Friday, June 26, 2015

A Nature Filled Summer Awaits Your Family!

Don't let your children get bored this summer! Offer them the excitement of nature fun instead. This summer your county parks are offering a variety of drop-in programs that will get your children both learning and having fun discovering the nature that surrounds us. Check out these great opportunities to take advantage of this summer:


Don’t know what to do on a weekday this summer break? Why not seek out some nature fun with Enviro-Quest? Start in the parking lot and follow the Enviro-Quest signs to where the Park System Naturalist is waiting. Once there join in activities, crafts or games for 30-60 minutes of nature fun. Activities may include meeting a live animal, finding hidden treasure, discovering incredible parts of a flower, creating artwork with natural materials, or participating in a fun nature themed game. You bring your sense of adventure and we'll bring the rest! FREE!
Thursday, July 2 at 2 p.m.  
Shark River Park, Wall - Start in the main entrance parking lot off of Schoolhouse Road.
Friday, July 10 at 11 a.m.  
Thompson Park, Lincroft - Start in the Old Orchard parking lot.
Monday, July 13 at 2 p.m. 
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown - Start in the parking lot.
Wednesday, July 22 at 2 p.m.  
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell - Start in the Visitor Center Parking lot.
Friday, July 31 at 11 a.m.  
Sunnyside Recreation Area, Lincroft - Start in the Equestrian Center parking lot.
Thursday, August 6 at 11 a.m.    
Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold - Start in the parking lot nearest to the Shelter Building.
Monday, August 10 at 11 a.m.  
Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck - Start in the parking lot near the basketball courts.
Thursday, August 20 at 2 p.m.  
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth - Start in the parking lot.
Wednesday, August 26 at 11 a.m.  
Charleston Springs Golf Course, Millstone - Start in the Stonebridge Trail parking area off of Stagecoach Road.
Monday, August 31 at 2 p.m.  
Holmdel Park, Holmdel -  Start in the Forest Edge parking lot.

Bayshore Summer Drop-In Programs

Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth

Summer Seining

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays through August 21 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Discover a variety of fish, crabs, and other creatures of the bay as we pull a 30' seine net though the calm waters of Sandy Hook Bay. It will be a fun time for everyone as we discover what lives in the bay. Closed-toe shoes are required. Meet on the beach. Open to all ages, under 18 with adult, the program is designed for individuals and families, not groups. Sunscreen and drinking water are recommended for all attending the program.
Program runs weather permitting. For more information, please call Bayshore Waterfront Park at 732-787-3033, ext. 2#.

Make a Fun Fish Print

We have lots of paint so why not make a colorful fish print of a rubber sea star, flounder, skate and more to take home. Fish printing, the art of Gyotaku, dates back to Japan over 100 years ago. Anglers made fish prints to record their catches and to save information on fish biology. Why not try it yourself to see what you can discover.
From 3-3:45 p.m. on:
  • Monday, June 29
  • Wednesday, July 8
  • Wednesday, August 12
  • Wednesday, August 26 

Seashell Painting

Have you ever come home from the day at the beach with a collection of shells you didn’t know what to do with? Why not paint them? We will supply the paint and brushes. Bring your own shells or feel free to use ours to make a unique and attractive coastal attraction. It will be a shell-spectacular time! 
From 3-3:45 p.m. on:
  • Thursday, July 9 
  • Monday, August 10
  • Monday, August 24
  • Thursday, August 27

Tidal Tuesdays  

Tuesdays, June 30-September 1 at 11 a.m.
Looking for some Tuesday fun by the shore this summer? Stop by the Fisherman's Cove Conservation Area Activity Center in Manasquan and join a Park System Naturalist to discover exciting things about nature and our coastal habitats. Each week take part in a different activity such as meeting creatures living in the water that we find in our seine net or creating crafts from natural materials found along the shore. Programs run for about 30-60 minutes. For details on the activity for the week, please call 732-751-9453.

Roving Park System Naturalist

Join our Roving Park System Naturalist for a walk in a beautiful county park and learn about seasonal points of interest. Feel free to join in the walk and ask questions.  The schedule for this FREE activity is as follows:  
  • Friday, July 10 at 8 a.m. in Crosswicks Creek Park, Upper Freehold. Meet in the parking lot.
  • Friday, July 24 at 8 a.m. in Holmdel Park, Holmdel. Meet in the Longstreet Farm parking lot.
  • Sunday, August 30 at 2 p.m. in Perrineville Lake Park, Millstone. Meet in the parking lot.
  • Friday, September 11 at 9 a.m. in Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold. Meet in the main parking lot.
  • Monday, September 21 at 4 p.m. in Weltz Park, Oakhurst. Meet in the parking lot.  
  • Friday, October 2 at 10 a.m. in Huber Woods Park, Middletown. 
  • Sunday, October 25 at 1 p.m. in Big Brook Park, Marlboro. Meet in the parking lot.
  • Monday, November 2 at 9 a.m. along Hominy Hill Path (adjacent to Hominy Hill Golf Course, Colts Neck).  Meet in the parking area on Matthews Road.
  • Sunday, November 22 at 1 p.m. in Hartshorne Woods Park. Meet at the Rocky Point entrance in Highlands.

Looking for an adventure you can have on your own? Check out our Safari Backpacks! These backpacks contain all you need to fill your self-guided nature walk with adventure and exploration! Use of a backpack is free but you must leave your valid NJ driver's license with the docent.  
Backpacks are available on a first come, first served basis at the following locations:
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell  
Explore the reservoir with your family and friends throughout the year as the contents of these backpacks change seasonally. For more information, please call 732-751-9453.
Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown    
Turn your walk through the woods into an adventure by choosing a Pre-K, Forest or Meadow themed backpack and experience the park in a new way. For more information, please call 732-872-2670.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown   
Set out on an exploration of the gardens and discover new ways of seeing living and non-living features of the gardens using these Garden Safari Backpacks. Backpacks available in the Horticultural Center. For more information, please call 732-671-6050.

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