MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137


TRENTON, N.J. - The Mercer County Park Commission offers unique and fun programs throughout the year that showcase the exciting diversity in our local natural habitats.

Registration is not required for nature programs unless noted.

Public nature programs are open to 20 people and are filled in a first-come, first-serve basis.  Participants must pay for the program upon arrival.  Cash and checks are accepted, however, the naturalist does not carry change so please have the appropriate bills. Contact jrogers@mercercounty.org for more information.
May 4 (Wednesday):
Almost Cinco de Mayo Garlic Mustard Pull!  9 a.m. to noon.  Help Friends for the Marsh and the Park Commission make the island of Roebling Park invasive-free!  Garlic mustard is easy to pull by hand and makes for a very satisfying morning of weeding.  Please wear long pants, close toed shoes and bring work gloves.  Meet at Roebling Park, Spring Lake parking lot.
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May 6 (Friday):
Just a Hike.  1 – 3 p.m. Please wear sturdy shoes.  Hikes are free and for teens and adults.  Meet at Mercer Meadows, Rosedale Park section, Picnic Area parking lot.
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May 9 (Monday):
Early Birds.  7 – 9 a.m.  Join us for a casual hike -- with your binoculars of course!  These walks are dedicated to spotting our fine-feathered friends.  Never picked up a pair of binoculars before?  No problem. All abilities of birders are welcome.  Hikes are free and for teens and adults. Meet at Baldpate Mountain in the Fiddler’s Creek Parking Lot.
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May 15 (Sunday):
Lawn Chair Birding. 7 – 9 a.m.  Program Requirements:  one comfortable lawn chair, binoculars, and your favorite thermos filled with coffee.  For these programs, we’ll plop our lawn chairs in some of the County Park’s birding hot spots and indulge ourselves with a morning of lazy birding!  This program is free and for teens and adults.  Meet at Mercer Meadows, Pole Farm section, Federal City Road parking lot.

Pond Program. 1 – 3 p.m.  Explore aquatic critters using dip nets and magnifying lenses!  Meet at Roebling Park, Spring Lake parking lot. For families, $4 per person.
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May 17 (Tuesday):
Trail Trek.  9 – 11 a.m.  Take in fresh air, energize your body and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature with Mercer County’s Naturalist.  Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring a water bottle.  Hikes are free and for adults. Meet at Mercer Meadows, Rosedale Park section, Hunt House parking lot.
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May 29 (Sunday):
Wildflowers of the Sourlands; a presentation by Rachel Mackow.  1 – 3 p.m. From spring ephemerals to the final blooms of autumn—Rachel Mackow will present a slide show of the flowering plants of the Sourland ridge. Forest, meadow and shrubland species will be featured. Rachel will touch on plant life cycles, pollinators, medicinal and traditional uses, and conservation of these plants.

Rachel Mackow is a photographer, writer, and naturalist who resides on the Sourland Mountain ridge with her husband and son. Her interest in the natural world, especially plants, is wide ranging. She co-authors “The Shagbark Speaks”, a blog about native and medicinal plants, gardening, wildlife, stewardship, and home life. She recently completed an apprenticeship in herbal remedies. In addition, she serves on the Sourland Planning Council’s Education & Outreach Committee and contributed photographs and writing to the organization’s Living in the Sourlands: A Guide to Responsible Stewardship.

Her photography has been exhibited and published internationally and locally—with exhibits at the National Library in Havana, Cuba, Queens Museum, Phillip’s Mill, Gallery 14, Princeton Public Library, D&R Greenway, and University of Pennsylvania. Her hand-tinted photographs were published in Harper's Magazine.

This program is free and for teens and adults. Meet at Baldpate Mountain Visitor Center.
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June 7 (Tuesday):
Trail Trek.  9 – 11 a.m.  Take in fresh air, energize your body and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature with Mercer County’s Naturalist.  Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring a water bottle.  Hikes are free and for adults.  Meet at Baldpate Mountain Visitor Center.
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June 13 (Monday):
Lawn Chair Birding.  7 – 9 a.m.  Program Requirements:  one comfortable lawn chair, binoculars, and your favorite thermos filled with coffee.  For these programs, we’ll plop our lawn chairs in some of the County Park’s birding hot spots and indulge ourselves with a morning of lazy birding!  This program is free and for teens and adults.  Meet at Baldpate Mountain Visitor Center for a short trek to the summit.
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June 20 (Monday):
Early Birds.  7 – 9 a.m.  Join us for a casual hike -- with your binoculars of course!  These walks are dedicated to spotting our fine-feathered friends.  Never picked up a pair of binoculars before?  No problem. All abilities of birders are welcome.  Hikes are free and for teens and adults. Meet at Baldpate Mountain, Fiddler’s Creek Parking Lot.
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July 10 (Sunday):
Sweep the Fields.  1 – 4 p.m.  Hike through the fields in search of insects, and discover the important roles they have at Howell Farm. Meet at Howell Farm
For families; free.
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Pontoon Boat Nature Tours
Spend a relaxing afternoon kicked back on the County’s pontoon boat while watching for Lake Mercer’s flora and fauna, and listening to the natural history of the lake. Feel free to bring binoculars to do some off-shore birding!

Tickets for boat tours will be sold on a first come, first serve basis the day of the tour at the Marina Ticket Window.  Ticket prices are $6 for 12 and older and $4 for seniors and children 11 and under.  All boat tours are weather-permitting.

Thursdays May 19, June 9 and 23, July 7 and 21, August 4, 11, 25 from 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Marina in Mercer County Park. For families and adults.
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