Hunterdon County, NJ | Department of Planning and Land Use | Hunterdon County Parks in the News

HUNTERDON COUNTY PARKS AND PROGRAMS IN THE NEWS!!

Rabies AlertCOUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND PARKS DEPARTMENT ISSUES PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT AFTER COYOTE TESTS POSITIVE FOR RABIES (10/31/2019)

The Hunterdon County Health Department and Parks Department are issuing an alert to residents after a coyote tested positive for Rabies at the Point Mountain Reserve, Hunterdon County Park in Lebanon Township, New Jersey. The County is working in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health, Department of Environmental Protection, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Warren County Health Department and Hunterdon County Animal Control Officers. READ MORE...

 

Space TreeCOLUMBIA SHUTTLE TREE

The Hunterdon County Arboretum located at 1020 Rt 31 in Flemington is honored to be the designated home of a very special Eastern White Pine Tree.  The Eastern White Pine (Pinus Strobus) grows to 50-80 feet in height and will be 20-40 feet wide at maturity. This tree was germinated from a seed carried aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1997.  Astronaut Gregory T. Linteris, PH.D., a New Jersey native, brought the seeds 1.5 million miles into outer space at an astonishing speed of 17,500 MPH.  The New Jersey Forest Service was then responsible for the germination of the tree.  In 2003, six years after Linteris’ mission to space, the Columbia embarked on another mission, where its crew was tragically lost upon its re-entering of Earth’s atmosphere. 

Dedicated and planted on Arbor Day in 2011, the tree continues to thrive at the Arboretum.  Standing tall and strong, this tree is a meaningful testament to the wonders of space exploration.

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SMOKEY TURNS 75

Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation would like to wish Smokey Bear a happy 75th birthday!  Smokey has been a symbol for wildfire prevention within the United States since 1944 and continues to serve as an educational tool for fire safety today.  How much do you really know about the history of Smokey Bear?  Did you know that Smokey Bear was created in response to the events of World War II?  The attack on American soil at Pearl Harbor and the surfacing of Japanese submarines along the coast of California began to trigger intense fear amongst Americans.  Much concern was raised over the potential loss of property and the risk of forest fires due to detonating mortar shells along the Pacific Coast.  With many firefighters away at war, there was a push to raise awareness about fire safety and an increased emphasis on prevention methods.  The Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) program was ultimately created to help spread awareness.  Within time, Smokey was born and began to appear on posters and images all over the country.  Many believe animals were incorporated into the fire prevention campaign to help pull on the heartstrings of Americans and inspire citizens to act in protecting these innocent creatures from harm.

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Trails to Table D&R Greenway Land Trust TREE PLANTING AT MELICK’S BRIDGE

Held on Saturday, May 18, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Melick’s Bridge located at 245 Hamden Road, in Annandale.

Our local NJ Watershed Ambassador hosted Tree Planting event on Saturday May 18, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Melick’s Bridge Section of the South Branch Reservation.   The event consisted of planting and putting protective covers on about 160 tree saplings right next to the Raritan River.

This tree planting aims to stabilize the banks of the Raritan River, create new habitat for the local wildlife, and connect the community to their watershed. 

For more information about this project contact Daniel Correa at (908) 234-1852 or email  americorps@raritanheadwaters.org, you may also call our office at (908)782-1158.

A BALD EAGLE DISPLAY, PONDS, TRAILS AND TURTLES AT THE HUNTERDON COUNTY ARBORETUM

Eagle Display, Ponds, Trails and Turtles at the Arobretum


Spring is here, and the Arboretum is bursting with color. An arboretum is defined as a living museum comprised of trees, shrubs, and plants that are observed and studied for educational purposes. This 73-acre site, once a commercial nursery, was established by George Bloomer in the 1940s. The Administration Building was constructed in 1953 by Mr. Bloomer as his nursery office and residence. This is now the offices for the Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation

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Turtle mating season - follow guidelines or just leave alone... TURTLE TIME!!!

Why did the turtle cross the road?!?

Because it was probably a pregnant female looking for a nesting site!


It’s that time of the year again, folks! Every year, from late spring into the early fall, its turtle nesting season for the various types of turtles in Hunterdon County! As you can imagine, they tend to be even a bit feistier and more mobile at this time. This means that there is a higher chance of pregnant (gravid) females crossing roads in an effort to find somewhere to nest. These soon-to-be moms will venture farther away from bodies of water in order to find soft, loose, loamy soil to lay their eggs in. They will deposit the eggs into a cavity about seven inches into the ground and carefully cover them up. This can be done several times in the season, most often at dawn or dusk.

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HAVE YOU FOUND AN 'ABANDONED' FAWN? Leave Fawns Be - 99% o f the time they are not abandoned

PLEASE - Do Not Disturb!!!

This fawn is not abandoned, their behavior is to hide and not move when threatened. Sometimes their mothers will leave them in a ‘safe’ place so they can forage for food and return to their babies at a later time.

If you see a fawn laying by itself please do not touch it, the mother is near-by and she will be back for it. This may become a common practice for the mother, she may leave it in the same area again for several days.

If in doubt please give us a call to speak to one of our Naturalists or Rangers at 908-782-1158.

KNOW THE BEAR FACTS!

Black Bears in New Jersey - from the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife

Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. They are an integral part of the state's natural heritage and a vital component of healthy ecosystems.

Since the 1980s the Garden State's black bear population has been increasing and expanding its range both southward and eastward from the forested areas of northwestern New Jersey. Within the most densely populated state in the nation, black bears are thriving and there are now confirmed bear sightings in all 21 of New Jersey's counties.

Division of Fish and Wildlife personnel use an integrated approach to managing New Jersey's black bear population, fostering coexistence between people and bears.

The most common bear problem New Jersey's residents experience is black bears getting into their garbage. Bears are attracted to neighborhoods by garbage odors, so properly securing your garbage is one of the best ways to prevent bears from becoming a nuisance in your community.

Residents are encouraged to work within their community to make sure all garbage is secured and kept away from bears. For tips on proper garbage management and coexisting with bears, visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/bearfacts_avoid.htm

Meet 'REPY' - Research Every PetRED-EARED SLIDER - "REPY"

Our Red-eared Slider is now named “Repy”!

“Repy” stands for Research Every Pet and this name reminds us of the importance of research prior to pet purchases, as well as why we should not release pets into the wild. 

Congratulations to the Frigiola Family for submitting this winning name on behalf of Mrs. Strysky’s 4th grade class at Franklin Township School.  Mrs. Strysky’s class will receive a free program at their school. 

Thank you to all who submitted name suggestions.  Feel free to visit Repy and our other live turtles at the Hunterdon County Arboretum during business hours (weekdays 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM). 

Eagle Display at the Hunterdon County ArboretumBald Eagle Display at the Hunterdon County Arboretum

Our taxidermy mount of an adult Bald Eagle has arrived and is now on public display at the Hunterdon County Arboretum, located at 1020 Rt 31 North, Lebanon, NJ.

The Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation, compared to other county parks is a small one, but we are mighty, and good at what we do. The care and dedication our staff puts into our everyday operations, through trips, programs, special events, concerts and nature camps, brings in thousands of people every year.  Now, each park visitor can revel in the fact that they are responsible for our request to have a Bald Eagle on display being granted. We could not have gotten this regal bird without them.

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GUIDELINES for GNOME & FAIRY HOUSES on the COLUMBIA TRAILOUTDOORS WITH ANDRE:  DISCOVERING GNOMES ON THE COLUMBIA TRAIL

  • Built from organic materials only ( no plastics/no cardboard )
  • Footprint, height/width not to exceed any more than a 12 inch squared area
  • All homes and structures to reside outside a 25 foot right of way. (12.5 feet on each side of center line of trail)
  • No more than 10 structures per 100 feet of trail (clustered or spaced)
  • No clearing /damage to live vegetation ( no nails in trees or permanent attachments)
  • No hanging or suspended structures / all structures at ground level
  • Small figurines are permitted in structure
  • No profanity
  • It is the responsibility of the individuals placing gnomes/homes to maintain & remove it when decay is evident.
  • A once yearly clearing of any decaying materials will be conducted by Hunterdon County Parks with notice on the trail to the public.
  • The Gnomes/Fairies are accepted and enjoyed by the residents and pedestrian traffic of the Columbia Trail, however Hunterdon County reserves the right to remove any structures within the park property which do not adhere to these guidelines.

Hunterdon County Parks Division Park Naturalist Round Table MeetingHUNTERDON HOSTS NJ PARK NATURALIST ROUND TABLE MEETING

On April 6, the Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation hosted an in-house workshop on environmental and public issues challenging the Park Departments of New Jersey. Along with the Hunterdon Naturalist Staff, 18 other naturalists and environmentalists from Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Burlington, Essex, Bucks County – PA, New Jersey State Parks, New Jersey Water Supply Authority, and the Stony Brook & Milestone Watershed gathered to learn and share knowledge. The topics included; teaching youths with special needs, coexisting with Coyotes, threats related to the Emerald Ash Borer, and updates on the diseases and concerns surrounding the tick species found in New Jersey.

While representatives from Hunterdon presented many of the topics, we gained insight and constructive criticism from how our neighboring and surrounding counties are handling, or would handle their approaches to these issues. The networking and camaraderie that developed during this workshop will benefit our public as our resource pool expands with new friends and colleagues from around the state. We hope that this gathering will become an annual affair with each organization taking a turn to host the event.

For additional information, please contact Hunterdon County Chief Park Naturalist Tom Sheppard at 908-782-1158 or email him at tsheppard@co.hunterdon.nj.us

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE...

 

Patrick Eckard, Recreation LeaderMEET PATRICK ECKARD, Hunterdon County Parks Recreation Leader
January 2018 Program Update

My name is Patrick Eckard, and I am a Recreation Leader at the Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation. I have worked for the County for a total of 16 years, 6 years with the Parks. I grew up in Hunterdon County and I have a background in First Aid, camping, hiking, trail work, and canoeing/kayaking.  I am an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with two Hunterdon County Rescue Squads.  I am also a First Aid and CPR instructor with the American Heart Association. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, helping people, and reading.  Here at the Parks I have many job titles.  I am in charge of our Canoeing Hunterdon’s Waterways program, which is my favorite. The program includes canoeing as well as kayaking, which I love to do.

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LOCAL GIRL SCOUT COMPLETES HER GOLD AWARD MAINTAINING SEVERAL KESTRAL BOXES IN HUNTERDON COUNTY PARKS - www.youtube.com

Girl Scout and Dickenson College Student (Environmental Sciences Study) Rachael Czerna completed here Gold Award Project in the Spring/Summer of 2017 at various Hunterdon County Parks.

Her project was to assess the conditions of (and if needed repair/replace) several Kestrel Boxes.

Click to play the video to the right to hear Rachel talk about the American Kestrel and her project or view on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/sJs7Fm2z-iw

NJ.COM PHOTO - WILDERNESS FIRST AID TRAINING - BOY SCOUTSBOY SCOUTS TAKE PART IN WILDERNESS FIRST AID TRAINING - www.nj.com

Boy Scout leaders from town across Hunterdon County and Bucks County in Pennsylvania were joined by staff of the Hunterdon County Park System for a weekend of Wilderness First Aid Training at the Echo Hill Environmental Education Center.  

The two-day class focused on injuries and illnesses common in remote outdoor settings and wilderness adventures, such as backpacking, kayaking, sailing, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice sessions were followed by a two-hour "final exam" where Venturers from Crew 6194 served as the patients.

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New County Parks Director Dan BushHUNTERDON FREEHOLDERS CHOOSE EXPERIENCED COUNTY SUPERVISOR AS PARKS DIRECTOR

The Hunterdon County Freeholders, fulfilling their goal of joining experience with vision in a new Parks Director, have named Holland Township’s Dan Bush, a 23-year veteran of Hunterdon County service, including 13 years in Public Works’ supervisory positions, as the County’s new Parks Division Head.

Freeholder Director John E. Lanza stated, “Our over 8600 acres of parkland, owned or managed by Hunterdon County, are arguably the County’s most prized and valuable asset, therefore, the protection, maintenance, and enhancement of the parks and parks programming are a priority for the Freeholder Board. That is why the selection of the right Parks Director is so significant. And Dan Bush is that right choice, as he brings together the two vital components necessary for successful parks management; experience and vision.”

 

OUTDOORS WITH ANDRE:  DISCOVERING GNOMES ON THE COLUMBIA TRAILOUTDOORS WITH ANDRE: DISCOVERING GNOMES ON THE COLUMBIA TRAIL

Hey, everybody, thanks for checking us out. We're launching a YouTube video channel, "Outdoors with Andre." It will be my chance to highlight the amazing things happening outdoors all across the Garden State.

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PHYSICAL ADDRESS: Hunterdon County Arboretum, 1020 Highway 31, Lebanon, NJ 08833       MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2900, Flemington, NJ 08822
PHONE: 908-782-1158       EMAIL: parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us

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