Sunday, May 13, 2018

Even More History in Your Parks!

Those looking to get outside and enjoy the weather will find an extra dose of history this spring in the Rocky Point section of Hartshorne Woods Park, Highlands. The WWII era Battery Lewis has a new permanent walk-through exhibit inside the subterranean installment, which once housed two 16-inch guns that helped protect New York Harbor.

Battery Lewis will have an Open House on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Dedication Ceremony originally scheduled for this date has been postponed due to inclement weather until Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m. The exhibit will remain open Thursday-Sunday, May 24 through October from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The exhibit features interpretive panels, replica shells, and an impressive a 16-inch gun barrel mounted on a concrete pedestal to give visitors a sense of size and space. The barrel on display at the park was mounted on the USS New Jersey during WWII.

The Army constructed the Navesink Military Reservation in 1942 as part of the Modernization Program for the Harbor Defenses of the Continental U.S. While Battery Lewis is the only 16-inch gun battery in the state of New Jersey, similar batteries can be found, in varying conditions, in many coastal areas throughout the United States; from Battery Townsley in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco to Battery Harris at Fort Tilton, New York. The Navesink Military Reservation was listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

For more information about military history in the park visit the Hartshorne Woods Park page.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Bicycling is Fun & Great for Your Health

Increasing physical activity can do so much for our health. According to the Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, “Physical activity of the type that improves cardiovascular
Thompson Park, Lincroft
endurance reduces the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes and improves mental health.” There is no better time then right now for you to improve your health and your life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic activity per week for adults, and 60 minutes per day for children. Many of us don't come close to those numbers.

With May being National Bike Month, this is a perfect time to start having fun while getting fit. No matter what your age or weight, recreational biking is a safe, low-impact aerobic activity for all ages. Consider this: a 200 lb. cyclist can burn 546 calories while riding 12 miles per hour. That's a lot of calories, almost the equivalent of a McDonald's Big Mac.

Here are some interesting facts that may give you that extra push to get out and start cycling:
  • Cyclists, on average, live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15% fewer days off work for illness.
  • Women who walk or bike 30+ minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer.
  • Adolescents who participate in bicycling, in-line skating or skateboarding more than four times a week are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults.
  • In 1964, 50% of children rode bikes to school and the obesity rate was only 12%. In 2004, 3% rode to school and the obesity rate had risen to 45%.
  • The U.S. could save 462 million gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling by 1% to 1.5% of all trips.
Clayton Park, Upper Freehold
With so many places to go bike riding within your Monmouth County parks, why not give it a shot this month? Popular parks for bike riding include: Clayton Park, Upper Freehold; Henry Hudson Trail; Hartshorne Woods Park, Highlands; Manasquan Reservoir, Howell; and Thompson Park, Lincroft. For a full list of the Park System's trails, click here. Don't own a bike? Rentals are available at the Manasquan Reservoir during the warmer months. Details are available here.

In the long run, buying a bicycle is more economical than buying exercise equipment for your home or signing a contract for a gym membership. And it's a great way to get into shape with the whole family, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and reduce your stress level.

Bicycle rentals will once again be available at the Manasquan Reservoir, Howell, this summer. Details will be posted to our website as they become available. Be sure to also keep an eye on our Parks & Programs Guide for upcoming bicycling programs in the parks. 

We'll see you on the trails!