Spotlights

Organization logo: stylized image of a drawn oyster shell Passaic Fish Weir Complex (The Public History Project)

Do you know about one of the oldest human-made structures in the Newark metropolitan area? Built by the Lenape people, the Passaic Fish Weir Complex was a series of at least sixteen low dams that once stretched over the lower twenty miles of the Passaic River to trap large quantities of shad fish. The weirs were in active use for millennia as well as through the early colonial time period. 

Organization logo: navy-colored circle with yellow hands holding a peacock Popcorn Park Animal Refuge Provides Sanctuary for Four New Big Cats (Associated Humane Societies, July 29, 2022)

On July 26, 2022 the Associated Humane Societies welcomed four new animals, two tigers and two lions, to the Popcorn Park Animal Refuge, commemorating the 45th Anniversary of providing sanctuary for exotics, wildlife, and farm animals in need.

Organization logo: landscape of hills, trees, and a river Butterfly Hike (New Jersey Conservation Foundation/Friday, August 12, 2022 @ 9:30 a.m.)

Join experts from the North American Butterfly Association as we walk the meadows of Bamboo Brook in search of late summer butterfly species!

Logo: sunflower with petals resembling yellow raised fists Library Seed Bank

Founded in 2014 by Jeff Quattrone, Library Seed Bank (LSB) changed the dynamics of free and open access to seeds by the public when he brought the concept of seed libraries to the southern New Jersey area. Seed libraries are collections of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds that are housed at public libraries, or any other public-facing entity. The seed packages are available for free to the public. 

Circular logo with flower at the center Seed Saving Workshop (Cranford Public Library/Wednesday, September 14, 2022 @ 7:00 p.m.)

Learn the basics of harvesting and germinating seeds! Jessica Miller, the founder of the Flagship Native Seed Library, will be sharing strategies for seed saving.

Organization Logo Wildflower Walk (New Jersey Botanical Garden/Saturday, August 13, 2022 @ 10:00 a.m.)

Join Darlene Nowak in checking out the many delightful flowers and ferns in the shady wooded wildflower garden!

Green circular logo with leafy branch in center Forest Mushrooms 101 (Essex County Environmental Center/Wednesday, August 31, 2022 @ 5:30 p.m.)

Fascinated by fungi? Explore the local forest for gilled, pored, ridged, and toothed mushrooms with
naturalist David Alexander. We’ll learn their anatomy and create whimsical, yet realistic air-dry clay replicas of what we find. 

Organization logo: dark green silhouette of bird flying over wooded marsh with kingfisher in foreground Evening Firefly Walk at Duke Farms (Friday, July 29, 2022 @ 7:30 p.m.)

Join a unique after hours walk to observe a favorite glowing summer insect, fireflies in their natural habitat! Discover the unusual characteristics of fireflies such as bioluminescence and why dark skies are a natural resource for many nocturnal critters.

Image of insect with wings of red & beige with black freckles Let’s Talk about Spotted Lanternflies (Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum/Tuesday, July 12, 2022 @ 10:00 a.m.)

While Spotted Lanternflies are not harmful to humans, they can greatly impact crops, trees, and quality of life in areas they infest. Join us to learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly and its damaging effects on the local environment.

Map of the Mid-Atlantic with dots indicating PFAS contamination EPA Warns That PFAS “Forever Chemicals” are up to 17,500 Times More Toxic Than Previously Known (Data-Driven Viewpoints, Friday, June 17, 2022)

The EPA recently warned that toxic ‘forever chemicals' used to make Teflon and many other consumer products are as much as 17,500 times more toxic than previously known.

Organization logo: green text in circle with graphic of 5 pine trees overlooking bridge & river Wild Edibles Information Walk (New Jersey School of Conservation: Saturday, July 2, 2022 @ 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

Jumpstart a foraging habit for your soups, stews, salads, pestos and fritters! Your program leader, Joanne White, will lead you on a hike to discuss and take photos of whatever is available in woods and meadow-like areas. 

Organization logo: text with drawing of large historic home with 3 entrances Travel the D&R Canal with Historian Linda Barth (Morven Museum & Garden, Thursday, August 18, 2022 @ 6:00 p.m.)

Local Historian Linda Barth, a longtime canal expert, will share highlights and details about the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) Canal in this hybrid virtual and in-person event. 

Organization logo: drawing of acorn with name of organization and tagline stating "Enriching Lives Through Nature" Forest Defenders (Tenafly Nature Center, Sunday, June 26, 2022 @ 10:00 a.m.)

The Tenafly Nature Preserve is under invasion and we need help from adults, teenagers, and families! A variety of non-native plants have been encroaching into our forest causing harm to native plants and reducing our biodiversity. These various plants referred to as invasive species can cause myriad damage if left unchecked, from toxifying soil to shading out native plants.  For the forest ecosystem to continue functioning these invaders must be removed. 

Logo of organization: image of orange wheelbarrow filled with green plants with a butterfly above "Lose the Lawn, Create a Wildflower Meadow Instead" (Jersey-Friendly Yards: Sunday, July 12, 2022 @ 7:00 p.m.)

Learn how to enhance your property’s landscaping for wildlife by creating a wildflower meadow with this free hourlong webinar! Join us as we incorporate these basic components into our landscaping practices, resulting in a beautiful and healthy Jersey-friendly Yard.

Organization logo: text with graphic of winding river in blue Butterfly House Opening (The Watershed Institute, Saturday, June 11, 2022 @ 10:00 a.m.)

Welcome to the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House Seasonal Opening! Come join Watershed Educators for the first Butterfly House Tour of the Season. Learn about the plants in the butterfly house and the lifecycle of butterflies. Play the Monarch Migration Game and try to catch butterflies around the retention pond with nets.

 

Photograph of pond surrounded by autumn foliage overlaid with text stating "Our Land, Our Stories" "Our Lands, Our Stories" (Rutgers University Libraries & Ramapough Lunaape Nation, Ongoing)

Our Land, Our Stories, a collaborative project with Rutgers University, Department of Landscape Architecture and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, is a multimedia project for environmental justice advocacy and curriculum development for Native American history and contemporary Indigenous land relations.  

Logo-name of organization with image of blue boat in the ocean and green ribbon with text, "Protect, Preserve, Restore." Hockey Stick Oyster Gardening Program (NY/NJ Baykeeper, Ongoing)

The NY/NJ Baykeeper is currently accepting donations of used, unwanted or broken hockey sticks to build habitat units for their new oyster gardening program! 

Organizational logo-dark blue and white graphic of lighthouse on beach surrounded by vegetation with birds in the sky and fish in the ocean Shark River Inlet Horseshoe Crab Tagging (American Littoral Society, Sunday, May 29, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.)

Come learn about horseshoe crabs and help us tag these fascinating living fossils!

Black text Webinar : Tribal & Indigenous-Based Climate Adaptation Priorities in the NE CASC Region (Rutgers Climate Institute, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 @ 4:00 p.m.)

Tribal nations and Indigenous communities in the northeastern United States have witnessed changes in the climate from time immemorial. However, anthropogenic climate change coupled with the impacts of colonization pose unique challenges for tribal nations. Despite these issues, tribal nations are leading the way across the region in climate change adaptation planning. This event is sponsored by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center. 

Logo of blue & green Yin Yang with text in blue & green Native Medicinal Garden Learn & Tend Days (Sustainable West Milford, Through October 2022)

2022 Learn & Tend dates are here! You can look forward to spending one Sunday a month learning about the healing properties of countless native species. Karen Longo is a Master Gardener with an extensive amount of knowledge and experience in this field. For any other Master Gardeners out there, this is a registered Project Site in Passaic County, NJ so please join us and you can add hours worked to your annual requirement for volunteer hours. We will be taking necessary precautions to promote social distancing guidelines while gardening.

PPA Logo: White silhouette of three pine trees on green square background with floral watermark Pinelands Juried Photographic Exhibition Online Gallery (Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Ongoing)

The Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) is pleased to share the stunning images submitted to the 2022 Pinelands Juried Photographic Competition and Exhibition. The photographs submitted for this exhibit celebrate the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the Pinelands National Reserve. Images were taken within the boundaries of the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve depicting its landscape, flora, wildlife, communities, and people. All acceptable photographs submitted this year were posted in PPA's New Jersey Pinelands online art gallery by April 16, 2022.

Photo of farm under partly cloudy skies with awnings in the distance and red Rutgers NJAES banner in foreground Bee-ginner's Beekeeping: The Basics of Apiculture, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University (Monday, May 2-23, 2022)

This self-paced online class is designed to provide information that new beekeepers need to start and care for a honey bee colony. Participants will be introduced to bee biology and management. Participants will also learn how to assemble hives, open and examine colonies, and see how honey and beeswax are harvested.

Library logo of brown cartoon owl sitting on book Butterfly Gardening with Native Plants (East Rutherford Memorial Library, Monday, May 2, 2022 @ 6:30 p.m.)

Guest speaker, naturalist Don Torino, discusses how to turn your yard into a haven for butterflies! Advance registration is required. This event is virtual. 

Gloucester County Nature Club logo: encircled yellow & black American Goldfinch sitting on branch  Bird Quest, Gloucester County Nature Club (Saturday, May 7, 2022 @ 7:00 a.m.)

The Gloucester County Bird Quest is a great way to discover Gloucester County’s parks and natural areas, discover the unique birds that live in and migrate through our region, and learn how to identify birds by sight, sound, behavior, and habitat. Advanced registration is required. The registration deadline is Saturday, April 30, 2022. 

Logo of Dr. James Still Office Historic Site & Educational Center-image of leather bag with green herbs and mortar & pestle in a circle Open House at Dr. James Still Historic Office Site & Education Center (Sunday, April 24, 2022 @ 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

The Dr. James Still Historic Office Site is dedicated to teaching, restoring and preserving the legacy of herbalist Dr. James Still, renowned as "The Black Doctor of the Pines."  Come by to see exhibits and learn more about Dr. Still and the Still family legacy!