Monday, February 9, 2015

Spotlight: Manasquan Resevoir Environmental Center


The Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center (Georgia Tavern Road, Howell) is dedicated to providing experiences of learning and discovery related to wetlands ecology and wildlife and habitat protection. Through interactive exhibits, multi-media presentations, educational activities for schools and community groups, and wildlife observation areas, visitors gain an understanding of the importance of water in our world.

Designed to connect visitors with their natural world, the Environmental Center highlights the importance of water. One exhibit features fish found in the Reservoir outside. Another traces the journey of a raindrop as it travels through the watershed to the Manasquan River and, eventually, reaches the ocean. Some exhibits reveal what is not readily visible, such as nocturnal animals that call the Reservoir home. Another exhibit compares the effects of a town with unmanaged growth to one that has chosen to establish practices that protect the environment.

The Environmental Center offers free programs each weekend. Upcoming weekend drop-in programs include:
  • Great Backyard Bird Count on Saturday & Sunday, February 14 & 15: Join us as we participate in this great citizen scientist project with this self-directed program.  
  • Citizen Science on Saturday & Sunday, February 21 & 22: Discover projects that use the help of citizen scientists during this self-directed program.
  • Vernal Wetlands on Saturday & Sunday, February 28 & March 1: During this self-directed program visitors will learn about these special wetlands and the animals that live in them.  
  • Snake Meet and Greet on Saturday & Sunday, March 7 & 8 at 10:30 a.m.: Meet a live snake and learn about the ones that live at the reservoir.
  • Monarch Butterflies on Saturday, March 14 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m.: Discover where monarch butterflies are on their migration back north.

This spring the Environmental Center will offer a variety of nature programs that are sure to open your eyes to the amazement in the nature that surrounds us. Here is just sampling of what's to come this spring:
  • Bald Eagle Walk at the Manasquan Reservoir: Ages 9 and up (under 18 with adult) will enjoy this unique opportunity to learn about bald eagles and to possibly get a glimpse of the pair nesting nearby.
  • Don't Give Up Duck: Parents will enjoy bringing their toddlers (ages 18 months-3 years) to enjoy a sweet story about Duck and all of her friends. Songs, games and a craft are sure to add to your child's delight.
  • Froggie Fun: You and your little one (age 3-6) will have fun with this exciting meet and greet with a few of our resident frogs. Children will also enjoy a game and craft.
  • Young Naturalists Book Club: Do you have a nature and book lover at home between the ages of 5-12? They'll love joining this program where they will read a book of their choice that goes along with each monthly theme and then bring it with them to discuss with other kids who enjoy nature. Each meeting will end with a snack and craft.
These are just some of the programs happening at the Environmental Center this spring. For a full listing of upcoming Park System programs, click here. Don't miss out! Registration for spring programs begins at 8 a.m. this Wednesday, February 11!

The Environmental Center is open daily from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; from Memorial Day through Labor Day summer hours are in effect and are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. on Fridays. For additional information on this amazing and beautiful park facility, visit our Environmental Center page. Have a child's birthday coming up? The Environmental Center also offers fun and educational birthday party packages your child and his/her friends are sure to love!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Think Spring!

We know the temperatures are chilly and there are still chances of snow in the forecast, but we're starting to think warmer thoughts! The Park System's Spring Program Directory is coming! This 100 page brochure contains more than 500 programs offered this March, April and May, from arts & crafts to horticulture, equestrian to golf, sports & fitness to outdoor adventures and so much more!

Check out some of the NEW programs being offered:
  • Adult Programs
    • Active Adults Bike Club
    • Allergy Mom Does Italian 
    • Battleship of New Jersey Experience
    • Cherry Blossom Tour in NJ
    • Couponing 101
    • Golf 101
    • Landscaping for Resilience
    • Natural Beauty Care Workshop
    • PiYo
    • Smartphones in the Parks
    • Turning Simple Foods into Superfoods
  • Kids & Teens Programs
    • Around the World with Food 
    • Frozen Fun & Fitness
    • Fun with Music
    • Golf Summer Camp
    • STEAMworx Academy
    • Tots Golf
  • Family/Parent & Child Programs
    • Amphibians vs. Reptiles
    • Ceramic Seder Plate 
    • Family Trails Bike Ride
    • Literacy for Littles
    • Nature Babies
    • S*T*A*R Party
And those are just some of the brand new programs we have planned for spring. And of course don't forget the returning favorites that include Spring Senior Hikers, All Level Pottery Classes, Precious Metal Clay Basics, Photography Exploration in Our Parks, Hypertufa Workshop, Ladies Spring Adventures, Celebrate World Turtle Day, Earth Day Celebration, and so many more!

The Spring Program Directory will be available to the public on Friday, February 6. Be sure to get your copy (if you don't already receive it by mail) by visiting one of our many beautiful parks or by checking out our website. Registration for spring programs begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, February 11. Questions? Be sure to call us at 732-842-4000, ext. 4312, or email