TRENTON, N.J.—After a successful and busy spring season filled with hikes, bird-watching and stream exploration, the Mercer County Park Commission has released its summer edition of the Nature Program and Activities E-Newsletter. All nature programs and activities are hosted at Mercer County parks, and this summer, the Park Commission is now offering several daylong nature programs just for children.
In addition to popular preschool programs and weekend family programs, the summer lineup includes these NEW nature activities:
- Naturalist I Day Program, Tuesdays, July 28, Aug. 11 and 25, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Baldpate Mountain. For children entering grades 1-4. Explore the forest's nooks, search for birds, spy animal evidence and more. $20 per child per program.
- Naturalist II Day Program, Thursdays, July 30, Aug. 13 and 27, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Baldpate Mountain. For children entering grades 5-8. Spend the day hiking the mountain, maintaining trails, monitoring songbirds, sitting alongside babbling brooks and learning about conservation. $20 per child per program.
- Nature at the Farm, Wednesdays, June 17, July 22 and Aug. 19, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Howell Living History Farm. Farms produce a variety of crops and goods such as eggs, butter, corn and peaches. But they are also home to many forms of nature. Learn about the different ways farmers rely on the environment and how nature interacts with plants and animals on the farm. For families. Free.
- Pontoon Boat Tours, June 11, 24; July 9, 23, and Aug. 6, 20 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Mercer County Park Marina. Spend a relaxing afternoon on the County’s pontoon boat while peering for Lake Mercer’s flora and fauna and hearing about the natural history of the lake. Feel free to bring binoculars to do some off-shore birding. For families and adults. Free.
- Marsh Trails Volunteer Crew, Fridays, June 26, July 10, 24, Aug.7 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Marsh Nature and Interpretive Center, Roebling Park. Join the Park Commission crew on the trails of Roebling Park to give them some much needed TLC. Volunteers will assist with basic trail maintenance, litter removal, and habitat improvement projects. Interested individuals or groups can sign up for as many or few days as they would like. A volunteer application form must be submitted to the Park Commission and can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For ages 16 and up.
- METEOR WATCH! Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009, 10 p.m. to midnight, Mercer County Park Northwest, Cold Soil Road at Keefe Road entrance. Co-sponsored by the Lawrence Nature Center and Mercer County Park Commission, and hosted by environmentalists Dave Bosted and his daughter, Anna Bosted. The Perseid Meteor Showers, an annual natural spectacle, are forecast to peak between Aug. 11 and 14. Bring flashlights to navigate the dark parking lot, and lawn chairs or blankets for comfort. For families. Free. No registration is necessary for this event. Rain date is Thursday, Aug. 13
Be sure to review the e-newsletter for details about these and other programs, including morning bird walks, adult nature hikes, family programs and preschool programs that will continue throughout summer. Programs planned for May can also be found in our spring program newsletter. Check the website for the spring issue.
To view or print the summer e-newsletter, go to http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/commissions/park/natureprog.html. To be added to the e-newsletter distribution list call (609) 989-6540 or email County naturalist Jenn Lear at email@example.com.