Friday, August 25, 2017

Special Rooms at Huber Woods Environmental Center

The Environmental Center at Huber Woods Park has a lot to offer park visitors. You can stop in to learn about and explore the building itself, which was once home to the Huber family, or enjoy family-fun in special activity rooms.

The Forest Room is painted to resemble many layers of life in the forest, from birds in the treetops to the underground tunnels of moles. Challenge yourself to find all the painted animals (ask the docent for a copy of the forest room wall guide). There are books, puzzles, toys and costumes for kids; live toads and turtles in tanks along the walls; and a large bay window for bird-watching.
The Lenape Room features exhibits dedicated to the history, life and culture of the Lenape, a Native American tribe which lived in areas of Monmouth County. There are activities such as basket weaving, a junior archaeologist's station, a revolving maize game, and a place to listen to recordings of Native American musicians and dancers. When the kids need a quiet moment to relax, the Lenape room has a small alcove painted to resemble the inside of an Indian longhouse. Here, you can sit and read one of the many books about Native Americans that are shelved throughout the room.

Looking to explore the park on your visit as well? As the docent to borrow one of our Safari Backpacks. Each backpack contains all you need to make your self-guided nature walk filled with adventure and exploration. Backpacks offer themes for Pre-K, Forest, or Meadow. Use of the backpack is free, but you must leave a valid NJ drivers license with the docent.

The Huber Woods Environmental Center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. For more details about the facility, visit our website.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Picturesque Views and Plentiful Fish

The fishing pier pictured above is located at the Monmouth County Park System's Bayshore Waterfront Park in Port Monmouth, which is only a 20 minute drive up Highway 36 from Sandy Hook. Many visitors to this picturesque park located along Sandy Hook Bay come to fish, relax and take in the panoramic view of the New York City skyline. Here are a few interesting facts you may not know:
  • The pier was rebuilt in 2013 following Hurricane Sandy. Formerly 300 feet, it now reaches almost 500 feet into Raritan Bay.
  • Anglers catch striped bass in the spring and fall. In the summer, bluefish and summer flounder are common.
  • Bait cutting platforms are available and there are cutouts along the pier for handicap access. 
  • During the day you can see directly across the bay to Manhattan. On your left, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge connects Staten Island to the city. On your right is Sandy Hook. At night, the skyline is spectacularly lit, reflecting beautifully off the water.
  • The pier allows access to both sides of the beach and is open all year round during park hours (7 a.m. to dusk; see our website for exact hours). 
Anglers age 16 and up, be sure to register online with the NJ Saltwater Angler Registry (free), and please adhere to posted catch and size limits.

For more information about Bayshore Waterfront Park, visit us online

Friday, August 4, 2017

Visit the Huber Woods Reptile House Before Renovations Begin

The Monmouth County Park System has more than 40 parks for the public to enjoy, yet Huber Woods Park in Middletown is the only one with a reptile house. Visitors can get an up close view of our resident snakes, turtles, frogs and more, all native to Monmouth County. Here’s an introduction to some of our reptilian and amphibian friends on display.
    Eastern Box Turtle
  • Eastern box turtles have hinged shells so they can pull their bodies into their shells and close them completely as protection from predators such as foxes, birds, raccoons and other mammals. Next time you visit the reptile house, look for our Eastern box turtle ‘Scooter’.
  • Corn snakes (also called rat snakes) and king snakes are non-venomous constrictors that like to eat rodents, birds, lizards and eggs. In the wild, corn and king snakes can be found in grassy fields, forests and barns. 
  • Green Frog
  • Amphibious green frogs spend most of their lives in water, such as freshwater streams, brooks, ponds and swamps. Although they will come to relax upon the shore every now and then, they prefer a nice swim. Our green frog at Huber Woods is always splashing around!
The Reptile House at Huber Woods Park is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and until 5 p.m. on weekends. Be sure to visit soon, renovation is scheduled to begin in September which will close the building for approximately 6-8 months. (During that time, visitors may wish to visit the live reptiles and amphibians on display at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center in Howell).