FRANKLIN TWP., NJ – An informational program about black bears will be held at Faith Chapel Wesleyan Church here on March 2.

Habits and Habitats of New Jersey’s Black Bears will be presented by Tom Sheppard, the chief naturalist for Hunterdon’s park system. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m.

Black bears are an integral part of New Jersey’s natural heritage and a vital component of a healthy ecosystem. Sheppard will review the history of bears here since the 1970s and detail the state’s bear recovery and monitoring plan. He will share his thoughts on the up-and-coming issues around bears and describe the habitat and needs of our largest land mammal and what to do in a bear encounter. A bear mount, skull, and foot prints will be displayed.

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Sheppard, a widely popular speaker, is a native of Hunterdon with roots dating to the first families to settle here. Working with the county Parks Division since 2000, he has led a broad variety of informative and recreational programs on animals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, streams, the planets, and rocks and minerals.

The church is located at 43 Lower Landsdown Rd. here; if using GPS, enter Annandale as the town.

The program is sponsored by Rural Awareness, Inc., a non-profit civic group here. No reservations are required. Call 908-735-4271 with questions. 

The next talk sponsored by Rural Awareness will be on May 4 with author Maureen Wlodarczyk on Jersey! Then…Again, relating quirky stories about the state’s people and events from the early 1800s to the 1940s.