Friday, May 10, 2013

We Want to Hear from You!

For some it's watching their children release energy on the playgrounds. For others it's lacing up their sneakers and hitting the trails. And many love to partake in the thousands of programs the Park System offers every year. Whatever it is you enjoy about the parks, we'd like you to show us.

The Park System is currently running a Spring Video Contest through Facebook which gives our amazing visitors an opportunity to not only tell us what they love about the parks, but to also win a 2013 Monmouth County Fair prize package. The prize package includes the following: family four pack of tickets to this year's Monmouth County Fair; a behind the scenes tour of the fairgrounds; four free passes to the climbing wall; a family welcome announcement and an opportunity to be a guest announcer; and a commemorative photo of you and your family at the Fair.

Entering the contest is easy. Get out your video camera or smartphone and create a video of you and/or your friends/family in one of your favorite parks showing us why you love spending time in the parks (must be one of the Monmouth County Park System parks). When you've completed your video, upload it to YouTube and then fill out the entry form on our Facebook page to enter (you must "like" our page to enter the contest). Entrants have from now until Friday, June 20 to enter the contest. Beginning Saturday, June 21 through Friday, July 5, our Facebook fans will have the opportunity to view the videos and vote for the one they like best. The one with the most votes will be chosen as the winner. Be sure to check out the entry form for full guidelines and rules.

Looking for some tips?
  • Get creative! Do more than just stand in front of the camera, show us all the fun you have in the parks.
  • Bring family and friends into the mix. If you normally enjoy the parks as a group, get everyone involved to make your video something special!
  • Pick a great location at your favorite park. Choose the park that you visit the most, and also pick the best location within the park that represents what you love. If it's the playgrounds, make the playground your backdrop; if it's fishing, choose one of the picturesque lakes.
  • Have fun! Your video doesn't have to be overly serious. Bring in some music, add a few props, or just be silly. Everyone's experiences in the parks are different, but they're always about fun.
So head out to the parks and get those video cameras rolling! If anything, this contest is about you, our visitors, who love to make us part of their day. We can't wait to hear from you!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Spotlight: Naturalist Division

Park System Naturalist Chris Lanza during a 
Park System fossiling program.
At the Monmouth County Park System we pride ourselves on offering programs that will introduce you to new hobbies, new skills or send you on an adventure. But we're also about bringing nature and the environment into your life by offering locations to learn about the natural world through exhibits or by interacting with staff. The Park System's Naturalist Division is staffed by a knowledgeable team that is prepared to answer questions and always on the look out for amazing nature finds throughout the year.

Staff at the Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Huber Woods Environmental Center and Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center are dedicated to the natural environment that surrounds us and the animals that inhabit it. Each season they provide programs that will educate children and adults about animals, insects, habitats, Native American ways of life, and more! Exciting and fun programs available this May include Blackfish Cove Kayak Adventure, Celebrate World Turtle Day, and Creatures of the Fishing Pier. Naturalists have also created a wide variety of group programs available for school and community groups that promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of our natural history and environment.  

Park System Naturalist Sam Skinner takes his role 
as our "Roving Naturalist", leading free nature walks through 
various parks throughout the year.
When they're not creating fun and educational programs for children and adults alike, Park System Naturalists are staffing their locations to offer nature interpretation to visitors. Have questions about a bird you spotted on a trail? Wondering what animals live in the reservoir? Interested in learning about the creatures of the Sandy Hook Bay? Our Naturalists are prepared to answer all of your questions.