Hunterdon County, NJ | Department of Planning, Economic Development and Land Use | PROGRAMS ACTIVITES AND TRIPS

 

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SPECIAL EVENTS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

ART CLASSES

BASKETRY AND CRAFTS
BIRDING PROGRAMS
CANOEING HUNTERDON'S WATERWAYS
GARDENING PROGRAMS
HISTORY THROUGH AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
NATURE PROGRAMS - updated 2/12/18
NATURE PROGRAMS FOR KIDS WEEKDAY
WINTER NATURE CLUBS FOR KIDS AGES 3-5
HOMESCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL SERIES
PARK VAN AND COACH BUS TRIPS - updated 2/20/18
PHOTOGRAPHY - NEW!!
RECREATIONAL PROGRAMS
SUMMER NATURE PROGRAM & SUMMER RECREATION CAMPS
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WEEKEND CAMPING TRIPS
PROGRAMS, ACTIVITIES AND TRIPS

Art Classes - Sign Up Now

PROGRAM REGISTRATION INFORMATION
PROGRAMS FOR GROUPS
REQUESTABLE NATURE & RECREATION PROGRAMS
MEET OUR STAFF
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
HELP WANTED - CANOE INSTRUCTORS
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
CONTROLLED HUNTING PROGRAM
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SPECIAL EVENTS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Maple Sugaring Living History Program:

18th Annual Earth Day Celebration - April 21
Tree Planting - May 19
Trails Day Volunteer Event - June 2

42nd Music Under the Stars Free Concert Series - Thursday Evenings June 28th to August 16th

Public Lands Day Volunteer Opportunity - September 22
ALL 2018 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

 

MAPLE SUGARING LIVING HISTORY PROGRAMS

Maple Sugaring Living History

See a maple sugar farmer at his evaporator during our Maple Sugaring festival!

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE
Date: Saturday, March 3
Rain date: Sunday, March 4 (check our website or call 782-1158 for cancellation information)
Time: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Tours begin every 20 minutes and last about 1 hour. 
Pre-registration is not required

SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS AND OTHER ORGANIZED GROUPS
Dates: Wednesday through Friday, February 28 to March 2
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Tours scheduled every 30 minutes and last about 1 hour. 
Pre-registration required; call 908-782-1158.

Native Americans discovered the sweet quality of sugar maple sap before written history.  For hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, Native Americans would set up camp in a stand of sugar maples during the sap run.  The sugar they produced was an important food for them and for the colonists, who learned the process from the Native Americans.  It was only during the 1930s when maple sugar took the form we use today: syrup!

Experience first-hand the North American tradition of maple sugaring at Hunterdon County’s Maple Sugaring Program.  You’ll take a trip through time to experience the art of the sugaring process.  Along the way you will see an early American Frontiersman taping his trees, visit a sugar “farmer” at his evaporator, and enjoy a Native American story about the discovery of maple sap.  At the end of your walk everyone will get a free taste of real maple syrup on a silver dollar pancake. 

ALSO AVAILABLE: MAPLE SUGAR TO GO!
Let us bring Maple Sugaring to your location!  1 hr, $50 in-County, $75 out-of-County (limited range).  Call the office to schedule a program. 

MAPLE SAP COLLECTION FOR GROUPS:
Have your group help us collect sap!  On weekdays throughout February, we will schedule groups to visit the Sugar Bush.  We will discuss how we tap our trees, and we will collect the sap.  Experience a different part of Maple Sugaring!  Call us to schedule your group.  Echo Hill, 1 hour, 6-25 people, ages 5 to adult (kids with adult help), $30 for the group.  Families and individuals can sign up for a sap collection program on February 10 (see Recreation Programs). 

Maple Sugaring Living History

MAPLE SAP COLLECTION PUBLIC PROGRAM - NEW!!

Date: Friday, February 23
Time: 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Location: Echo Hill - playground
Ages: 5 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $3 per person

Due to popular demand, we are adding an additional Sap Collection program!  Collecting the sap is a crucial step of the maple sugaring process!  Many methods are used on commercial farms, but the basic idea is the same—moving the sap from the maple trees to the stove.  Come participate in the process at Echo Hill!  We will meet at the playground and then walk to the sugar bush (five to ten minutes).  Pre-registration required. 

This program will also be available to groups during weekdays in February—please call us to schedule a group. 

 

 

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18TH ANNUAL EARTH DAY CELEBRATION. FREE!!

Earth Day Canoeing

Canoeing is just one of the many fun activities at Earth Day! 

Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 2:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill Park
Ages: All
Cost: free!  No need to pre-register. 

Help us celebrate the one, the only, Planet Earth!  This year, we are moving to an afternoon/evening festival celebrating New Jersey native wildlife.  At 3:00, enjoy an “April pole” song and dance to thank the Earth for what it has provided.  Learn about wildlife movement and habitat connectivity at our film screening at 5:00. 

Local producer Jared Flesher will show us two episodes of The Creature Show, focused on the state of bobcats and salamanders in New Jersey, and he will then lead us in a discussion on habitat connectivity. 

Take a hike around the park with our affiliate, the Hunterdon Hiking Club. 

Many of the traditional Earth Day activities will be back, including 4-H clubs.  Enjoy a variety of crafts and recycled building challenges for all ages. 

We will also be hosting a Pond Paddle on the Echo Hill Pond with our affiliate, the Hunterdon County Canoe Club.  Free tickets are required for a timeslot and are available that day on a first come/first served basis. 

The evening will conclude with a campfire and s’mores at 7:00! 

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TREE PLANTING

Tree Planting

Volunteers make a difference planting trees!

Date: Saturday, May 19
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Sunnyside Picnic Area (47 Kiceniuk Rd. Annandale, NJ 08801)
Ages: All ages! (Volunteers under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult.)
Cost: free!

Join your local Watershed Ambassador to plant over 100 native saplings in the Sunnyside Awossagame Grove!  Running right alongside the beautiful South Branch of the Raritan River, this park is a crucial area for stream restoration.  By planting trees, we will reduce water and air pollution, help stabilize the river banks, provide wildlife habitat, and protect the watershed.  Volunteers will help plant the trees and install protective tree tubes.

You may bring your own shovels and gloves, but tools will also be available.  Light refreshments will be provided!

Please contact Erica Rossetti at americorps@raritanheadwaters.org or (908) 234-1852 ext. 323 for registration and more information. 

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TRAILS DAY VOLUNTEER EVENT

Trails Day - Cleanup scenic River Trail

Who knows what else we will find in our water

Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Location: Leave from Arboretum
Ages: 14 and up (children must be accompanied by adult)
Cost: free!

The South Branch of the Raritan River is Hunterdon’s most scenic water trail.  Canoe down the river as our guides lead us to take care of our water trail.  We will focus on removing all the litter and debris that we are able to get out of the water.  We may conduct some minor handsaw and clipping work to make openings or to widen some passages.  A safety talk and canoe lesson will be given before departing for the assigned locations on the river.  Volunteers will enjoy a light breakfast and a full lunch, thanks to generous sponsors.  We will gather in the Arboretum, and participants may leave a change of clothes there for after the event if desired.  Please register using a regular program registration form. 

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42ND MUSIC UNDER THE STARS FREE CONCERT SERIES

Dates: Thursdays, June 28 to August 16
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Deer Path Park
Ages: all
Cost: free!

We hope everyone enjoyed last summer’s concert series!  This year, the concerts will run every Thursday from June 28 through August 16.  We are looking for entertainers; if you would like to be considered, please contact Recreation Leader Patrick Eckard at peckard@co.hunterdon.nj.us before March 27. 

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PUBLIC LANDS DAY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Public Lands Day Trail Building

Help us build a new trail to connect three parks together!

Date: Saturday, September 22
Time: 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Location: meet at Arboretum
Ages: 12 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: free!

We are opening new trails in the Furnas Section of the Arboretum.  Eagle scouts have been working on getting these trails started.  With volunteers, we can get this trail completed and open.

We will meet at the Arboretum, have a light breakfast, and carpool to Furnas, returning for lunch after the work is done. 

The grand plan is to connect Echo Hill, the Arboretum, and the Furnas Section into one long trail over the three parks.  So come help the Hunterdon County Parks join three parks together.

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ART CLASSES FOR ADULTS & CHILDREN
FOR ADULTS with Lena Shiffman
Fall Winter Thursday Art Studios: January 25 - February 22
Thursday Art Studios - Morning, Afternoon and Evening Sessions - March 1 through August 30th
Art Boot Camp for Adults: August 27 - August 31
FOR ADULTS with Charles David Viera
Beginner and Intermediate Drawing and Painting: January 3 - February 7; February 21 - March 28; April 11 - May 23
Intermediate to Advanced Drawing and Painting: January 5 - February 9; February 23 - April 6; April 13 - May 25
Landscape Painting: Summer Morning Light: June 27 - August 1; June 29 - August 3
FOR CHILDRENS with Lena Shiffman
Blooming Young Artists: January 6 - February 10; February 24 - April 7; April 21 - June 2
Studio Time for Artists-in-Training: January 6 - February 10; February 24 - April 7; April 21 - June 2
Art Classes at the Hunterdon County Parks Division

 

ADULT ART CLASSES with LENA SHIFFMAN (About Lena Shiffman)

FALL AND WINTER ART STUDIOS

Adult Art Classes

THURSDAY MORNING ART STUDIO: Time: 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
THURSDAY AFTERNOON ART STUDIO: Time: 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM
THURSDAY EVENING ART STUDIO: Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Session D: Five Thursdays, January 25 – February 22 (snow-date Sunday 2/25)

Location: Arboretum
Ages: Adult
Cost: $100 per session (materials not included)

Don’t think you can draw or paint, but would like to give it a try?  “Everyone has talent, they just don’t know it!” says art instructor and illustrator Lena Shiffman.  Using a variety of subject matter, including still life subjects and photographs, Ms. Shiffman will work with students to improve their drawing and painting skills.  Students may work in charcoal, pastels, oil, acrylic, or watercolor paints.  Students supply their own materials.  Beginners, please bring charcoal sticks and charcoal pencils, an eraser, and a medium sketchpad (14 x 18”) to the first class.

Material list will be supplied at the first class.  Join us for a day or evening class of fun in a relaxed atmosphere; you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!

All ability levels welcome!

Meet Art Instructor Lena Shiffman

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THURSDAY ART STUDIOS

Thursday ARt Studios with Lena Shiffman

Instructor Lena Shiffman will teach you how to draw and paint! 

THURSDAY MORNING ART STUDIO
Time: 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
THURSDAY AFTERNOON ART STUDIO
Time: 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM
THURSDAY EVENING ART STUDIO
Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Session A: Five Thursdays, March 1 to March 29 (snow date Sunday 4/8)
Session B: Five Thursdays, April 5 to May 3 (snow date Sunday 5/6)
Session C: Five Thursdays, May 10 to June 7 (snow date Sunday 6/10)
Session D (EVENING ONLY): Five Thursdays, August 2 to August 30
Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: Adult
Cost: $100 (materials not included)

Don’t think you can draw or paint, but would like to give it a try?  “Everyone has talent, they just don’t know it!” says art instructor and illustrator Lena Shiffman.  Using a variety of subject matter, including still life subjects and photographs, Ms. Shiffman will work with students to improve their drawing and painting skills.  Students may work in charcoal, pastels, oil, acrylic, or watercolor paints.  Students supply their own materials.  Beginners, please bring charcoal sticks and charcoal pencils, an eraser, and a medium sketch pad (14 x 18”) to the first class.  Material list will be supplied at the first class.  Join us for a day or evening class of fun in a relaxed atmosphere; you will be amazed at what you can accomplish! 

 All ability levels welcome!

Meet Art Instructor Lena Shiffman

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ART BOOT CAMP FOR ADULTS with Lena Shiffman

Date: Monday through Friday, August 27 to August 31
Time: 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Age: adults
Cost: $100 (materials not included)

Calling all artists to join us for a week of art boot camp at the Arboretum.  Spend five consecutive mornings in a fun and relaxed atmosphere creating with Lena Shiffman.  Use a variety of subject matter, including still life subjects and photographs, and some “plein air” if the weather permits.  Ms. Shiffman will work with students to improve their drawing and painting skills.  Students may work in charcoal, pastels, oil, acrylic, or watercolor paints.  Students supply their own materials.  Beginners, please bring charcoal sticks and charcoal pencils, an eraser, and a medium sketch pad (14 x 18”) to the first class.  You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in just one week!  

All ability levels welcome!

Meet Art Instructor Lena Shiffman

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ADULT ART with CHARLES DAVID VIERA www.charlesdavidviera.com

BEGINNER AND INTERMEDIATE DRAWING AND PAINTING

Art with Charles David Viera

Art instructor Charles David Viera

Session A: Six Wednesdays, February 21 to March 28
Session B: Six Wednesdays, April 11 to May 23 (no class 5/2)

Time: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM 
Location: Arboretum
Ages: Adult
Cost: $140 (materials not included)

This is a great place to start to learn the basics of painting and drawing in an educational, supportive, and fun environment.  Students begin each semester with instruction in the basic rules of drawing, which includes information on contour, value, and composition, and then move on to the study and use of color.  Working from a variety of subject matter, the instructor will offer information on the proper use of materials, composition, and color theory via frequent group and individual critiques.  Students should only bring black and white drawing materials to the first class.  The instructor will discuss the color materials (pastels, oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints) that you may utilize during the class.  

 Instructor Charles David Viera www.charlesdavidviera.com.

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INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED DRAWING AND PAINTING

Art with Charles David Viera

Learn to draw and paint with Charles David Viera!

Session A: Six Fridays, February 23 to April 6 (no class 3/30)
Session B: Six Fridays, April 13 to May 25 (no class 5/4)

Time: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: Adult
Cost: $140 (materials not included. Some sessions may require an additional $5 model fee, collected during the first class)

The curriculum of this class is devised to offer students with some previous instruction a structured, but open and supportive environment in which to create.  Working from a variety of studio assignments, or independent projects of their own design, each student will be encouraged to explore academic as well as more expressionistic and abstract options via group and individual critiques and illustrated lectures referencing the history of painting.  Open to pastel, oil, watercolor, and acrylic painters with some experience.  Some six-week sessions may require an approximate $5 model fee that will be collected the first class.

Instructor Charles David Viera www.charlesdavidviera.com.

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LANDSCAPE PAINTING: SUMMER MORNING LIGHT

Adult Art Classes

Old Farmhouse at Echo Hill
by student Lori Langsner

Session A: Six Wednesdays, June 27 to August 1 (participants who cannot come on July 4 can come on July 6)
Session B: Six Fridays, June 29 to August 3

Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill Park
Ages: 15 through adult
Cost: $140 (materials not included)

Landscape painters through history such as Monet and Renoir were all inspired by the colors offered by working “Plein Air” from the early morning light.  In this class, artists of all levels will get to experience what those artists enjoyed with a supportive and inspired instructor to assist them.  Working on location at one of the most picturesque sites in Hunterdon County, students will be inspired by various scenic locations at our Echo Hill Park as they improve their skills.  Beginner and advanced instruction in drawing, composition, color theory, and the proper use of materials is offered through group and individual critiques, demonstrations, and historical references. 

Open to students of all levels and working in any medium.  Experienced students should bring their favorite medium while beginners should bring drawing materials to the first class where color materials will be discussed.

Light easels and chairs are provided. 

Instructor Charles David Viera www.charlesdavidviera.com

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CHILDREN'S ART CLASSES with LENA SHIFFMAN (About Lena Shiffman)

BLOOMING YOUNG ARTISTS

Children's Art

Don’t miss this chance to have your blooming young artist put his or her heart and soul into creating keepsakes! 

Session A: Six Saturdays, February 24 to April 7 (no class 3/31)
Session B: Six Saturdays, April 21 to June 2 (no class 5/26)

Time: 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Location: Arboretum    
Ages: 6 to 10
Cost: $84 (includes materials)

Learning the principles of creating art with illustrator Lena Shiffman is lots of fun!  Explore drawing, painting, sculpture, and more.  Ms. Lena’s gentle approach encourages and guides students.  Visit different media such as pencil, acrylics, watercolor paint, clay, and paper.  Students use still lifes… stuffed toys, taxidermied animals, photos, and something brought from home.  We might also go outdoors to draw nature!  The fundamental principles will be the focus: understanding color, composition, and the proper use of materials.  Don’t miss this chance to have your blooming young artist put his or her heart and soul into creating keepsakes!  Ms. Lena works well with beginners to very advanced students.  Remember to dress in old clothing.  Since practice makes perfect, students are encouraged to sign up for one session or for both.

Meet Art Instructor Lena Shiffman

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STUDIO TIME for ARTISTS-IN-TRAINING

Studio Time for Artists in Training

Instructor Lena Shiffman will teach you how to draw and paint! 

Session A: Six Saturdays, February 24 to April 7 (no class 3/31)
Session B: Six Saturdays, April 21 to June 2 (no class 5/26)

Time: 10:15 AM to 11:45 AM
Location: Arboretum    
Ages: 11 to 17
Cost: $94 (includes materials)

Explore, learn more advanced techniques, and improve your abilities with color, shading, composition, and perspective.  Instructor Lena Shiffman’s gentle approach and ability to work with beginners to very advanced students encourages and guides them to expand their creativity.  Students work during this studio time to complete their art at their own pace and style.  We will work from a variety of still life: taxidermied animals, photos, nature (outdoors if weather permits), and maybe something brought from home.  Artists may visit many different media including pencil, charcoal, pastel and paints.  Since practice makes perfect, students are encouraged to sign up for one session or for both. Remember to dress in old clothing. 

Meet Art Instructor Lena Shiffman

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Basketry Classes

 

All workshops are with Instructor Liz Braidwood Fulmer (unless otherwise mentioned).

The Workshops are designed for children ages 6 to 10, accompanied by an adult; solo children 11 and up and adults are welcome. 

Adult/child teams make one project. 

Any questions contact Liz at lfulmer@co.hunterdon.nj.us.

BASKETRY WORKSHOPS
Advanced Weave-on-a-Mold - March 7 and 14
Beginner Weave-on-a-Mold - March 19
Small Oval Basket - March 26
Basket Vase - April 11
Carry-It - May 7
UFO.. Unfinished Objects - May 14
Basketry and Crafts for Children and Adults
Trinket Basket - March 18
Make a Bird's Nest Basket - April 15

 

ADVANCED WEAVE-ON-A-MOLD

Advanced Weave on a Mold Basketry Workshop

Two unique baskets are available for Advanced Weave-on-a-Mold: the spoon basket (left) and catshead basket (right). 

Date: Wednesdays, March 7 & 14 
Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Cost: $28 (includes materials)

Weave over a mold.  Make a 7” round Catshead Basket using herringbone weave, with a handle and figure-eight wrapped rim.  Or an 8”x 6” rectangular Spoon Basket herringbone weave, with a handle and figure-eight wrapped rim.  Available are 4 catshead molds and 3 spoon basket molds, please designate your desired mold; it will be first-come first-served. 

SKILL LEVEL: Difficult. 

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BEGINNER WEAVE-ON-A-MOLD

Date: Monday, March 19
Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Cost: $22 (includes materials)

Create a 6” round Trinket Basket weaving over a mold.  No handle. 

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SMALL OVAL BASKET

Small Oval Basket

The Small Oval Basket is simple yet elegant. 

Date: Monday, March 26
Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Cost: $17 (includes materials)

Create a small oval basket using round reed.

SKILL LEVEL: Easy to moderate.

 

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BASKET VASE

Vase Basket

Dress up your next bunch of flowers with this basket vase.

Date: Wednesday, April 11
Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Cost: $20 (includes materials)

Weave a basket over top of a flower vase.

SKILL LEVEL: Moderate to difficult. 

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CARRY-IT

Carry-it Basket

This sturdy basket is great for carrying or displaying a variety of items! 

Date: Monday, May 7
Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Cost: $25 (includes materials)

Weave an 11” x 13” shallow rectangular basket with a handle.

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UFO…UNFINISHED OBJECTS

Date: Monday, May 14
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Arboretum
Cost: $5

Do you have a basket that you have not finished and would like to work on?  Or a basket kit you always wanted to try? Join us for this UFO class. 

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BASKETRY & CRAFTS: CHILDREN & ADULTS

Children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult & work on one project as an adult/child team. Children 11 through adults may attend solo.  Please check ages below for specific projects. Cost is per project.  Instructor: Liz Braidwood Fulmer.

TRINKET BASKET

Trinket Basket

This multi-purpose basket is a good first project and a great gift

Date: Sunday, March 18
Time: 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM 
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 7 through adult
Cost: $22 (includes materials)

Hands on is fun!  Weave a cute round basket.  Students start by inserting the spokes into a slotted wooden base, and attach the base to a wooden mold.  Weaving over a mold makes shaping your basket a snap.  The finished basket measures approximately 6” in diameter and 5” tall.  Makes a great gift!

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MAKE A BIRD’S NEST BASKET

Birds Nest Basket

Create a free-form basket using a variety of materials. 

Date: Sunday, April 15
Time: 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 7 through adult
Cost: $18 (includes materials)

Enjoy free form art work!  Create a small bird’s nest-like basket using rattan reed, vines, ribbons, strings, beads, and more.

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BIRDING PROGRAMS
Waterfowl and Woodcock - March 17
Belleplain and Heislerville - April 14
Lancaster and York County Exploration - May 19 to May 20 SOLD OUT; call us for wait list
Newark's Pequannock Watershed - June 9
Breeding Birds of Hunterdon County - July 8
Thursday Morning / Tuesday Afternoon Bird Walks - April 5 to May 24
Birding Trips and Programs

The following bird trips are run by Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist.  Tom and his colleagues focus on helping all participants learn about the birds and teach them about interesting characteristics of each species.  They will also point out other natural history information about the different areas the group is visiting.

Please pack a lunch, as stops are not guaranteed.  If you have your own binoculars or spotting scope, please feel free to bring them.  Binoculars are available for loan.  Trips are designed for adults, but mature youths under 18 can contact Tom for approval.  Please dress appropriately for the weather.  Transportation is by County Park vans.  All trips meet at the County Arboretum.  Trips are recommended for any interested birder at all levels of ability, unless otherwise stated.  Pre-registration is required.

WATERFOWL AND WOODCOCK

Date: Saturday, March 17
Time: 1:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Cost: $25

March is a time when ducks migrate through Hunterdon and Warren Counties, stopping to rest at places like the Assiscong Marsh, Spruce Run, Round Valley, and Merrill Creek.  We will look for ducks and other water birds, as well as check on the eagles at Merrill Creek.  We will end the day looking for woodcocks with the hope of observing their interesting courtship display. 

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BELLEPLAIN AND HEISLERVILLE

The Summer Tanager is one of our targets for the April trip. 

The Summer Tanager is one of our targets for the April trip. 

Date: Saturday, April 14
Time: 5:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: $30

Join us on a whirlwind tour as we hit two of the highlights of Cape May County, Belleplain State Park and Heislerville Wildlife Management Area. 

This all-day excursion will focus on looking for NJ southern specialties such as the Summer Tanager and Prothonotary Warbler.

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LANCASTER AND YORK COUNTY EXPLORATION

SOLD OUT; call us for wait list

Depart: 6:30 AM on Saturday, May 19
Return: 4:30 PM on Sunday, May 20
Cost: $115

Join us on an overnight excursion as we head west into Pennsylvania to explore locations along both sides of the Susquehanna River Valley in Lancaster and York Counties.  The Susquehanna River is the next major river corridor west of the Delaware River and we hope to catch some birds staying west of the Appalachians for the spring migration.  So take a trip with us to the heartland of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country as we search for our spring migrants. 

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NEWARK’S PEQUANNOCK WATERSHED

A Blackburnian Warbler is one of our targets for this trip

A Blackburnian Warbler is one of our targets for this trip

Date: Saturday, June 9
Time: 5:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Cost: $25

This trip is a tour through the other side of Sussex County into Morris County.  This trip offers many of the same species as the annual “Sussex Trip” but we will visit different locations.  Stops will be made around the Walkill and Pequannock regions.  Possible sightings could include Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, and Blackburnian Warbler, a variety of raptors, and other northern specialties.  The timing is designed to get us in the area for early morning bird activities.  (Participants can finish sleeping on the ride up.)

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BREEDING BIRDS OF HUNTERDON COUNTY

Date: Sunday, July 8
Time: 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Cost: $20

Hunterdon has a rich variety of nesting birds.  Last year we went through the western edge of the county.  Prior to this trip, we will scout some of the best spots in the County, such as Hoffman Park, Spruce Run Reservoir, and Voorhees State Park.  However, the route of the trip may change up to the last moment depending on reports and findings.  We will hope to see Bobolinks, a variety of warblers, and more.  Two miles of hiking may be required.

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THURSDAY MORNING / TUESDAY AFTERNOON BIRD WALKS

Children's Art

A Baltimore Oriole is a nice find on a walk at Hoffman Park.

Take an early morning stroll or an afternoon walk with the interpretive staff of the County Parks Division as we look for the spring migrants and local breeding birds of the county.  We will use both eyes and ears to determine which birds are in abundance, as well as to observe other signs of the spring season.  This is a great chance to brush up on your song identification skills.  Binoculars are available to borrow.
Ages: Adults
Cost: FREE, pre-registration is required. 

THURSDAY MORNING WALKS
Time: 6:30 AM to 8:00 AM
Dates & Locations:
April 5:            Assiscong Marsh
April 12:          Deer Path Park Soccer Lot
April 19:          County Arboretum
April 26:          Bernadette Morales/Uplands
May 3:             Echo Hill Park
May 10:           Sunnyside Picnic Area
May 17:           Deer Path Park Main Lot
May 24:           Hoffman Park

TUESDAY AFTERNOON WALKS
Time:  5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Dates & Locations:
May 1:             Deer Path Park Main Lot
May 8:             Echo Hill Park
May 15:           County Arboretum (original published as May 16th correct date is May 15, 2018)
May 22:           Hoffman Park

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CANOEING HUNTERDON'S WATERWAYS - OUR 41ST YEAR
NEW THIS YEAR: 10 KAYAKS! Please indicate on your registration form if you would like to use a kayak...
Pond Paddles
Sunset Paddle on Round Valley Reservoir
River Trips
Overnight Canoe Trip
Planning Your Canoe Trip

Join the Parks on the river where we have been canoeing for 41 years.  It is fun, educational, and great exercise!  Spend a day with nature.  Just bring water, lunch, and a smile—we will do the rest.  We supply the canoes, kayaks, gear, training, and transportation.  Our experienced leaders teach the ways of currents and eddies and how to paddle mankind’s oldest craft, with a few new tricks.  Tell us what you want to learn—we are eager to teach.  Unless stated otherwise, all trips are suitable for ages 8 through adults.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

 

Canoe Camping Trip

Spend a weekend paddling in the scenic Delaware Water Gap on our Overnight Canoe Camping Trip on June 2nd and 3rd

POND PADDLES: A GOOD FIRST TRIP!

Session A: Saturday, April 14, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Clinton Pond
Session B: Saturday, April 14, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Clinton Pond
Session C: Sunday, April 15, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Teetertown
Session D: Sunday, April 15, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Teetertown
Ages: 8 through adult
Cost: $20

Saturday paddles meet at the Clinton Town parking lot off Halstead Street & Water Street. Paddle around the scenic “Clinton Pond,” past the lily pads, under the road bridge, past the historic Red Mill, up to the spillway of the Spruce Run Reservoir, and back.  Sunday paddles meet at the stone house at Teetertown Preserve, 30 Pleasant Grove Road, Port Murray (the middle entrance).  We will drive together to the big pond at Teetertown.  Both are great for children ages 8 and up (with an adult), senior citizens, beginners, folks with special needs (please inform us in advance), or those with a hankering to take a leisurely paddle and commune with nature. 

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SUNSET PADDLE ON ROUND VALLEY RESERVOIR

Session A: Friday, June 8
Session B: Friday, July 13
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: Round Valley Reservoir Boat Launch
Ages: 8 through adult
Cost: $25

Treat yourself to a leisurely evening sunset paddle.  The group will meet at Round Valley Reservoir Boat Launch (look for the white van with a trailer with green canoes).  Bring a flashlight and an extra jacket: it can get much cooler by the water when the sun goes down.    

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RIVER TRIPS

Time: 8:15 AM to about 3:30 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 8 through adult
Cost: $35 per person

Your leaders will fit you with a lifejacket and paddle, and then drive to the river, where they will discuss maneuvering techniques and canoe safety.  Our leaders will guide you down the river.  We paddle for about two hours, stop for lunch, and paddle for about two more hours.  We are flexible with our time, which depends in part on natural forces, such as the river’s water level and whether or not there is a breeze.  Our aim is to return to the Arboretum by 3:30 PM, give or take an hour.

  • Saturday, April 28 - South Branch
  • Sunday, May 6 - Delaware: Kingwood to Bull’s Island
  • Saturday, May 26 - Delaware: Phillipsburg to Riegelsville
  • Sunday, June 10 - Delaware: Martins Creek to Phillipsburg
  • Saturday, June 23 - Delaware: Phillipsburg to Riegelsville
  • Saturday, July 7 - South Branch
  • Saturday, July 21 - Delaware: Martins Creek to Phillipsburg
  • Saturday, August 4 - Delaware: Phillipsburg to Riegelsville
  • Sunday, August 19 - Delaware: Kingwood to Bull’s Island
  • Saturday, September 8 - South Branch
  • Sunday, September 23 - Delaware: Phillipsburg to Riegelsville
  • Saturday, October 13 - Delaware: Kingwood to Bull’s Island
  • Saturday, October 27 - Leaders’ Choice

PLEASE NOTE: Due to water levels or other circumstances beyond our control, it may be necessary to pick an alternative river.  Leaders may make this change at any time in order to provide a safe and fun experience.

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OVERNIGHT CANOE TRIP (Also Boy Scout Merit Badge)

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3
Times: 8:00 AM Saturday to 4:00 PM Sunday
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 12 through adult
Cost: $65 (includes dinner Saturday and breakfast and lunch Sunday)

This trip will leave the Arboretum at 8:00 AM on Saturday and head to the Delaware Water Gap to put in.  We will paddle for a couple hours, stop to have a picnic lunch (please bring lunch for Saturday), and then camp out at one of the wilderness sites on the river.  The group will cook dinner and enjoy the nature around us.  The next day, we will cook breakfast and head down the river.  We will stop and have a picnic lunch (provided).  There will be time to swim both days as we travel. 

All participants must attend a pre-camp meeting on Wednesday, May 30 at 7:00 PM at the Arboretum.  On your registration form, please indicate any dietary restrictions and if you will need to borrow a tent. 

Boy Scouts may obtain their merit badge by setting up an additional meeting with Recreation Leader Patrick Eckard. 

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PLANNING YOUR CANOE TRIP

PRE-REGISTRATION: Required by the Wednesday before the trip for all canoeing programs.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to water levels or other circumstances beyond our control, it may be necessary to choose an alternative river.  Leaders may make this change at any time in order to provide a safe and fun experience.

CANCELLATIONS: If we cancel the trip, you will be notified by phone and given the option of joining an upcoming canoe trip, holding a credit, or a full refund.  Our trips run rain or shine with the exception of extreme cold or thunderstorms!  Cancellations by participants are subject to a 30% service charge.  Cancellations must be in writing, and cancellations made less than one week prior to program will NOT receive a refund. 

AGES: Most trips are appropriate for children ages 8 and older, accompanied by an adult.  Please check with us about specific trips so we can verify age-appropriateness.

WHAT TO WEAR: We suggest dressing in layers so you can adjust to changing temperatures.  Durable old clothes are the best; wool keeps you warm even if wet and polypropylene fleece dries quickly.  Cotton is not a good material for cool, wet outdoor activities.  Sneakers are recommended; please no sandals, boots, or heavy shoes.  Wool socks are best for cold weather.  A bathing suit can be worn, as sometimes we go swimming.

WHAT TO BRING ON DAY TRIPS: Lunch and a drink (packed in waterproof container), lots of water to drink, a rain jacket, a hat, eyeglass strap, etc.  In chilly weather a complete change of clothing can be packed in a waterproof bag to be carried in your canoe or to be in the van for the trip’s end.

SCHEDULE YOUR OWN TRIP: We are happy to tailor a canoe trip to the needs of your group, school, club, charity, or service organization.  A pond paddle makes a great birthday party!  If you have any questions or would like to be added to our canoe trip announcement e-mail list, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (908) 782-1158, or e-mail Recreation Leader Patrick Eckard at peckard@co.hunterdon.nj.us

NOTES: No alcoholic beverages are permitted on our trips.  No pets are allowed, except for guide animals.

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GARDENING PROGRAMS
Dad and Me: Valentine Floral Arrangement - February 13

 

DAD AND ME: VALENTINE FLORAL ARRANGEMENT

Date: Tuesday, February 13
Time: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Hunterdon Arboretum
Ages: all
Cost: $25 per father-child pair ($10 per additional arrangement)

No need for last minute chocolates or a dozen boring roses.  Join Senior Gardener Jason “Jaybird” Strauss for a fun evening with your son or daughter making a memorable valentine floral arrangement just for your special Valentine. 

We will provide everything you need to create a beautiful arrangement that will brighten your Valentine’s Day.

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HISTORY THROUGH AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Towpaths and Tales NEW! - March 9
There Used to Be A Railroad - March 16

Presenter Mike McCann, during his 21 years with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, examined the histories of properties.  He reviewed aerial photographs from 1930 to the present under a stereo microscope while in the process of determining whether land qualified for New Jersey’s Green Acres Program.  Since his retirement, he has created presentations of scanned aerial images highlighting the changes that have occurred in the landscape of the region.  Mike enthusiastically shares his wide-ranging knowledge, fun quirky facts, and riveting stories in his magnificent shows!

TOWPATHS & TALES *NEW*

Date: Friday, March 9
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Arboretum 
Ages: adult
Cost: $3

Take a flight back in time over a much different Delaware Valley—one in which canals that had once powered the region remained largely intact, less than a decade after abandonment—and return to the present over the landscape as we know it today, without ever leaving the ground!

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THERE USED TO BE A RAILROAD

Date: Friday, March 16
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Arboretum 
Ages: adult
Cost: $3

New Jersey and railroads go way back, all the way to 1815 when the state granted John Stevens of Hoboken the first railroad charter in the U.S.  Although Stevens’ New Jersey Railroad was never constructed, the Camden & Amboy Railroad, under the direction of Stevens’ sons, began service between South Amboy and Bordentown in 1833, the first of many railroads to lay track across the Garden State.  This program provides a glimpse of a New Jersey long gone—one in which you could get practically anywhere by rail.

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NATURE PROGRAMS
NEW! Shinrin-Yoko (Forest Therapy) - January 25 to May 24 (Updated 2/20/2018)
Love in Nature - February 15
Great Backyard Bird Count - February 17
Build a Nuthatch Box Workshop - February 8
NEW!! Maple Sap Collection Public Program - February 23 
Spring Equinox Hike - March 20
Evening Walk in the Sourlands - March 23
Wild & Woolly Nature Dyes - March 24
Eagle Nest Watch - March 24
Local Wildlife Through a Photographer's Eye - April 9
Jupiter at Opposition & Meteors - May 11
Bird Study Scouting Merit Badge - May 25
Full Moon Hike - May 29
Moth Night - June 1
Firefly Hunt - June 8


Maple Sap Collection with the Evaorator

JOIN US FOR A FUN FAMILY/GROUP PROGRAM
MAPLE SAP COLLECTION
Saturday, February 10 - Time: 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Echo Hill - playground

 

SHINRIN-YOKU (FOREST THERAPY)

Maple Tree Tapping

Forest Therapy

 

Dates: Thursdays       
Time: 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Ages: 12 through adult
Cost: $5 per session
Guest Presenter: Debra Reed

Stressed from work or the start of a new year?  Come experience what the Japanese have been doing for years; breathe, relax, smell, and listen to the forest around you.  “Shinrin-Yoku” means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing,” and is a cornerstone of preventative healthcare and healing in Japanese medicine.  Join the 2017 Seasonal Park Naturalist Debra Reed on a tranquil, relaxing, guided walk through the forest and let go of the stress created by our urban lifestyles.  Part of the program will involve sitting and experiencing nature; feel free to bring a camping chair if you are uncomfortable sitting on the ground (or indicate on your registration form that you would like to borrow one).  Please note that no restroom facilities are available.  Sign up for one or more sessions. 

Session A: January 25: Laport Reserve, 216 Mountain Road, Ringoes 08551
Session B: February 22: Miquin Woods, 326 Newport Road, Glen Gardner 08826
Session C: March 22   March 29 (date change): Round Mountain, 100 Foothill Road, Flemington 08822 SOLD OUT; call for wait list.
Session D: April 26: Musconetcong Gorge, 182 Dennis Road, Bloomsbury 08804
Session E: May 24: Wescott Preserve, 70 Raven Rock – Rosemont Road, Stockton 08559

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LOVE IN NATURE

Date: Thursday, February 15
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill Lodge
Ages: 10 through adult
Cost: $3 per person

Male house wrens construct “dummy nests” of a few sticks in several different locations, and bring the female around on a “house-hunting” tour before she decides on the perfect spot for her nest.  Male nursery web spiders present a parcel of food wrapped in silk as a gift for their chosen female.  Male bowerbirds build a “bower” of sticks and decorate it with blue objects, and then dance for the females.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, enjoy a slide show of various courtship rituals in nature around the world. 

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GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT

Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 8 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $3 per person

Jointly sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual event that engages bird watchers to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are across the continent.  Join Park Naturalist Laura Bush to view a short PowerPoint on the GBBC, and go over some bird identification tips.  Then we will take a bird walk around the property to see what species are out there and how many of each.  This data will be submitted to the GBBC to aid in citizen science research.  For bird watchers of any ability

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NEW! MAPLE SAP COLLECTION PUBLIC PROGRAM

Maple Sugaring Living History

Date: Friday, February 23
Time: 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Location: Echo Hill - playground
Ages: 5 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $3 per person

Due to popular demand, we are adding an additional Sap Collection program!  Collecting the sap is a crucial step of the maple sugaring process!  Many methods are used on commercial farms, but the basic idea is the same—moving the sap from the maple trees to the stove.  Come participate in the process at Echo Hill!  We will meet at the playground and then walk to the sugar bush (five to ten minutes).  Pre-registration required. 

This program will also be available to groups during weekdays in February—please call us to schedule a group. 

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SPRING EQUINOX HIKE

Spring Equniox Woood Frog

Wood frogs are some of the creatures that come out in early spring. 

Date: Tuesday, March 20
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Hunterdon County Arboretum
Ages: all (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $3 per person

The word “equinox” comes from the Latin aequus, which means “equal,” and nox, which means “night.”  It is the two days of the year where we have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.  The Spring Equinox means that longer days are ahead, and is also the first day of spring.  Join Senior Park Naturalist Laura Bush for a walk just before sunset to see what is happening in nature during this transition from winter to spring. 

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EVENING WALK IN THE SOURLANDS

Date: Friday, March 23
Time: 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: Sourlands Nature Preserve
Ages: 12 through adult
Cost: $3

Spring has recently begun; join Chief Park Naturalist Tom Sheppard for this evening walk at Sourlands to find out what might be active.  While nothing is guaranteed, we will walk through the woods listening for calls and looking for activity from our nocturnal wildlife.  Possible sound encounters include wood frogs, Southern Flying Squirrels and Eastern Screech Owls.

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WILD & WOOLLY NATURAL DYES

Date: Saturday, March 24
Time: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Location: Teetertown Preserve
Ages: 10 through adult
Cost: $10 per person

How do we get such vibrant colors in clothing?  Most of the dyes used today are synthetic and mineral dyes, but years ago people used plants and animals for dyeing.  We will begin our program with a little history of the dye industry and a walk around the park in search of dye plants.  Then we will make some natural dyes and try it out on some wool yarn!  Participants will take home a sample of the dyed yarn. 

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EAGLE NEST WATCH

Bald Eagle Nest

A bald eagle nest on County parkland has been active for several years. 

Date: Saturday, March 24
Time: 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Location: South Branch Wildlife Management Area
Ages: 8 through adult
Cost: $3 per person
Guest presenter: Dan Kroon, NJ Bald Eagle Project

Check out our Bald Eagle pair nesting near County parkland in the Three Bridges area!  Dan Kroon, a volunteer with the NJ Bald Eagle Project, has been monitoring this nest and its residents for about three years now.  He will teach us about the life history of our national bird, and about the program he supports.  By this time, the eagles should be incubating eggs, so we will expect to see one of the parents on the nest, and perhaps the other nearby.  We will be using binoculars and a spotting scope to view the birds; bring your own if desired but they will also be available to borrow.  Meet at South Branch Wildlife Management Area, 442 Three Bridges Road, Flemington (the parking lot is just over the border into Somerset County). 

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LOCAL WILDLIFE THROUGH A PHOTOGRAPHER’S EYE

Great Horned Owl Green Heron

The Green Heron and the Great Horned Owl are two exciting local birds to see.  Learn about these and other animals with stunning photographs by Bruce Michael. 

Date: Monday, April 9
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill Lodge
Ages: 8 through adult
Cost: $3 per person
Guest Presenter: Bruce Michael

Be prepared to be entertained for the evening with stunning photographs of our native wildlife. 

Bruce Michael is a local hiker and wildlife enthusiast who has volunteered to share his photographs with us as he tells us some interesting facts about each species.  He has many pictures of birds, bugs, and snakes. 

He will also share some basic information about photographing wildlife, and can answer more technical questions as requested. 

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JUPITER AT OPPOSITION & METEORS

Jupiter at Opposition & Meteors

Meteors are just some of the things we hope to see on May 11.

Date: Friday, May 11
Time: 10:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Location: Hoffman Park
Ages: 12 through adult
Cost: $3
Guest presenters: Wayne Petko and John Andrews

In May, this giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun.  It will be brighter than at any other time of the year and will be visible all night long.  This is the best time to view Jupiter and its moons.  A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands and see Jupiter’s four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.  Plus, the Eta Aquarids, an above average meteor shower, will be occurring and the dark sky will offer a great chance to view the meteors and the constellations. 

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BIRD STUDY SCOUTING MERIT BADGE

Bird Study Merit Badge

Earn your Bird Study Merit Badge through your County parks

Date: Friday, May 25
Time: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill playground
Ages: Boy Scouts or Venture Scouts ages 11 through 17
Cost: $10 per scout

Earn your Bird Study Merit Badge with Counselor Laura Bush!  The majority of the two hours will be spent on preparing our field notebooks, and identifying birds by sight and sound (requirements 5 and 6).  We will also go over how to use binoculars and field guides (requirements 3 and 4, but scouts will have to be tested on this at a later date).  Please bring a notebook and pencil, and binoculars if you have them (also available to borrow).  Scouts will need to schedule an additional meeting time with Laura after they have completed the additional requirements for the badge on their own.  Cost is per scout; adults may accompany their scout for free, or drop them off. 

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FULL MOON HIKE

Full Moon Hike

Explore Hoffman Park under the light of a full moon

Date: Tuesday, May 29
Time: 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Hoffman Park
Ages: 8 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $3 per person

Come explore the park during the night and see the moonlight reflecting off our pond! 

Under the light of a full moon, we will listen to spring insects and learn about the adaptations of nocturnal animals.  We will also learn about the phases of the moon.

Meet Senior Park Naturalist Laura Bush at the main parking area, 26 Baptist Church Road, Hampton 08827, and dress to be outside for the hour. 

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MOTH NIGHT

Moth Night

Beautiful underwing moths like this Darling Underwing are possible sightings for Moth Night.  Photo by Blaine Rothauser. 

Date: Friday, June 1
Time: 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill playground
Ages: 10 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $20 per person Guest presenter: Blaine Rothauser of BR Environmental, LLC

Join us for an evening of “mothing” with naturalist, photographer, and conservation biologist Blaine Rothauser.  There are over 110,000 species of moths worldwide, and about 2,800 in New Jersey.  Blaine will bring several high intensity metal halide lights that will attract a myriad of species for us to view, identify, and photograph if desired.  We may see pastel colored emeralds, delicate plume moths, and fuzzy dot-lined white moths.  Who knows, maybe even New Jersey’s largest member of this guild, the lime-green Luna Moth, may show up at our party.  We may also see other nocturnal insects like leafhoppers, craneflies, mayflies, and the outer-space looking mantisfly.  Moths are very sensitive to environmental degradation, so the species diversity will tell us something about the habitats and health of the ecosystem at Echo Hill.  The program will begin at 9:00 PM; participants can stay for up to two hours.  Feel free to bring a snack and non-alcoholic beverage.  Please register by May 24th so we can ensure that we have adequate participation. 

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FIREFLY HUNT

Date: Friday, June 8
Time: 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill playground
Ages: all ages
Cost: $3 per person

As dusk settles, come watch the sparkling lights of fireflies appear as we learn how and why they light up.  We will take to the fields with nets and jars to catch some to study up-close.  We may also see or hear some other nocturnal insects. 

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NATURE PROGRAMS FOR KIDS - WEEKDAY
Spring Break Camp - April 4 or April 5
Spring Nature Clubs for Kids - April 3 to May 22
Tot Walks - February 22 to May 25

 

SPRING BREAK CAMP

Shelter Building at Spring Break Camp

Shelter Building is one of the favorite activities from Spring Break Camp. 

Date: Wednesday, April 4 or Thursday, April 5
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Location: Echo Hill playground
Cost: $25 per child
Session A: Grades 3-5, April 4
Session B: Grades K-2, April 4
Session C: Grades K-2, April 5
Session D: Grades K-2, April 5

Do you miss camp?  Never been but want to try it out for a day?  Join the naturalist staff for a day of summer nature camp fun over spring break!  We will revisit traditional camp favorites such as catching insects, shelter building, and s’mores.  Please bring a lunch and a refillable water bottle.  Please wear sturdy close-toed shoes and dress for the weather, as we will have camp rain or shine (or cold!).  Please note: this year, we are offering two days during the same week.  Curriculum will be the same both days, so we ask that campers sign up for one day only.  There are two groups for grades K-2 on April 5, and we will split up campers by the order in which they sign up. 

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SPRING NATURE CLUBS FOR KIDS for ages 3 – 3rd grade

Red Bellied Turtled

We found this Redbelly Turtle last spring during the nature club!

Our popular spring nature clubs will introduce your child to many exciting nature topics.  A professional Park Naturalist will guide the children during hikes as they discover the diverse field, forest, and pond habitats at Echo Hill.  Other hands-on activities include science experiments, field games, and take-home craft projects. The children will be able to observe the subtle changes from week to week as we progress through the season.  Through our explorations, children will also hone their attention to detail as we observe the colors, shapes, textures, and sounds of the natural world. 

This year we are offering Sessions A and B for ages 3 to 5 and Session C for kindergarten through third graders.  This is a drop-off program and children must be self-sufficient in the bathroom. 

Please be sure to dress your child for the outdoors so that the whole group will be able to enjoy our lessons fully.  We strongly recommend old clothes and sneakers/boots that can get dirty.  Nature Clubs meet rain or shine.  In inclement weather, we shorten our outdoor adventures in order to spend more time inside. 

IMPORTANT REGISTRATION INFORMATION:
For each child, a registration form must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian.  Included on the form are the date of last tetanus shot, known allergies, and special care notes; please have this information ready.  Each session is limited to ten children to ensure a quality experience for the participants.  The Division of Parks and Recreation reserves the right to cancel any session due to low enrollment, and give a full refund. 

Dates: Eight Tuesdays, April 3 to May 22
Location: Echo Hill
Cost: $90 for all 8 lessons
Session A
Time: 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Ages: 3 to 5 years
Session B
Time: 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Ages: 3 to 5 years
Session C
Time: 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Ages: kindergarten through 3rd graders

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TOT WALKS

Tot Walks

Get your little ones outside this spring with our Tot Walks!

Time: 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Location: Echo Hill
Ages: 2 to 3 with adult
Cost: Each walk $3 per child; accompanying adult attends for free
Join Senior Park Naturalist Laura Bush on these early adventures to discover nature at your local park!  Leave the strollers behind as we take a walk outside to see plants and animals around us.  We will use our senses to focus on each theme.  Each one-hour program will include a walk and an indoor time of a story and craft.  This spring we are offering three walks of the same theme in a row; please select Session A, B, or C. 

ANIMAL TRACKS
Session A: Thursday, February 22, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Session B: Friday, February 23, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM

WORMS
Session A: Thursday, March 22, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Session B: Friday, March 23, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Session C: Friday, March 23, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

TURTLES
Session A: Thursday, April 12, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Session B: Friday, April 13, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Session C: Friday, April 13, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

SALAMANDERS
Session A: Thursday, May 24, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Session B: Friday, May 25, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Session C: Friday, May 25, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

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WINTER NATURE PROGRAM FOR KIDS

 

Our popular nature clubs will introduce your child to many exciting nature topics.  Park Naturalist Laura Bush will guide the children during hikes as they discover the diverse field, forest, and pond habitats at Echo Hill.  Other hands-on activities include science experiments, field games, and take-home craft projects.  The children will be able to observe the subtle changes from week to week as we progress through the season.  Through our explorations, children will also hone their attention to detail as we observe the colors, shapes, textures, and sounds of the natural world. 

This is a drop-off program and children must be self-sufficient in the bathroom. 

Please be sure to dress your child for the outdoors so that the whole group will be able to enjoy our lessons fully.  We strongly recommend old clothes and sneakers/boots that can get dirty.  Nature Clubs meet rain or shine.  In inclement weather, we shorten our outdoor adventures to spend more time indoors. 

IMPORTANT REGISTRATION INFORMATION:
For each child, a registration form must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian.  Included on the form are the date of last tetanus shot, known allergies, and special care notes; please have this information ready.  Each session is limited to ten children to ensure a quality experience for the participants.  The Division of Parks and Recreation reserves the right to cancel any session due to low enrollment, and give a full refund. 

WINTER NATURE CLUB

Dates: Eight Tuesdays, January 9 to February 27
Location: Echo Hill
Cost: $90 for all 8 lessons
Session A Time: 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Session B Time: 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

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HOMESCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL SERIES
The Natural World - September 2017 to May 2018

 

THE NATURAL WORLD

Butterflies and Moths

Kids will be hands on to explore the various topics and elements of our nature series

Date: Second Wednesday of each Month, September 2017 to May 2018
Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill
Ages: 5 to 12
Cost: $30 per student for all 9 lessons

This series provides a terrific opportunity to meet with other local homeschooling families, while your child learns about the natural world.  Participants will explore a new topic each month and enjoy hands-on activities that foster science, math, language arts, and social skills.  Program includes “homework” projects to complete after each session.  Class size will be limited to 15 participants.

 

 

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PARK VAN & COACH BUS TRIPS
Battleship NJ and Adventure Aquarium - February 17
Siteseeing Tour of Hunterdon County Parks North - February 25
Philadelphia Flower Show "Wonders of Water" Bus Trip - March 6 TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT; several seats on the bus are still available for $30. These patrons must buy admission tickets at the door or online from the Flower Show.
Siteseeing Tour of Hunterdon County Parks West - March 11
Railroad Stations of Hunterdon County (North) - March 24
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island (Self-guided audio tour) - March 24 SOLD OUT; call for wait list
9/11 Memorial Museum Bus Trip - April 7 SOLD OUT; call for wait list
Cherry Blossoms at Branch Brook Park - April 17 SOLD OUT; call us for wait list
Nitty Gritty City Tour - April 27 SOLD OUT; call us for wait list
Garden Tour: Willowwood and Bamboo Brook - May 8
Grounds for Sculpture - May 16
Bronx Zoo Van Trip - May 26
Ocean Grove: Women's History Walking Tour and More - June 5 SOLD OUT; call us for wait list
Space Farms Zoo and Museum - June 16
Ocean Grove 50th Annual House Tour - August 3  SOLD OUT; call us for wait list
Eastern State Penitentiary and Jack's Firehouse for Lunch - September 15
Mount Tabor 25th Annual House Tour - September 29
Siteseeing Tour of Hunterdon County Parks South and South Branch - Date TBA

 

BATTLESHIP NJ AND ADVENTURE AQUARIUM

Battleship NJ Adventure Aquarium

Adventure abounds with our visit to a battleship and an aquarium

Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 8 through adult
Cost: $50

We will ride a County van to the Battleship New Jersey, where we will begin with a tour that takes guests five levels up and two decks below.  The Main Deck features an Exhibit/Museum that encompasses the 48 years in and out of service.  Guides are available for questions and conversation in the Captain’s Quarters. 

Then the group will visit Adventure Aquarium.  With so much to offer, the aquarium is the perfect place to spend a day.  Exhibits that are sure to catch your attention, like Dinosaurs of the Deep and Creature Feature, alongside hands-on “touch” exhibits that get you up close and personal with sharks and hippos, make this a day you won’t soon forget.  Transport is by Parks van.  Trip cost does not include food; participants can buy or eat a packed lunch at the aquarium. 

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SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF HUNTERDON COUNTY PARKS (NORTH)

Date: Sunday, February 25
Time: 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adult
Cost: $10
Guest Leader: Chip Colombo

Where are the parklands of Hunterdon County?  Did you know that there are over 28 beautiful pieces of preserved county parklands?  In addition, there are many state, town, and township parks that we will mention.  Let’s take a Sunday afternoon drive to see how many parks we can visit.  Fascinating history, cool facts and stories, and a plethora of other information will be shared by our guest leader, Chip Colombo.  Please wear sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate clothing for taking a few short hikes.  Feel free to bring a snack and drink as no food stops are planned, other than perhaps a visit to a local general store. 

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PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW “WONDERS OF WATER” BUS TRIP

TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT; several seats on the bus are still available for $30.

These patrons must buy admission tickets at the door or
online from the Flower Show.

Date: Tuesday, March 6
Time: 9:45 AM to 7:00 PM
Location: Meet at Deer Path Park
Ages: adults
Cost: $65

Sit back & relax as we take you by coach bus to the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show!  The show features large-scale gardens, elaborate landscapes, and over-the-top floral creations.  Visitors are treated to fabulous design, live entertainment, gardening how-to workshops, and lectures by experts.  Designers spend more than a year planning, primping, pruning and growing the exhibits that will transform an empty space into a beautiful oasis of color and life in the waning days of winter. Their commitment to excellence is evident in creative, inspiring presentations and in the diversity of beautiful plants that are lovingly coaxed into bloom in March. You can shop for plants and gifts, sample wines, and attend different seminars.  For lunch, consider visiting the Reading Terminal Market across the street (on your own).  For more information on this year’s theme, Wonders of Water, visit www.theflowershow.com

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SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF HUNTERDON COUNTY PARKS (WEST)

Date: Sunday, March 11
Time: 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adult
Cost: $10
Guest Leader: Chip Colombo

Where are the parklands of Hunterdon County?  Did you know that there are over 28 beautiful pieces of preserved county parklands?  In addition, there are many state, town, and township parks that we will mention.  Let’s take a Sunday afternoon drive to see how many parks we can visit.  Fascinating history, cool facts and stories, and a plethora of other information will be shared by our guest leader, Chip Colombo.  Please wear sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate clothing for taking a few short hikes.  Feel free to bring a snack and drink as no food stops are planned, other than perhaps a visit to a local general store. 

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RAILROAD STATIONS OF HUNTERDON COUNTY (NORTH)

Califon Station

Chug through history with this Parks van tour of railroad stations

Date: Saturday, March 24
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adults (teens accompanied by an adult are welcome)
Cost: $15
Guest Guide: Chip Colombo

All aboard!  This Parks van tour will chug through history and travel to some train stations that have been rehabilitated for adaptive reuse, some that are in disrepair, and some that are just a memory.  We will learn about several railroads that crisscrossed the county and the important roles that they played in its development.  We will make a stop for a refreshment break (lunch is not included in the price).  Please wear sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate clothing for taking a few short hikes. 

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STATUE OF LIBERTY & ELLIS ISLAND (self-guided audio tour)

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Enjoy a day visiting Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty!

SOLD OUT; call for wait list

Date: Saturday, March 24
Time: 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM
Location: Arboretum 
Ages: 8 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $35

Join the Parks Division as we visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on a County van trip.  We will take a ferry from Liberty State Park, NJ to the Statue of Liberty where we will spend around 3 hours.  We will do a self-guided audio tour with a handheld device, and also have access to the pedestal, the platform underneath the statue that includes the museum.  We will then be taken to Ellis Island where we will have about 2 hours, and explore with another audio tour.  Security is tight at the ferry, like in an airport, so extra time has been added.  At the Statue you cannot bring backpacks, food, or drinks (except water) inside, but lockers will be available to rent.  Both islands have food venders.  You are welcome to bring snacks for the van ride there and back. 

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9/11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM BUS TRIP

Freedom Tower

Take a bus into New York City to visit the Freedom Tower and Memorial Museum. 

SOLD OUT; call for wait list

Date: Saturday, April 7
Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Location: Deer Path Park
Ages: all ages, small children not recommended
Cost: $50

There are few places more sacred and solemn within our country than the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.  Join us this April as we wander the grounds of the tragic site, view informational presentations in the Museum Theater while touring through the Memorial Museum, and explore the surrounding cityscape.  The beautifully architected Memorial Museum is a grand testament to the sacrifices made on that fateful day, and is filled with informative exhibits and written accounts of what occurred.

Guided tours with knowledgeable experts are offered by the museum if you wish to gain further insight on the events of 9/11.

The nearby city blocks offer stunning views of downtown Manhattan and the Hudson Bay, as well as endless restaurant options.  Security is tight at the Memorial, so plan accordingly.  Backpacks are allowed, but no food or drinks are allowed inside the museum. 

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CHERRY BLOSSOMS AT BRANCH BROOK PARK

Cherry Blossoms at Branch Brook Park

Branch Brook Park has the largest display of cherry trees in the nation!

SOLD OUT; call us for wait list

Date: Tuesday, April 17
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adults
Cost: $18 (bring a bag lunch and drink)

Join us on a visit to Newark’s Branch Brook Park, the nation’s first county park, established in 1895.  This park is listed on both the National and the New Jersey register of historic places and boasts having more than 4000 cherry trees.  When in bloom, it is the largest display in the nation.  So pack a bag lunch and drink, put on your sturdy walking shoes, and dress for the weather.  This 360-acre park is waiting to be explored! 

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NITTY GRITTY CITY TOUR

Nitty Gritty City Tour Nitty Gritty City Tour

Jerry Silverman returns as our guide for a Nitty Gritty walking tour in Philly, where there is architectural eye candy around every corner. 

SOLD OUT; call for wait list

Date: Friday, April 27
Time: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adults
Cost: $25 plus $30 (for a $20 tour guide fee and a $10 entry fee) to be paid by you the day of the trip (lunch is not included in the price)
Tour Guide: Jerry Silverman… back again!

Let’s go learn about and see many of the “other interesting things” in Philadelphia, not just City Hall but some quirky stuff too.  “Would you do another tour for us, Jerry?” I asked.  Jerry replied: “My initial thoughts would be to start at 30th Street Station and circle the area of Market, Pine, 19th, and the Schuylkill River… lots of beautiful bridges, the boardwalk in the center of the river, homes, trees, murals and history, so let’s book it!”  The group will load up into the Parks’ touring van bound for Philadelphia and meet up with Jerry.  We will walk for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours of touring. 

We will lunch at a local eatery, after which we will visit the Mutter Museum.  America’s finest museum of medical history displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a nineteenth-century “cabinet museum” setting.  The goal of the Museum is to help visitors understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body and appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Please dress appropriately for the weather, and wear sturdy footwear for miles of city hiking.  You may want to bring a couple energy bars and a drink for the van rides and the walk about!  If being on your feet all day is a problem, this might not be the trip for you! 

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GARDEN TOUR: WILLOWWOOD & BAMBOO BROOK

Willowwood & Bamboo Brook

This iconic entrance to Willowwood Arboretum is just one of the many beautiful views you can expect on the Garden Tour on May 8. 

Date: Tuesday, May 8
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adults
Cost: $15, plus a $10 tour fee to be paid by you the day of the trip (bring a bag lunch)

This trip includes a visit to two Morris County parks.  At Willowwood Arboretum, we will view a short PowerPoint presentation and enjoy a walking tour, and eat lunch in “The Barn” (please bring a bag lunch).  Next off, we will head to Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center for another walking tour.  Please bring a bag lunch and drink, wear sturdy walking shoes, and dress for the weather.  Willowwood encompasses 130 acres of rolling farm land, and has about 2,100 kinds of native and exotic plants, many of them rare.  In addition to the formal gardens near the residence and undisturbed forest, historic collections include oak, maple, willow, magnolia, lilac, cherry, fir, pine, a superb specimen of Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia) now more than 98’ tall, masses of ferns, and handsome stands of field and forest wildflowers.  Bamboo Brook is located on 670 acres, and was once known as Merchiston Farm and was the home of William and Martha Brookes Hutcheson from 1911 to 1959.  Ms. Hutcheson one of America’s first women landscape architects and attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Planning.  Her interests included what would become the field of Horticultural Therapy, the use of native plants, and the role of garden clubs in the advancement of civic horticulture.  Her design of this garden was completed in the late 1920s, shortly after the publication of her book, The Spirit of the Garden, in 1923.  Portions of the designed landscape of this garden, including the Coffee TerraceCircular Pool, and the Upper and Lower Waters have been restored to their circa 1945 appearance with careful attention to the plants used.  The gardens are on the National and State Register of Historic Places. 

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GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE

Grounds for Sculpture Grounds for Sculpture

Get your picture taken in the bread line at Grounds for Sculpture, and see many other modern and realistic sculptures!

Date: Wednesday, May 16
Time: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adults
Cost: $15, plus an $18/adults, $15/senior (65 and over) admission fee to be paid by you the day of the trip (lunch is not included in the price)

Grounds For Sculpture is a magical place where art and nature are always at play.  At its core are more than 270 sculptures by renowned and emerging contemporary artists, each thoughtfully positioned on meticulously landscaped parkland full of thousands of exotic trees and flowers.  It is a feast for the senses.  Join us and discover the beauty, charm, whimsy, and inspiration that these 42 acres hold! 

Grounds For Sculpture is situated on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds and includes three of its major historic buildings, restored for a variety of purposes.

  Lunch is not included in the price; on site is The Peacock Café that offers hot and cold sandwiches (prices range from $9 to $14) and the Rat’s Restaurant (more upscale; reservations are suggested).  No outside food is allowed on the grounds, but you are welcome to bring snacks for the van ride

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BRONX ZOO VAN TRIP

Bronx Zoo

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  See them all and much more at the Bronx Zoo. 

Date: Saturday, May 26
Time: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 8 through adult
Cost: $50 (includes admission and additional attractions mentioned below)

Join the Parks Division as we journey to the Bronx Zoo.  This is the world’s largest urban zoo with more than 600 species from around the globe!  Get up close with mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects.  Learn about their natural history, biology, cultural roles, and conservation status.  Enjoy the total experience at the zoo, which includes special attractions like the Butterfly Garden, the Children’s Zoo, the Congo Gorilla Forest, the Zoo Shuttle, the 4-D Theatre, and Jungle World.  You will have about five hours to enjoy yourself.  You can eat lunch in the main restaurant the Dancing Crane Café, or at the Terrace Café located by the Children’s Zoo (lunch not included).  There are many stands throughout the zoo offering snacks and also many tables available for you to eat your own boxed lunch.  So why not leave the driving and parking to us and spend a day at the Bronx Zoo?

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OCEAN GROVE: WOMEN’S HISTORY WALKING TOUR and MORE

SOLD OUT; call us for wait list

Date: Tuesday, June 5
Time: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM                
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adults
Cost: $16 plus $25 fee to be paid by you the day of the trip, this fee includes tour and lunch.
Guest Guide: Chip Colombo

This tour, led by history professor Dr. Lyndell O’Hara, takes participants to various stops in Ocean Grove where women made history.  Costumed actors represent history’s characters, such as physician Margaret Coleman, evangelist Phoebe Palmer, evangelist Amanda Berry Smith (the first colored international evangelist), and innkeeper sisters Lydia and Matilda Bull who are as comical as they are enlightening.  Tour is on foot and lasts approximately 90 minutes.  The group will eat at The Starving Artist (lunch is included in the price).  After lunch participants can enjoy free time or join our guide Chip for more history, architectural information, and fun facts!  You might like to bring a snack and drink (that may be left in the van) for the hour and a half (each direction) van ride. 

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SPACE FARMS ZOO AND MUSEUM

Space Farms Zoo and Museum Space Farms Zoo and Museum

Space Farms Museum is full of treasures to discover

Date: Saturday, June 16 (rain date: Sunday, June 17)
Time: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM 
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 6 through adult (all children must be accompanied by an adult; bring car seat if necessary)
Cost: $16, plus an entrance fee to be paid by you the day of the trip: adults $14.50, ages 13-17 $11.50, ages 6-12 $10.50.  Cash only

A family-friendly one hundred-acre zoo and museum complex… Space Farms has over 500 live wild animals including lions, tigers, bears, leopards, jaguars, lemurs, buffalo, sheep, deer, goats, pigs, kangaroos, monkeys, llamas, hyenas, and snakes! 

The Museum complex has nine large buildings with over fifty antique cars, motorcycles, old horse-drawn carriages and sleighs, antique dolls, one of the largest private antique firearms collections, old farm machinery, Native American artifacts, a cool rock collection, and much more.  Step right up to local American History and explore the Space Farms museum artifacts. 

Children love the attention of free roaming chickens, ducks, and geese.  A visit to this quirky privately-owned Zoo and Museum is a great way to spend the day! 

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the large picnic area and playground or grab a bite to eat at Extreme Pizza, an onsite pizza parlor (food is not included in the price).  You might like to bring a snack for the hour and a half (each direction) van ride.

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OCEAN GROVE 50th ANNUAL HOUSE TOUR

Ocean Grove Tent City

Ocean Grove features a number of unique homes, including this row of tent homes. 

SOLD OUT; call us for wait list

Date: Friday, August 3
Time: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM                            
Location: Arboretum                                     
Ages: adults
Cost: $16, plus $25 tour fee to be paid by you the day of the trip (lunch is not included in the price)
Guest Guide: Chip Colombo

Outstanding renovations, ocean views, and fantastic kitchens are featured on this acclaimed house tour.  To celebrate their 50th anniversary, we will tour some of the unique homes found in Ocean Grove.  The all-day, self-guided tour includes historic homes as well as a tent home, an inn, and other historic buildings.  Participants are welcome to tour on their own (FREE SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE AVAILABLE) or join Chip & Liz as we walk about.  *Most homes have stairs and are not generally accessible for those with mobility impairment.  

This trip goes rain or shine.  Feel free to bring a snack and drink for the hour and a half (each direction) van ride.  If being on your feet all day is a problem, this will not be the trip for you!

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EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY & JACK’S FIREHOUSE FOR LUNCH

Jack's Firehouse

Jack’s Firehouse for lunch is a fun stop after our visit to Eastern State Penitentiary. 

Date: Saturday, September 15
Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 12 through adult
Cost: $60 (includes lunch)

Join us for a visit to Philadelphia’s famous prison, Eastern State Penitentiary. 

In 1829 Eastern State Penitentiary opened, becoming one of the most expensive American buildings of its day, and soon the most famous prison in the world.  Over the years there have been many escapes, riots, and of course, some very famous prisoners. 

Join us in exploring the history of the Eastern State Penitentiary with a guided tour and then lunch at Jack’s Firehouse Restaurant, which is situated in a 19th century firehouse, across the street.  Lunch will include soup or salad, choice of five different entrées, dessert, and soft drinks. 

Transport is by Parks van. 

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MOUNT TABOR 25th ANNUAL HOUSE TOUR

Date: Saturday, September 29
Time: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM                            
Location: Arboretum                         
Ages: adults
Cost: $18, plus $30 tour fee to be paid by you the day of the trip. Please note this fee is subject to change depending on 2018 prices and number of participants (lunch is not included in the price)
Guest Guide: Chip Colombo

Sponsored by the Mount Tabor Historical Society.  Founded in 1869, the Mount Tabor Historic District embodies the distinctive characteristics of a permanent Methodist Camp Meeting Ground that evolved into a summer resort community.  Particularly notable is the architecture of the early camp meeting Stick-Style and Gothic Revival-influenced cottages with their prominent steep gables, open porches, and elaborate gingerbread embellishments.  Special features of the tour include a furnished replica Camp Meeting Tent and the Richardson History House, a camp meeting cottage museum.  Stop by the gift shop, which is stocked with Mount Tabor souvenirs and vintage items!  Boxed lunches and beverages will be for sale.  Proceeds of the tour fund building restoration, educational programs, and beautification projects in Mount Tabor.  This is a self-guided tour; move at your own pace or join Chip and Liz as they walk about.  This trip goes rain or shine.  Please bring a snack and drink for the van ride.  If being on your feet all day is a problem, this might not be the trip for you!

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SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF HUNTERDON COUNTY PARKS (SOUTH & SOUTH BRANCH)

Date: in the fall TBA
Time: 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: adult
Cost: $10
Guest Leader: Chip Colombo

Where are the parklands of Hunterdon County?  Did you know that there are over 28 beautiful pieces of preserved county parklands?  In addition, there are many state, town, and township parks that we will mention.  Let’s take a Sunday afternoon drive to see how many parks we can visit.  Fascinating history, cool facts and stories, and a plethora of other information will be shared by our guest leader, Chip Colombo.  Please wear sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate clothing for taking a few short hikes.  Feel free to bring a snack and drink as no food stops are planned, other than perhaps a visit to a local general store. 

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PHOTOGRAPY - NEW!!
DSLR Camera Beginner Class - April 22

 

DSLR CAMERA BEGINNER CLASS

Date: Sunday, April 22
Time: 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Arboretum
Age: adults
Cost: $40
Guest presenter: Thomas Romeo

Do you have a digital DSLR or mirror-less camera and want to take your photos to the next level but are afraid to leave the auto mode?  This hands-on-class is for beginners and amateur photographers looking to gain a better understanding of the automated modes and features, as well as the manual controls and capabilities, of your digital SLR or mirror-less camera.  You will be able to use your creativity and vision and get your camera to do what you want instead of what it thinks you want.  Please bring your camera and any accessories, manual, and questions.  This class is not for point-and-shoot cameras. 

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RECREATION PROGRAMS
WITH INSTRUCTOR PATRICK ECKARD, RECREATION LEADER - peckard@co.hunterdon.nj.us
Homeschool Recreation Series - February through May
Free Recreation Walks - March 14 to May 23
Fishing Clinic (also Boy Scout Merit Badge) - May 11
CPR and First Aid for the Community Course - May 19

 

HOMESCHOOL RECREATION SERIES

Date: Second Wednesday of the month, February through May
Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill 
Ages: 6 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $20 per child for all four lessons; adults attend for free

This is a four-part recreation series designed for homeschooled children.  On February 14, we will make Valentine’s Day cards and other crafts.  On March 14, we will learn how we make sap into maple syrup.  On April 11, the group will focus on Native Americans and do some related crafts.  We will close with making food over a campfire on May 9. 

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Maple Sap Collection

Help us collect sap to make maple syrup! 

MAPLE SAP COLLECTION

Date: Saturday, February 10
Time: 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Location: Echo Hill - playground
Ages: 5 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $3 per person

Collecting the sap is a crucial step of the maple sugaring process!  Many methods are used on commercial farms, but the basic idea is the same—moving the sap from the maple trees to the stove.  Come participate in the process at Echo Hill!  We will meet at the playground and then walk to the sugar bush (five to ten minutes). 

This program will also be available to groups during weekdays in February—please call us to schedule a group.

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FREE RECREATION WALKS

Free Recreation Walks

Explore your local parks with Recreation Leader Patrick Eckard.

Dates: Wednesdays
Time: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Ages: all
Cost: Free

March 14: Echo Hill Park, 42 Lilac Drive, Flemington 08822
March 28: Point Mountain North Section, 417 Penwell Road, Port Murray 07865 (lower fields)
April 11: Crystal Springs, meet at Teetertown Group parking lot, 20 Pleasant Grove Road, Port Murray 07865
April 25: Columbia Trail, meet at Califon Island Park, 30 Bank Street, Califon 07830
May 9: Laport Reserve, 216 Mountain Road, Ringoes 08551
May 23: Round Mountain Section of Deer Path, 100 Foothill Road, Flemington 08822

Meet Patrick Eckard at each location and he will introduce you to the beauty of the parks as he inspects the trail systems.  He will tell you the history of each park as you get some fresh air and exercise.  Then come back on your own to hike the trails at your leisure.  These trails are easy to moderate hikes. 

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FISHING CLINIC (also Boy Scout Merit Badge)

Let's Go Fishing

Get an introduction to fishing at our fishing clinic on May 11. 

 

Date: Friday, May 11
Time: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Echo Hill pond
Ages: 6 through adults (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $8 (includes bait and supplies)

Let us show you the basics of fishing, including safety, etiquette, equipment, and casting.  Meet Patrick Eckard, Recreation Leader, at Echo Hill pond.  Fishing rods are available to borrow.  Bait, hooks, bobbers, and weights are provided.  If you have your own fishing equipment, you may bring it with you. 

Organized groups can also request this program on another date.  Call us to set up this program for a group.  Boy Scouts may obtain their merit badge by setting up an additional meeting with Patrick. 

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CPR AND FIRST AID FOR THE COMMUNITY COURSE (also Boy Scout Merit Badge)

First Aid for the Community

Get certified in CPR and first aid to be prepared to help people in emergencies. 

Dates: Saturday, May 19
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (CPR: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and First Aid: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM)
Location: Echo Hill
Ages: 12 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: CPR $25; First Aid $25; or both for $45

If you have ever wanted to learn CPR and First Aid, this is the time.  These courses are taught by an American Heart Association (AHA) instructor.  You will learn Adult, Child, and Infant CPR, Choking, and First Aid, allowing you to help anyone of any age.  This is not a course for health care personnel.  Sign up for CPR and/or First Aid, and bring a lunch if you are doing both classes.  Boy Scouts may obtain their merit badge by setting up an additional meeting with Patrick. 

*The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in CPR and instructional material for this purpose.  Use of these materials in an education course does not represent course sponsorship by the American Heart Association.  Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA course material, do not represent income to the Association.

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THANK YOU....
 

The Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation wishes to extend a great big thank you to all of our 2017 volunteers! \

You helped the following programs run smoothly: Maple Sugaring, Spring Break Camp, Earth Day, Spring Volunteer Day, Summer Nature Program, Performance Camp, Craft Camp, Art Camp, Sciensational Camps, LEGO Camps, Public Lands Day, Touch-a-Truck, Basket/Craft Programs, Bluebird House Monitoring, Nature Club, Public Programs, Adopt-a-Trail, Concerts, 4-H Fair, scout projects, and site improvements. 

We couldn’t have done it without you!  To find out how to volunteer with the Parks, please visit: www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/depts/parks/volunteeropps.htm

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WEEKEND CAMPING TRIPS
Backpacking: Hudson Highlands and Fahnestock - April 28 - 29
Canoe Camping - June 2 to 3
Let's Go Camping - June 30 to July 1

 

BACKPACKING:  HUDSON HIGHLANDS AND FAHNESTOCK

Backpacking Hudson Higlands

We will look down on the Bear Mountain Bridge on our second day of backpacking. 

Depart: Saturday, April 28 at 8:00 AM
Return: Sunday, April 29 at 5:00 PM
Location: Meet at Arboretum
Ages: 14 through adult
Cost: $50
Note: Limit of 9 participants on this trip

Backpack in Hudson Highlands and Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Parks, NY!  We will discuss the importance of the Appalachian Mountains while enjoying beautiful scenery.  Learn the basics of backpacking as we set up tents, cook, and hike together.  The group will meet at the Arboretum Saturday morning and drive to the trail in a county van.  We will start in Fahnestock along Dennytown Road in Putnam County and hike about 8.5 miles to Graymoor Campsite where we will spend the night.  Sunday, we will hike about 6.5 miles through Hudson Highlands, crossing the Hudson River and passing through Bear Mountain Zoo on the way back to the van.  This is a very strenuous activity, and participants must be in good physical condition and ready to hike 6.5 to 8.5 miles each day with a full backpack.  All participants must attend a pre-hike meeting on Monday, April 23 at 7:00 PM at the Arboretum.  All participants must backpack with the following items: clothing, sturdy shoes, raingear, bowl, fork, spoon, at least two liters of water, two lunches, dinner, breakfast, and a sleeping bag.  Also, if you have them, please bring: lightweight cooking dishes (mess kit), a stove, a tent, and a backpack.  Participants provide all food.  On your registration form, please indicate if you will need to borrow a backpack or two-person tent.  For new backpackers, or experienced backpackers who want to hike with a group. 

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LET’S GO CAMPING (also Boy Scout Merit Badge)

Let's Go camping

Let’s Go Camping!

Arrive: Saturday, June 30 at 9:00 AM
Leave: Sunday, July 1 at 11:30 AM
Location: Echo Hill
Ages: 8 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $50 per person (includes lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday)

Do you dream of camping in the woods?  Do you know what you would need and how to prepare for a campout?  Would you like to cook on an open fire?  Well, Let’s Go Camping!  Join Recreation Leader Patrick Eckard for an overnight campout at Echo Hill.  All participants are required to attend a planning meeting on Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00 at the Arboretum.  At this meeting, we will plan a menu together, discuss equipment needed for different types of campouts, discuss strategies on packing, and learn how to prevent raids by animals.  During the campout, we will demonstrate fire building (several techniques), pitching a tent correctly, knot tying, and using camp tools safely.  All participants will get the chance to help cook a meal and be on kitchen patrol.  During free time, enjoy Echo Hill pond and trails.  When night falls, we will have an evening campfire and prepare traditional snacks.  There are no more excuses… Let’s Go Camping!  There is a flush toilet in the lodge, a short distance from the site.  We have tents available to borrow, but feel free to bring your own.  Boy Scouts may obtain their merit badge by setting up an additional meeting with Patrick. 

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REQUESTABLE NATURE & RECREATION PROGRAMS

Are you an Educator, Scout Leader, Community Organization? Let us do a program for your group!  Unless otherwise noted, cost is $30 on-site, $50 off-site, $75 out-of-county (limited range). 

Free Tot Walks

Bring your group to a nature or recreation program, like Woodworking!

NATURE STUDIES

SEASONAL NATURE WALK, All ages, 1 hr, $20, 25 max
ANIMAL CLUES, Grade K+, 1 hr, 25 max
AMAZING ADAPTATIONS, Grade K+, 1-1.5 hrs, 25 max
INCREDIBLE INSECTS, Grade 1+, 1-1.5 hrs, 25 max
PLANT STUDY, Grade 1+, 1-1.5 hrs, 25 max
BIRDING, Grade 3+, 1-1.5 hrs, 25 max
POND/STREAM STUDY, Grade 1+, 1-1.5 hrs, 25 max

INDOOR NATURE EXPLORATIONS

ANIMAL STRATEGIES, All Ages, 1 hr, 25 max 
REPTILES ALIVE!, All Ages, 1 hr, 25 max
ROCKS AND MINERALS, Grade 3+, 1 hr, 20 max
INTRODUCTION TO BIRDING, Grade 3+, 1 hr, 25 max 
SKULL WORKSHOP, Grade 2+, 1 hr, 25 max
SCAT & TRACKS WORKSHOP, Grade 3+, 1 hr, 25 max
WINGS & FEATHERS WORKSHOP, Grade 3+, 1 hr, 25 max
NESTS & EGGS, Grade K+, 1 hr, 25 max
MAPLE SUGAR TO GO, All ages, 1 hr, 25 max, $50 (off-site)

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

RECYCLING, Grade 1+, 1 hr, 25 max 
WATER ISSUES, Grade 1+, 1 hr, 25 max
COMPOSTING FOR THE HOME, Grade 3+, 1 hr, 25 max

CRAFT WORKSHOPS

EARTH-INSPIRED CRAFTS, Grade 1+, 1.5 hrs, $30 + materials fee, 10 max
CREATING WITH CLAY, Grade 1+, 1.5-2 hrs, $30 + materials fee, 10 max
WOODWORKING, Grade 3+, 1.5-2 hrs, $30 + materials, 10 max
BASKETRY, Grade 3+, 2 hrs, $30 + $3/person materials, 10 max
*For more information on advanced classes or larger groups, please ask for Liz. 

 

OUTDOOR SKILLS

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, Grade 3+, 1.5-2 hrs, 10 max
CPR CERTIFICATION, Grade 7+, 4 hrs, $25/person, 4-6 participants
FIRST AID CERTIFICATION, Grade 7+, 3 hrs, $25/person, 4-6 participants.  Call for price for CPR/First Aid together. 
ORIENTEERING, Grade 4+, 1.5-2 hrs, 15 max
GEOCACHING 101, Grade 4+, 1.5-2 hrs, 15 max
HIKING KNOWLEDGE, Grade 2+, 1.5 hrs, 15 max
BACKPACKING KNOWLEDGE, Grade 5+, 1.5-2 hrs, 15 max
CAMPING KNOWLEDGE, Grade 4+, 1.5-2 hrs, 15 max
KNIFE SAFETY, Grade 3+, 1.5-2 hrs, $30 + materials fee, 8 max 
Basic Carving class also available. 
CAMP TOOLS, Grade 3+, 1.5-2 hrs, 10 max
KNOT TYING, Grade 2+, 1.5-2 hrs, 10 max
FIRE BUILDING, Grade 4+, 1.5-2 hrs, 10 max
OUTDOOR SURVIVAL, Grade 4+, 1.5-2 hrs, 15 max
CANOE CLINIC, Grade 5+, 1.5-2 hrs, $175, 16 max
FISHING CLINIC, Grade 1+, 1.5-2 hrs, $30 + $2/person, 15 max
BIKE SAFETY, Grade 3+, 1.5-2 hrs, 15 max
INITIATIVES/ TEAM BUILDINGGrade 4+, 1.5-2 hrs, 15 max

Free Tot Walks

Enjoy a walk in the park or at your school and take your group birding with a naturalist!

LECTURES

BATTY ABOUT BATS LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
BIRDS OF HUNTERDON LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
BUTTERFLIES & MOTHS LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
CO-EXISTING WITH COYOTES LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
HERPTILES OF HUNTERDON LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
MAMMALS OF HUNTERDON LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
MUSHROOMS & MOLDS LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
NEW JERSEY BLACK BEARS LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
OWLS OF HUNTERDON LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
PLANETS OF THE INNER SOLAR SYSTEM LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
PLANETS OF THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
RAPTORS OF HUNTERDON LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
TREES OF HUNTERDON LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
WILDFLOWER FOLKLORE LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
WILDLIFE OF HUNTERDON LECTURE, Grade 3+, 1 hr
ATTRACTING BIRDS TO YOUR YARD LECTURE, Adult, 1 hr 
HUNTERDON COUNTY DIVISION OF PARKS & RECREATION LECTURE, Adult, 1 hr, free 

For program descriptions, see our Group Programs brochure on our website or pick one up at the Arboretum. 

Call us to register at 908-782-1158 or email parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us. 

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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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