Virtual Nature Programs

Registration Instructions: 

Click the "register here" link for each program to register online.

Costa Rica, La Pura VidaIMG_0227

  • Date: Saturday, January 21 
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM 
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 9 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Debra Reed, Park Naturalist
  • Register here

Costa Rica is considered a nature enthusiast’s paradise. With over six percent of the world’s biodiversity, it is little wonder why Costa Rican living is considered the pure life. Join naturalist Debra Reed to learn about this paradise that consists of tropical rain forests, cloud forests, and lush green valleys. 

What is Hibernation?

  • Date: Wednesday, January 25
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 12 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist 
  • Register here

This program was originally developed for the Homeschool Series. Join Chief Naturalist Tom Sheppard as he explores this topic and explains why the ability to hibernate was developed by wildlife. We will explore the various types of hibernations that exist, and which species use them.

Endangered Wildlife of New Jersey

  • Date: Sunday, February 19 
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM 
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 8 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Debra Reed, Park Naturalist
  • Register here

Once they are gone, they are gone forever. Caring for endangered species ensures that humans have access to clean air, water, and soil. New Jersey has a large amount of biodiversity for such a small area, and the state hosts many threatened and endangered species. There are probably more endangered species in your area than you know of. Let’s find out what’s in your community, and learn more about these rare finds, their decline, and what you can do in your own backyard to help them recover. 

Owls of Hunterdon

  • Date: Wednesday, February 22
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 8 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist
  • Register here

We are in the beginning of the breeding season for owls. You may have heard one already calling at night. Join Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist as he introduces the owls that can be found in Hunterdon County and the state. Along with facts about each of the owls, you will hear the calls of each species.

Frogs & Toads of Our Region

  • Date: Wednesday, March 22
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 8 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist
  • Register here

Frogs and toads are one of the groups that fascinate our youth. But as adults, it can be a group that is often overlooked. Frogs and toads can be identified by their songs. In March, we are at the beginning of their breeding season, so we can expect to hear them calling. Join Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist for an evening to learn about our local species and hear their various songs.   

Reptile & Amphibian Merit Badge

  • Date: Sunday, March 26
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Location: virtual
  • Ages: 11 to adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Debra Reed, Park Naturalist
  • Register here 

Earn your Reptile and Amphibian Merit Badge with Counselor Debra Reed! We will meet virtually for an introduction to the merit badge and our local amphibians and reptiles. The program will investigate their identifying characteristics, geographic distribution, their role in the environment, and how to care for a reptile or amphibian. Please print the merit badge workbook before the program to reference. Scouts will need to schedule an additional meeting time with Debra after they have completed the additional requirements for the badge on their own.

Wildflower Folklore

  • Date: Sunday, April 16
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 10 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Debra Reed, Park Naturalist
  • Register here 

Did you know that the flowers Black-eyed Susan and Sweet William were named after lovers in an English poem from the early 18th century? Or that Native Americans used Pokeweed berries as a dye and ink? In Wildflower Folklore, we will go over the folk uses and myths of local wildflowers. Through a slide show of photos, we will also go over identification of these species.

World of Flycatchers

  • Date: Wednesday, April 26
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 8 through adults (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist
  • Register here 

While our local flycatchers may not present a huge challenge to local birders, the group is a lot larger and complex than many people think. While our greatest challenge may be our 4-5 Empid species, this group increases to 11 when you expand across the country. Join Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist, for a program that will open the door for you to the “World of Flycatchers.”

Mammals of Hunterdon

  • Date: Wednesday, May 24
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Location: virtual program
  • Ages: 8 through adults (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost: free! (pre-registration required)
  • Instructor: Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist
  • Register here 

Over forty different mammal species call Hunterdon County their home. Join Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist for an evening program as he reviews some of these species. Discussion will range from the common species such as the Gray Squirrel and Eastern Cottontail to the rare which includes the Mink and the Fisher. Tom will also cover need-to-know information on the Black Bear and Coyote. Bring your questions about the mammals, because the program should be more about what you want to know than the usual facts that can be shared.

Previous Virtual Programs

Did you miss a virtual program? Email us for a copy of the recording!