Explore Great Swamp on Oct. 6 nature walk
HARDING TWP. – Join New Jersey Conservation Foundation on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for the annual Great Swamp Walk – a celebration of the magnificent wetlands, woods, and meadows where the Foundation got its start more than 50 years ago.
Dr. Emile DeVito, staff biologist for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and Blaine Rothauser, conservation biologist and nature photographer, will lead the hike through a limited-access section of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
The event will begin at the Helen Fenske Visitor Center with refreshments and a short film about the history and wildlife of the Refuge. A relaxed-pace walk through a “management area” not usually open to the public will follow.
Although the walk is free, space is limited and advance reservations are required. Register online at http://donate.njconservation.org/registration or by contacting Carol Banhart at 908-234-1225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The visitor center is located at 32 Pleasant Plains Road in New Vernon and is named for Helen Fenske, New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s first executive director and one of the main forces behind the preservation of the Swamp.
“The Great Swamp Walk is a special celebration for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, since we got our start in 1960 as part of a successful grassroots effort to save the Great Swamp from being developed into a huge, international airport,” said Michele S. Byers, the organization’s executive director.
The walk is part of New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s “Step Into Nature” series of walks, talks and outdoor programs.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since its inception, the Foundation has protected more than 120,000 acres of open space, farmland and parks. For more information about New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its programs and preserves, visit www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LANDSAVE (1-888-526-3728).
The 7,700-acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris and Somerset counties is home to hundreds of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species. Endangered and threatened species found at the Refuge include the Indiana bat, bog turtle and blue-spotted salamander.