Other NJ News

How Rutgers Alumni are Bringing Quail Back to New Jersey

Bobwhite Quail Credits: John Parke

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Outside Rutgers Gardens and a few other choice spots, this city and its high-rise apartment buildings and busy streets seemingly bear little connection to New Jersey's vast woodlands. Yet from this urban center, Rutgers University has managed to impact the wildest stretches of the state.

Just look at the Northern Bobwhite Quail.

Not long ago, the lack of young forests all but wiped out the bird in this state, according to experts. But a trio—whose members are all linked to Rutgers University—have made strides in recent years to change that. Under the leadership of the environmental group New Jersey Audubon, they have begun to reinvigorate South Jersey's quail population—and, with hard work and some good fortune, its forests.

Sign Up for E-News

“Quail were here before. This is something that was pretty common back in the '70s and even the '80s. Then they literally just kind of vanished,” John Parke, stewardship project director for New Jersey Audubon, which spearheads the quail restoration effort, told TAPinto New Brunswick. “The main goal here, though, even with bringing back the birds, is to look at these forest systems and see what the problems are.

“And believe me: Forests are in big trouble in this state.”

A potential quail habitat in South Jersey. Photo: John Parke

New Jersey Audubon's quail translocation project sounds complex, but the idea is simple. The birds boast a healthy breeding population in Georgia. So workers capture some in the wild there and bring them up to the Pine Barrens. Each bird is then collared and tracked.

In 2015, Parke said, the first known quail nesting since the 1980s occurred in the Pinelands.

As a whole, the state and its forests need more management, and the quail act as a motivator for private landowners and others to do just that, he said.

Here's where one of the project's several links to Rutgers comes in: The state's largest private landowner, Pine Island Cranberry Co., in Burlington County, has played a big role in returning quail here. And, as reported in a spring 2017 Rutgers Magazine piece, a university alumnus and his family own the 14,000 acres, most of which is untamed forest.

Bill Haines Jr., who graduated in 1975, has always needed to maintain healthy forests for the sake of his cranberries. For 17 years, that job has largely fallen on Bob Williams, a seasoned forester and fellow member of the Class of 1975, according to Rutgers.

Together, their work made Haines' land a strong candidate to host reintroduced birds.

The first quail nest of 2017. Photo: John Parke

Fate stepped in when Parke took an agricultural leadership and development class through Rutgers, in partnership with other state groups. He and his peers visited a number of sites throughout the state. And the first was Pine Island Cranberry Co.

There, he met a woman named Becca Fenstermaker, Haines' daughter. She and Parke hit it off, he said, and began to discuss how New Jersey Audubon and Pine Island could team up. Parke then met Haines and Williams, and from there they launched the larger, three-year quail research project to restore the birds to the wetlands.

“Those connections were unbelievable,” Parke, who teaches a bird identification class at the university, said. “Rutgers is a hub for all these different connections throughout the state and getting the word out.”

For Williams, Haines and any number of South Jersey landowners, the project whose seeds were planted at Rutgers more than 40 years ago has big stakes. It could help rejuvenate local forests, improving habitats and the wildlife that depend on it.

It could also help ward off a catastrophe.

“We're going to have a bad fire in South Jersey if something isn't done,” Williams told Rutgers Magazine. “We're going to be on CNN for days.”

But something is being done. Just how much it will help New Jersey's forests is unclear. If the birds are any indicator, though, things are looking up. As of today, Aug. 9, New Jersey Audubon researchers have already identified 12 quail nests in the area.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Morristown

Free Concert: Hatchet Jack on Friday at Madison Museum

August 21, 2017

MADISON, NJ – Hatchet Jack kicks off the fifth installment of the Madison Downtown Concert Series on Friday, 6-8 p.m., on the lawn of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts at 9 Main St.

This New Jersey-based rock and blues band covers the sounds of Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more.

“Leave the hatchets at home...you can see those in the ...

Run to 'Make a Difference': Summit 5K Sept. 9 Honors Detective Tarentino, Benefits His Family

August 21, 2017

SUMMIT, NJ - The opportunity to run through the streets of the Hilltop City -- and 'make a difference' in the process -- is just around the corner as, in slightly more than three weeks time, the Summit Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) will host the inaugural "Making a Difference 5K," which, this year, will be honor Summit Police Detective Matthew Tarentino and ...

Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival Returns August 19

August 14, 2017

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  The 7th annual Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival will be returning to the Morristown Green on Saturday August 19. The free performances will run from noon to 10pm. Parking is available in the public lots and at  the train station.

The performers include:

Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks 12noon - 2pm

Grammy-winner Vince Giordano heads up one of the ...

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  The 3rd annual "Don't Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament combines family and fishing. The contest, which runs through Sunday August 13, promotes families spending time together.

To participate in the contest, entrants must be 18 years old or younger, New Jersey residents and be accompanied by a parent or guardian while fishing. Participants ...

Morris Township Hosts 5th Annual Family Camp Out

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ - The 5th annual Family Campout will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2017. Come pitch your family tent at Ginty Field and enjoy the benefits of an overnight campout.  There will be games, activities, s’mores, and a campfire! The Campout coincides with the summer movie series showing of the animated Disney movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on a ...

Get the Feel of Flying at Open Cockpit Weekend at the Aviation Hall of Fame

August 18, 2017

TETERBORO, NJ - History and airplane enthusiasts will be welcomed during open cockpit weekend at the Aviation Hall of Fame on Aug. 19 and 20 in Teterboro.

Aircraft cockpits will be fully open for fans of flying to get a feel of what it might have been like to be a pilot in the past. The display includes a:  

Lockheed Bushmaster
Convair 880, circa 1958
M*A*S*H Bell ...

Choral Society Hosts Open Auditions at Morristown Middle School

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Morris Choral Society (MCS), one of Northern New Jersey’s most dynamic choral ensembles led by Music Director, Jason C. Tramm, begins its 45th Season with the launch of its Open Auditions and weekly rehearsals on Monday September 11, 2017 at 6:30 PM. 

Experienced singers of all vocal types should be prepared to audition with a range test and pitch matching ...

Free Summer Concert Series Continues Tonight at Ginty Field

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ -  The Desperados will perform at the Ginty Field Gazebo tonight, Tuesday August 8 at 7pm. The performance is part of the the Morris Township Summer Concert Series sponsored by the Provident Bank and the Morris Township Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

The Desperados are a 5-piece band who will perform music from the Eagles to their country rock contemporaries.

The Morristown & Morris Township Library Host Classes in Assisted Technology for Blind and Low Vision Patrons

August 18, 2017

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Have you noticed a change in your vision?  If you are a person 55 and older with a vision change, free assistive technology classes are available!  The New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) is now providing classes at the Morristown & Morris Township Library as part of the Library Equal Access ...

Explore the Science of Ghost Hunting with a Paranormal Expert; Wednesday August 16

MORRISTOWN, NJ. On Wednesday, August 16 at 7:30 p.m., enjoy a spooky evening at Fosterfields Historical Living Farm exploring the paranormal and ghost hunting phenomenon with a lecture by Frank Rigillo, founder of Specter Seekers Paranormal Society and 25 year paranormal investigator veteran.

The Spector Seekers Paranormal Society is comprised of passionate researchers who are ...

The Masterwork Chorus Announces Fall Auditions in Chatham

The Masterwork Chorus holds fall 2017 auditions by appointment on Wednesday evenings, September 13 and 20, at Chatham United Methodist Church (CUMC), 460 Main Street, Chatham.

Openings are available in all voice parts, but tenors and basses are especially encouraged to join.  Contact Don MacGowan at (973) 479-4020 or membership@masterwork.org. Other arrangements may be made if ...

Musicians Needed!

August 14, 2017

The Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey, now in its 46th season, is a full symphonic orchestra composed of local musicians, both professional and amateur.  Under the direction of Maestro Michael Stratechuk, the orchestra plays a varied repertoire, performing three concerts each season.  Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings at Chatham Middle School from September through ...

Morris Township to Collect Yard Waste This Weekend and Next

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Curbside containerized yardwaste including grass clippings, leaves, plant waste and light brush will be picked up for residents of Morris township on Saturday August 12 (Zone 1) and Saturday August 19 (Zone 2)

The following pickup guidelines have been set for by the Township.

Place in 32 gallon standard garbage cans with lid and handles.
Grass clippings, ...

Two More Weeks of Free Movies at Bowtie Cinemas in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - For two more weeks, free kids movies are showing at Bow Tie Cinemas at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the South Orange 5 movie theater (1 SOPAC Way). There are free films at seven other New Jersey locations including Upper Montclair and Hoboken as well.

The Summer Kids Series 2017, which began on June ...

REZ Restoration Beverage Expands to Amazon

Hillsdale, N.J. - July 31, 2017 - Looking to bring healthier beverage options to local markets, REZ Restoration Beverage has rapidly expanded their distribution across N.J. and N.Y., while also increasing their online market and sales.

Besides being readily available in many deli’s and grocery stores across the two states, REZ by Recovery Brands LLC, is now available for purchase on ...

Women Are Drinking More Than Ever

The rate of alcohol use among adults in the U.S. increased from 65% in 2001-2002 to 73% in 2012-2013, according to survey results of nearly 80,000 people conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association – Psychiatry.  Along with the overall increase in drinking, the rate of high ...

2017 New York Jets Training Camp News

Things are really heating up at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center (AHJTC) in Florham Park as the 2017 Training Camp gets underway this week.

On Monday, July 31, season ticket holders who chose to participate were invited to join NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Jets executives and Jets players in an exclusive Q & A session in the AHJTC auditorium. The hour long session was not ...

Game of Thrones Heroes Break Hearts Beyond the Wall

The second-to-last episode of each Game of Thrones season is traditionally the most intense, and the heart-stopping 71 minutes of Season 7, Episode 6 was no different.

*Note: Until Jon’s bloodline is revealed, we’re just going to ignore the incest thing.

Jon heeds some unexpected counsel. Jon finally succumbs to Daenerys’ insistence that he bend the knee—and the ...

Jersey Voices recognizes playwrights

‘Jersey Voices’ scores with direct, intimate relationships and some fun, too

By Liz Keill

CHATHAM, NJ – “Jersey Voices,” Chatham Players’ annual series of one-act plays by New Jersey playwrights, gets off to a rollicking start with “Knock Out.”

This play by G. David Post and directed by A. C. Kennedy, features three friends who meet at a ...

President Trump Has Abandoned Our Nation

August 21, 2017

The horror at the alt-right rally in Charlottesville is a seminal moment in our nation's history, which has been tragically lost on our president. We witnessed vestiges of hate thought to be buried in the past; Nazis carrying flags with swastikas, KKK members with torches chanting anti-Semitic and anti- racial slurs. Images seen on newsreels of Nazi Germany or on television coverage of ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, August 22, 9:00 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photographic Instructors' ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Tue, August 22, 9:30 AM

Good Grief, Morristown

Good Grief Volunteer Facilitator Training

Giving Back Other

Tue, August 22, 10:00 AM

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison

Camp in a Day: Stained Glass & Architecture

Arts & Entertainment

Shoplifting, Narcotics, and a Medical Emergency Top This Week's Police Blotter

August 15, 2017

MORRISTOWN, NJ

7/8: ARREST FOR SHOPLIFTING: Officers were dispatched to the Mennen Sports Arena in Morris Township on a report of items stolen at the Garden State Comic Fest. An investigation led to Jesse R. Parrino, age 32, of Woodbridge, to be charged with Shoplifting. He was released with a court date pending.

7/8: MOTOR-VEHICLE CRASH: Officers were dispatched to the Mennen Sports ...

Cadet CMSgt Robert Boden completes CAP Hawk Mountain Ranger School

August 20, 2017

Recently, Cadet CMSgt Robert Boden, of the Lone Eagle Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, attended the Civil Air Patrol Hawk Mountain Ranger Training School, Kempton, PA, where he earned Ranger 2nd and 3rd Class qualifications and was selected as the honor cadet within his flight. CAP cadet Rangers are expected to return to their home units with new skills and the ability to teach others on how ...