Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Nature Lovers of All Ages Can Prowl for Owls, Slog for Frogs and Go Batty for Bats at Bio-Blitz 2017 in Warinanco Park June 16 and 17

b8a0ed4d341528e0d348_Bio-Blitz_scientists.JPG
078e0262237d614cdec9_Bio-Blitz_science_table.jpg
eb94f35f9517af83decc_Bio-Blitz_owl_by_Linda_Brazaitis.jpg
7af6a041a35728fc98b4_Bio-Blitz_fungi_by_Hadel_Go.jpg
d2e5a12e12ba9fd50abc_Bio-Blitz_caterpillar_by_Hadel_Go.jpg
6ab579ccf681abe35846_Bio-Blitz_2016_youth_by_Carol_Duffy_.jpg
7eed83c7103cb3acbd48_Bio-Blitz_2016_plant_team_by_Daniela_Shebbitz.JPG
c3b7335988af4993995d_Bio_Blitz_2015_group_by_Jim_Lowney.jpg
b8a0ed4d341528e0d348_Bio-Blitz_scientists.JPG

Union County’s annual Bio-Blitz wildlife survey is back with fun for the whole family and a full slate of hands-on nature activities on Friday evening, June 16 and all day Saturday, June 17 at Union County’s Warinanco Park in Roselle.

“Bio-Blitz is our signature event for raising awareness about nature conservation in our County parks, and it enables children and adults to mingle with professional naturalists and scientists as they go about their work,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “It’s an inspiring experience on many levels and we are especially excited to bring it to Warinanco Park this year.

Known as “the Central Park of Union County,” Warinanco shares the same lineage with other public parks designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Olmsted and his sons. It features expansive vistas, meandering pathways, waterways and areas for active and passive recreation.

Sign Up for E-News

“Thousands of Union County residents and visitors know Warinanco Park for its athletic fields, picnic groves, playgrounds, and even paddle boating and ice skating,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski. “Bio-Blitz offers a unique opportunity to get to know the wildlife that calls the park home, too.”

Bio-Blitz 2017 begins at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 16. Public activities continue after dark, until 11:30 p.m., and then resume from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.

Visitors can come to the “Bio-Blitz Central” staging area in the newly opened Warinanco Park Sports Center (formerly the Ice Skating Center) to view exhibits, engage in on-going activities and gather for scheduled activities. All activities are free. Participants in scheduled activities are requested to sign up at the information table when they arrive.

Friday’s field activities include the popular Owl Prowl and Star Watch, along with scouting for wild edibles and trapping night-time moths and other insects.

This year Bio-Blitz includes the “Going Batty over Bats” field activity, in which participants can try their hand at spotting bats with the help of an acoustic monitor.

Saturday’s lineup begins with an early morning bird walk, and continues non-stop with more than a dozen scheduled programs exploring fields, gardens, ponds and streams.

Participants can join specialists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other scientists to examine trail cameras and track stations for signs of mammal activity in the park, follow along with the Fish Team to see how electro-fishing and seining are used to survey aquatic life, and look for turtle, frogs, toads, tadpoles and more.

From 9:00 to 9:45 on Saturday morning, garden enthusiasts can tour the formal Chatfield Garden and learn how it was transformed from tulip beds into a welcoming habitat for pollinators.

The popular Hawks and Owls program is also featured on Saturday, including live “ambassadors” from the Avian Wildlife Center.

Ongoing exhibits and activities at Bio-Blitz Central continue through Saturday including the hands-on Junior Naturalist area, live fish and insect exhibits, and prize drawings. 

Union County has held a Bio-Blitz in various parts of its park system every year since 2005. The event is designed to engage the public in nature conservation while providing researchers with valuable information about biodiversity in urban and suburban communities. 

“Warinanco Park is an especially interesting area for study because we have conducted several habitat restoration projects there in recent years, said Chairman Bergen.

The projects include unearthing a buried stream, restoring the lake shoreline with native plantings, establishing a pollinator meadow along the lake, and the pollinator-friendly redesign of Chatfield Garden.

Bio-Blitz visitors are advised to wear sturdy shoes for field activities and bring sun block.

For a complete schedule and more details visit ucnj.org/bio-blitz.

Professional scientists and other experts interested in joining a survey team can join online at ucnj.org/bio-blitz/registration until 5:00 p.m. June 6, or sign up in person when they arrive.

For information on all programs in Union County parks visit ucnj.org/parks-activities or call 908-527-4900.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Chlorine Drum Rupture Shuts Down Nomahegan Swim Club in Westfield

July 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — A ruptured chlorine drum has forced closure of Nomahegan Swim Club on Springfield Avenue Friday afternoon.

According to a Westfield police officer on the scene, a 1,000-gallon drum of chlorine ruptured.

In addition to the swim club being closed, some area streets around the swim club near the border of Mountainside and Springfield were cordoned off. According ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

July 18, 2018

With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the College’s ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

More Traffic, No Solution – Letter to Governor Phil Murphy

July 17, 2018

Dear Governor Phil Murphy,

From the mid-1970’s, when I was age 12, I’ve had this vivid memory of watching my parents participate in a peaceful demonstration against the construction of a 12-story hotel complex just behind our backyard. In fact, on Wednesday, September 29, 1976, the local newspaper ran an article with a photo showing my mother and her protest placard. The memory of ...