to select one of more than eighty endangered or threatened New Jersey species and can complete their essay and accompanying art piece as part of a week-long Common Core and NextGen Science standards aligned unit or with a quick one day introduction. 

Entry forms, Unit by Design lesson plans, pre-writing graphic organizers, grading rubrics, and other resources are available at www.ConserveWildlifeNJ.org/Education/Edge/. Additional teacher resources, including a National Arts Standards optional project and curriculum are also available.

For more information, please visit our website or contact CWF Director of Education, Stephanie DAlessio at stephanie.dalessio@conservewildlifenj.org or 609-984-0621.

NJ Envirothon is looking for teams to compete in this year’s event on May 2nd             (Posted: 11-18-19)

The New Jersey Envirothon is recruiting High School teams of 5 students in (grades 9-12) to compete in its 27th Annual competition. For additional information on the NJ Envirothon please see the attached invitation letter and NJ Envirothon brochure. You also obtain additional information on the NJ Envirothon websitehttps://www.njenvirothon.org or by watching the following Classroom closeup program from our 25th Anniversary event https://classroomcloseup.org/segments/25th-envirothon-anniversary/

November 7, 2019

Dear Colleague:

The twenty seventh annual New Jersey Envirothon will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at YMCA Camp Topanemus in Monmouth County. The Envirothon is a nationally promoted environmental education competition directed towards high school students. We are anticipating that you know of a group of students curious about natural resource conservation who may be interested in participating in this event.

The purpose of the Envirothon is to provide hands-on training for students and their advisors in natural resource conservation. When teams register for this event, they will be able to use our online study guide which focuses on five natural resource areas including Aquatics, Current Issues, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife and a team Presentation station. This year's current environmental issue is "Water Resource Management: Local Control and Local Solutions". Students are encouraged to study these materials throughout the year. In March and April, hands-on training sessions will begin where all registered students and their advisors will be invited to a park or nature center to review the material with natural resource professionals.

In May, the actual Envirothon competition takes place in a natural setting where teams of students will spend 30 minutes at each of the six testing stations exercising their knowledge on natural resources. The winner of this event receives some travel expenses and free registration at the 2020 NCF-Envirothon which will take place at University of Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska on July 26 August 1, 2020 where they will compete with students from all over the United States, Canada and China to win scholarships and recognition for their school and state.

To heighten this educational experience the YMCA Camp Topanemus has agreed to provide an area for tent camping at no cost for each school registering for the 2020 Envirothon. You may contact the 2020 New Jersey Envirothon Coordinator Holly Reynolds at any of the following (732) 683-8500; hreynolds@freeholdscd.org or by mail to Freehold Soil Conservation District 4000 Kozloski Road, Freehold 07728 to reserve your team's space. Registration for the event and overnight accommodations must be completed before March 6, 2020.

Please note that as of January 1, 2020 I will be retiring so all contact information must be directed to Holly Reynolds at the above address:

If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to call us or visit our web site at https://www.njenvirothon.org We hope to see you at the 2020 Envirothon!!!

Sincerely,

Richard A. Belcher
New Jersey Envirothon Coordinator

Art & Essay Contest for 5th Graders             (Posted: 10-30-19)

The Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest, sponsored by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, is now accepting entries. Students in 5th grade select one of more than eighty endangered New Jersey species and write a well-researched essay creatively advocating for that animal along with an accompanying art piece.
Entry deadline is January 31, 2020.
Click HERE.

Join the National Geographic GeoChallenge             (Posted: 10-30-19)

Click HERE.