Events


Besides the regular field trips each month, the Nature Club conducts several special events throughout each year. 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 field trips, along with the Firefly Festival in June. In the Autumn, the Mad Hatter's Tree Party takes place in October, 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 back every few weeks for updates to this page.

Other events held in the past that could return at any time include the Gloucester County Environmental Commission Conference and the East Coast Vulture Festival.

Upcoming Nature Club Events

Program: Costa Rica – The Destination We Didn’t Know We’d Love.
Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 7:00 pm at the Holy Nativity Lutheran Church, Wenonah, NJ (directions below)
Presenters: Bob and Debbie Barsotti
Program Coordinator: Rich Dilks 856-468-6342

A tiny Central American country with a rugged landscape of mountains, rainforests, cloud forests, active volcanoes, and 800 miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea – this summarizes the physical features of Costa Rica. Yet in this country, in an area slightly smaller than West Virginia, there are 12 different ecosystems. These environments support nearly half a million species, or nearly 6% of the diversity of life forms found on this planet.

For anyone with an appreciation of nature, a desire to experience natural beauty, and a curiosity about the interdependence of elements and creatures, Costa Rica will awaken your inner naturalist.

That’s what happened to Gloucester County Nature Club members Bob and Debbie Barsotti. They had their immersion into Costa Rica’s world of biodiversity several years ago. On their travels, they added 126 different species to their list of world birds, including the endangered Resplendent Quetzal. They watched a parade of Leafcutter Ants carrying their bright green loads across the forest floor. They waited for a Three-toed Sloth to show the slightest interest in being photographed. They trekked after dark, with red headlamps, through the sands of Tortuguero National Park, the largest green turtle nesting site in the Western Hemisphere. And they were captivated by the busy, often boisterous, always adorable monkeys! (They say that in Costa Rica there are “still more monkeys than people”!)

Bob and Debbie learned about, witnessed – and even tasted, just a sample of this marvel of diversity that is Costa Rica. In their all-too-short exploration, they came to understand Pura Vida, the pure, simple life of Costa Rica, a life where natural diversity is respected and embraced. They are pleased to be able to share their experiences through a slide presentation.

Directions:

The Holy Nativity Lutheran Church is located just off Rt. 553 (Woodbury Glassboro Rd.) immediately south of the traffic light at Mantua Ave. The church parking lot can be accessed by entrances on either Woodbury-Glassboro Road or Lenape Trail (first left off of Mantua Ave).

Special Event: The Mad Hatter’s Tree Party
Sunday, October 23, 1:00 – 3:00pm

The Mad Hatter’s Tree Party is a fun way for people to learn about the trees of our community and the critical role that trees play in a healthy environment. The Tree Party is a chance for families and people of all ages to share a whimsical adventure in a community forest.

This event consists of a self-paced, 45-minute walk in Wenonah Woods. This is more than an ordinary hike, though. You will stop at several locations to learn about specific trees along the trail and their role in the overall forest. All stations have been updated for this year and a children’s story telling station will be available near the tea house. Musicians will add an instrumental accompaniment to your journey. At the end, you can share light refreshments in the Tea House with the Mad Hatter himself. This event is great for family, and takes place rain or shine.

Walk begins at Eldridge Trail, at the intersection of E. Pine St and S. Princeton Ave. in Wenonah. Families can arrive at their convenience as walks leave regularly. No pre-registration is necessary.

Events by other organizations

The following events take place at the Scotland Run Nature Center in Clayton. For details and to register for programs, call the center at (856) 881-0845. All events are free.

Water Fest, Sunday September 18, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The 25th Annual Water Fest is Gloucester County's largest environmental fair featuring live animal shows, exhibits, crafts, food, music, canoeing and kayaking, will be held this year on Sunday, September 18th. Visit the Nature Center and participate in a lake study. Marilyn Henry will be leading a bird walk that morning at 11:15am from the beach area. Live Music throughout Water Fest will be provided by the Ian Good Trio.

- Animal Shows: 12:00 noon, 1:30 pm, and 3:00 pm

- Balloon Animals: 11:30 am to 3:30 pm

- Canoeing and Kayaking: 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Fall Migration Bird Walks at Scotland Run Park will be held from 8:00 to 9:30am on the first and third Thursdays of September and October (October 6th and 20th). The walks are free, no registration is required, and the walks begin in the Nature Center's parking lot. Come help search for the many birds that pass through Scotland Run Park during fall migration. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars.

Adult Naturalist Program at Scotland Run Park: 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:30 am. Pre-registration is required. Each session will include a presentation inside the Nature Center, as well as outdoor exploration (weather permitting). Pre-registration is required. Enrollment is limited; register today! Visit https://gloucestercountynj.gov/1370/Adult-Naturalist-Program for program details and registration Topics to be covered are listed below:

- 10/13: Late season pollinator plants

- 10/27: Salamanders and frogs

Past Nature Club Events

Bird Quest is back!
BirdbQuest 2022 was held on Saturday May 7, 2022. Please go to the new Bird Quest website at https://birdquest.gcnatureclub.org/ for details.

The 2020 NW Gloucester County Christmas Bird Count was held on December 19, 2020.

The 2016 NW Gloucester County Christmas Bird Count was held on December 16, 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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