The Nature Club holds regularly scheduled events like the Environmental Commission Conference throughout each year. Some years on the first Saturday in March, we hold the East Coast Vulture Festival in conjunction with the Wenonah Environmental Commission. On the first Saturday in May, we hold Gloucester County Bird Quest. Also in May, we hold our annual plant sale at the regular May club meeting. In the summer we offer a series of special fieldtrips and every winter we hold the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. For more information on each of these events you can look to our most recent newsletter or check here again in the next few weeks for updates to this page.
Upcoming Nature Club Events
Field Trip – Horseshoe Crab Walk
Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 7:30pm
Leaders: Paula and Brian Hayes (Paula’s cell for the day of the walk questions 609-221-5195)
Join us for a walk along the beach in the Villas, a Bay Shore community near Cape May. On this night, beaches all around the Delaware Bay host spawning horseshoe crabs as they have for many millions of years. We will begin our walk as the tide begins to rise and the sun sinks low in the sky. The horseshoe crabs time their egg laying for the high tide on new and full moons in May and June, this allows them to lay their eggs high on the beach. It is believed the crabs seek these conditions to make the climb up the beach easier and to lay their eggs above the rising tide on subsequent nights. As the tide rises up the Bay Shore beaches we will begin to see the male crabs gather along the edge of the surf awaiting the larger females. The males “cruise” along the surf waiting to latch onto a female (using a special claw) for a ride up the beach. The female will crawl up the beach to lay her eggs while the males, in tow, fertilize the eggs. We will walk about 2 miles along the beach, bring appropriate footwear or plan to go barefoot. We will stop often to see what treasures the tide brings in. Though the wind usually keeps the mosquitoes away you may want to bring bug spray. You may also want to bring a camera or binoculars. This walk is open to all but will have special appeal to families. If you are bringing children it is likely they will get wet and sandy “walking,” please plan for this eventuality and bring a towel and change of clothes for your child so they don’t need to ride home wet.
Directions: Meet at the beach on Walnut Avenue. Park near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Delaware Avenue in the Villas (Lower Township). If you need an address for your GPS use 301 Walnut Ave, Lower Township, NJ 08251, this is the last house on the beach.
Summer Field Trips!
Field Trip – Early Morning Night-Heron Photo Shoot in Ocean City
Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 8;00am
Leader: Den DiMarco
This is a follow-up to utilize what you learned at the April regular meeting. For details and specific location, see the printable Night-Heron Photo Shoot handout.
Field Trip – A Hike in the Union Lake Wildlife Management Area, Millville, NJ
Sunday, August 6, 2017 10:00am to 12:00pm
Trip Leader: Rich Dilks
We will be taking a leisurely hike along trails that follow the shores of Union Lake and meander through the edge of the pinelands woodlands of the 5,000 acre Union Lake Wildlife Management Area in Millville, NJ. Union Lake, the largest lake in southern New Jersey, is over four miles long and 1.2 miles across at its widest point. The lake was created in the 1790’s with the damming of the Maurice River to form a small mill pond. In 1868 the Millville Manufacturing Co. constructed a new dam that brought the lake to its present size. Bald eagles and ospreys can be seen at the lake as well a variety of waterfowl and song birds. We will also be looking at the plant and insect life at the water’s edge and on the woodland trails.
The hike should last about two hours. Bring binoculars and dress appropriately for the weather and terrain. Long pants and good walking shoes are recommended as is insect repellant and water, particularly if it is a warm day. Feel free to pack a lunch. We will meet at the boat ramp parking lot off of Carmel Rd.
Directions: Take Rte. 55 south to exit 29 then turn right onto W. Sherman Ave and continue west for 3 miles to Carmel Rd. (Rte. 608). Make a left onto Carmel Rd and continue another 3 miles. Turn left onto the access road to the boat ramp. Driving time from Rte. 55 entrance at Woodbury-Glassboro Rd. is about 35 minutes.
Field Trip – Purple Martin Cruise
Thursday, August 17, 2017, 6:15pm.
Join us to witness a true nature spectacular right here in SJ. Take a relaxing cruise on the beautiful Maurice River with friends and experts to view the Purple Martins as they stage for migration to South America. We should also see Osprey, Bald Eagles, a beautiful sunset and a variety of other animal life. The Bonanza II will leave the dock at 2800 High St., Bivalve-Port Norris at 6:15; cost is $40 per person and total cruise time is 3 hours. Desserts, fruit, non-alcoholic beverages and water are included, but you may also bring your own food and alcoholic beverages. 20 spaces are reserved for GCNC and need to be filled and paid for by 7/31/17. Please reserve early so if we cannot fill our spaces they can open them to the waiting list.
3 easy ways to register and pay:
Credit Card Online
1) Go to www.cumauriceriver.org and click on the oval in the lower right hand corner that says “Donate or Join Us”.
2) Complete your information on the registration page. Click “Other amount” and fill in the box with the cost of the cruise using only the numerals 4 and 0. In the Designation box type “Gloucester County Nature Club 8/17/2017 Purple Martin cruise”.
3) Confirm your info is correct and Continue.
4) Provide your credit card information and click Pay with Credit Card box.
You will get a thank you screen and will receive an email confirmation. Each person must register individually.
Mail a check payable to Citizens United in the correct amount ($40/person) to Citizens United, PO Box 474, Millville, NJ 08332. Include the name(s) of the persons attending and a contact email and/or phone number.
Pay in Person
Register at the Nature Club June meeting and picnic. Provide a check payable to Citizens United in the correct amount ($40/person) and the name(s) of the person(s) attending and a contact email and/or phone number.
Field Trip – Butterfly Walk – Details to be Determined
Date TBD, 10:30am to Noon
Trip Leader: Chris Herz
In cooperation with Chris Herz and the Audubon Wildlife Society we will be offering a walk focused on butterflies and their identification. The location and date for this trip were not finalized as of our publication date. Please check back on our MeetUp site or watch for an email blast later in June with the details. This is always an interesting trip with a great leader, we hope you’ll join us in learning more about these winged jewels.
Field Trip – Riverwinds Beachcombing
Thursday, July 6 at 6:30pm
Trip Leaders: Maria Keefe (609-315-4759) and Paula Hayes
Join us on Thursday, July 6 at 6:30 PM as we walk along the Delaware River. Bring your sense of adventure and join us for a fun walk outdoors. Planes will be taking off and landing, taking people to their own adventures as we comb the sandy beach to see what we can discover. We will stop to look at anything interesting we find and some may dip their toes in the Delaware River. The walk will last an hour or so. Dress in layers according to the weather and bring water, snacks, and insect repellent as needed.
Directions: From Exit 21 on I-295, take Delaware Avenue west. In about 0.4 mile, cross Grove Street. Continue on what is then called Riverwinds Drive. Follow the road all the way to the end and meet in the parking lot to the right of the Riverwinds Restaurant by the water.
Family Fun Stream Walk #1- all ages are welcome!
Tuesday, July 25 at 6:30pm
Trip Leaders: Maria Keefe (609-315-4759) and Paula Hayes (cell 609-221-5195 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meet at Pitman Memorial School. This stream walk is an old favorite, we do this one most years and it is always filled with a surprise or two. We'll explore what is in, on, under and around the creek as we walk in the water. We'll look for fish, frogs, turtles, mussels, animal prints, flowers, birds and more. Wear appropriate water shoes or old sneakers to walk in the water, shoes that offer some protection are best (not flip flops). We will get wet!! You may want to bring insect repellent.
Directions: From Lambs Road turn onto Hudson Avenue (near Total Turf Experience). Turn into Pitman Memorial School parking lot on the right.
Family Fun Stream Walk #2- all ages are welcome!
Tuesday, August 8 at 6:30pm
Trip Leaders: Maria Keefe (609-315-4759) and Paula Hayes (cell 609-221-5195 Email: email@example.com)
Meet at Ceres Park, Mantua. This park is a great one for summer hikes since its tall trees provide lots of shade. We'll explore what is in, on, under and around the creek as we walk in the water. We'll look for fish, frogs, turtles, mussels, animal prints, flowers, birds and more. Wear appropriate water shoes or old sneakers to walk IN the water, shoes that offer some protection are best (not flip flops). The walk to the stream is a bit longer than some of our past stream walks, but it’s a beautiful spot. We will get wet!! You may want to bring insect repellent.
Directions: From Rt 322 take Lambs Rd (635) to Pitman-Barnsboro Rd (553 Alt). Turn left onto Rt 553A. Watch for Ceres Park sign on your left after crossing over Rt 55. We’ll meet in the parking lot.
Events by other organizations
The following events are sponsored by the South Jersey Land & Water Trust. Maps, directions, and more information can be found at www.sjlandwater.org/event-directory.
- Guided Walk at Oldmans Creek Preserve - Saturday 6/3/1 10:00am – Noon. Meet in the OCP parking area at 10:00am and take a 2-hour hike along the trail system through this 39-acre property. Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Wear sturdy shoes and bring your binoculars/camera, as OCP is a great place for birdwatching! Address for GPS: 21 Main St., Auburn, NJ 08085
- Spring Birding Walk at Timber Creek Park - Saturday June 17, 10:00am – 1.00pm. Timber Creek Park is the former site of Slims Ranch in Gloucester Township. The 60-acre park is located along the upper, tidal portion of the North Branch of the Big Timber Creek, which lows through a wide valley in this area and contains a mature hardwoods forest with large oaks, American beech and tulip poplar trees and tidal and forested wetlands. There are also stands of mountain laurel that bloom in late spring. The trail follows the south bank of the Timber Creek. The tidal wetlands along the creek provide habitat for waterfowl and bald eagles and red tailed hawks are occasional visitors. The woodlands along the creek provide habitat for nesting songbirds and spring migrants. Walk leader, Michael Hogan, will identify the park’s flora and fauna including pink azaleas and very rare American chestnut trees. The trail may be muddy, please wear appropriate foot wear. Bring your camera and binoculars. FREE for SJLWT members, $3 per nonmember. Payment may be made in cash on the day of the event. Please RSVP by emailing MHogan@SJLandWater.org. Directions: We will meet at the parking lot. Entrance is off of Chews Landing Road. Take Rt. 168/Black Horse Pike to Chews Landing Road, turn left into Timber Creek Park approx. 3/10ths of a mile from Rt. 168.
The following events take place at the Scotland Run Nature Center in Clayton. For details and to register, call the center at (856) 881-0845. All events are free.
- Waterfest! Sunday 6/4, 11:00am – 4:00pm. Celebrate one of our most important resources – Water! Canoeing/Kayaking, Environmental exhibits, Crafts for sale, Live animal shows. Concert on the Beach starts at 3:30pm. Free event (no registration needed). Rain or Shine
- Afternoon Nature Stroll: Wednesday 6/14 at 2:30pm
- Sunset Paddle: Wednesday 6/21 at 6:00pm
Past Nature Club Events
The NW Gloucester County Christmas Bird Count was held on December 17, 2016. See the CBC Wrap-Up page for details.
MAD HATTER'S TREE PARTY 2015 was held on Sunday October 25, 2015, and was a big success!
BIRD QUEST 2015 was held on Saturday May 2, 2015. See the Bird Quest 2015 Wrap-up Page for a wrap-up.
A TIRE CLEANUP was held on Sunday March 18, 2011. See the Tire Cleanup photo page to view some photos of the event.
THE MAD HATTER'S TREE PARTY was held on Saturday October 23, 2010, and was a great success. 169 people participated (including many families and children), and another 106 people had to be added to a waiting list and unfortunately turned away. See the Mad Hatter's photo page to see some photos of the event.
The EAST COAST VULTURE FESTIVAL was held on March 3, 2012. Go to www.eastcoastvulturefestival.org for details about the Vulture Festival.
BIRD QUEST 2009 was held on Saturday May 2, 2009.
The event marked the 10th anniversary of the Gloucester County Bird Quest. We had many special events to help celebrate this year. Thank you all for coming in the less than favorable weather. The response from the people who participated was – This Year was the best EVER! Our winning team saw 76 species while for the day we had 128 species seen by all groups. We had 285 people registered and amazingly despite the weather almost all of them showed up back at the park. For some pictures from the event, click on the following link: Bird Quest 2009 Photos.
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