TRENTON, NJ  – Two Mercer County Park Commission facilities received programming awards at the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association (NJRPA) Annual Awards, County Executive Brian Hughes has announced.

The Park Commission’s Tulpehaking Nature Center was presented the Excellence in Educational & Interpretive Programming Award for its “Watershed Moments” program.  Funded through the D&R Greenway Land Trust, the Nature Center’s free program was promoted as a two-part series targeted to 4th- and 5th-grade students with a hands-on curriculum designed to teach them about the river and marshlands in their own backyard.  

The Gasalberti Excellence in Programming Award was granted to the Mercer County Park Commission’s Howell Living History Farm, “Farmer in the Dell” Corn Maze, for providing 23 years of successful recreational programming that has provided a fun-filled challenge to more than 100,000 maze visitors while providing fund-raising revenue for this unique facility.

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“These are just two of the many programs our Park Commission provides that entertain and enlighten people in our communities and throughout the region,” Hughes said. “They also exemplify the creativity that goes into so many of those offerings.”

In 2019, “The Farmer in the Dell” Corn Maze hosted 6,000 visitors and put the cap on more than $600,000 raised over the past 23 years of the longest-running corn maze attraction in New Jersey. The Howell Farm Corn Maze sets itself apart from other mazes with a story that changes every year. Because the ultimate goal of the Friends group is to support real farming and experiential learning, the Howell Farm Corn Maze is designed to reflect the educational mission of the farm itself. 

“I congratulate our hard-working staff members and volunteers at the Nature Center and Howell Farm on these well-deserved honors,” Park Commission Executive Director Aaron T. Watson said. “And I thank the Recreation and Park Association for recognizing their efforts.”

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