Green

Press Releases

Free Weekend Workshops Encouraging Up-Close Critter Encounters

dedd62f4a94792a12668_MCIA_2a.jpg
ccfe0b906af4b62f7ff1_MCIA_1a.jpg
dedd62f4a94792a12668_MCIA_2a.jpg

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ – They’re a few longtime Central Jersey residents, who’ve largely gone unnoticed – that is until now.

The Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA) is inviting the public to an unofficial meet-and-greet with creatures like the damselfly, whirligigs and stoneflies Nov. 2, during several interactive workshops at the Ireland Brook Conservation Area in East Brunswick.

Understandably, Middlesex County residents may be entirely unfamiliar with their creepy, crawly neighbors, but that’s just what organizers of “The Stream and Its Critters” workshops are counting on.

Sign Up for E-News

“Now here’s a prime opportunity to give your children a greater appreciation and understanding of the environment that surrounds them,” said Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante, a liaison to the MCIA.  “This is more than just a hands-on lesson about bugs and wildlife.  It’s also a way to underscore our impact on nature’s delicate ecological balance.”

The free activity, additionally sponsored by the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, and led by the Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation, gives residents the option of attending one of four sessions that begin between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Throughout the day, Eric Gehring, a naturalist with the Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation, will guide short tours to the nearby Ireland Brook, where participants will both safely trap and observe a few of the local inhabitants before releasing them back into their natural habitats.
“Using a sein net, we’ll collect macro-invertebrates from the stream, place them in a pan of water and examine them with magnifying glasses,” said Rick Lear, division head of the Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation. “Different types of insects need cleaner water than others, so what we find will be a good indication of the stream’s health.”

During these outdoor excursions, some of the “critters” that may cross any given group’s path include:
• Damselfly: Akin to the dragonfly, this blue-tinted, carnivorous, airborne beauty feeds on spiders, mosquitoes and other insects.
• Whirligig: A type of water beetle that can swim above and below the stream’s surface and proves difficult to hold, due to the waxy, water-repellent residue its body secretes.
• Stonefly: Another flying insect that acts as a barometer for water quality and is one of approximately 3,500 species of its kind found the world-over, with the exception of Antarctica.

The workshop is open to families and individuals, as well as youth, 8-years-of-age and older, who are accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Participants and accompanying adults will be required to sign a “volunteer agreement and release” form.  Only a few pairs of hip waders, or waterproof boots that extend above the knee, will be available for rotation to attendees, who wish to venture into the brook’s shallow waters; so participants are encouraged to bring their own, if feasible.

Planners recommend attendees dress weather appropriate, bring a water bottle and prepare for a 10-minute or half-mile walk to the workshop’s site. 
These workshops are part of the Days of Fun on the Raritan River: Things to Do Learn and Share on Our Riverfront programming, an initiative aimed at highlighting the Lower Raritan River’s many access points and increasing public awareness on general estuary use and care.  A New York/ New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program grant awarded to the MCIA and funding from the New England Water Pollution Control Commission have made this instruction possible.

Respectively, the 1.5-hour sessions will start at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Visitors should park at the Riva Avenue entrance of the Ireland Brook Conservation Area.

To register and for detailed directions, contact MCIA Economic Development Senior Project Manager Denise Nickel at 609-409-5002 or by email at dn@mciauth.com.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Vets4Warriors Gives Struggling Veterans a Lifeline

February 18, 2018

Fatima Aguilar’s first day on the job at Vets4Warriors was anything but normal. A military veteran who’s currently enlisted as a Second Lieutenant with the New Jersey National Guard, she found herself in a potential suicide crisis situation as soon as she hit the phones.

“I started around three and a half years ago on the overnight shift, and my very first call was a US ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Diegnan: Computer Science Now Required in New Jersey Schools

February 23, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to require school districts to offer course in computer science and Department of Education to adopt changes to NJ Student Learning Standards in computer science has been signed into law.

 

“To flourish in tomorrow’s digital economy and society, our children should be learning computer ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 4, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Staatskapelle Weimar

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Holds South Asian Community Day of Wellness

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ— On Saturday, March 3, Cancer Support Community Central NJ Jersey (CSCCNJ) will be hosting a Day of Wellness at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center, ). This program is part of CSCCNJ’s South Asian outreach initiative, which is made possible by the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation.

The Day of Wellness is being offered at no ...

Library Hosts Program On Joint Replacement Surgery

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital partner to present the special medical program “Considering Total Joint Replacement in 2018” at the library on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm.

Lead by board certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Kayiaros, the program gives a brief overview of arthritis of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

 

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

EBPD: Safeguarding Students, Staff, and Residents in the Public Schools

February 20, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Police Department, in cooperation with the East Brunswick Board of Education, will be assisting the school security staff by providing police officers at our township public schools. It is the goal of the East Brunswick Police Department and the East Brunswick Board of Education to safeguard our students, staff and residents at our schools on a daily basis ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...