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
c3b7335988af4993995d_Bio_Blitz_2015_group_by_Jim_Lowney.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
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

Kenilworth

Judge Rules in Favor of Open Ballot in UCDC Chair Election: A Win for Nick Scutari

February 21, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ -- Just one day before the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) convention to elect a new County chair, Superior Court Judge Katherine Dupuis ruled in favor of State Senator Nick Scutari, who made the case that UCDC bylaws call for an open ballot.

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, the acting Chair of the party, advocated the use of voting machines when committee members ...

'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 ...

The Definition of Insanity

February 21, 2018

There is a quote, attributed to various people, including Albert Einstein that states, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”, that is fitting for our current election for Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chair.

There is no shortage of polling data related to the functioning of our Federal, State and Local ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Vauxhall Library, Vauxhall

Club Teen: Painting Class

Arts & Entertainment Education

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Fri, February 23, 8:30 AM

Honor Ridge Academy, Clark

Workshop for Parents & Educators: Reducing ...

Education Giving Back

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

February 21, 2018

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...