This guy was near the walkway across from the first visitors parking lot one afternoon at DeKorte last week, totally oblivious of humans. Just wanted to help cut the grass, apparently. Muskrats were once a prime target for trappers in the Meadowlands. We will post some of their stories on our upcoming oral history blog. More on Muskrats in this region here.
For a look at an old newspaper clipping about Muskrat hunting in the Meadowlands, click immediately below.
Today is a good day to take stock of the wonderful world around us, and to think of ways to make it a better place. The Meadowlands is living proof that with time, and persistent human help, nature can rebound.
For a great link on Earth Day information, click here.
The Meadowlands Commission's Brad Miller did this 30-second video — on curbing storm-drain pollution — for a contest sponsored by the U.S. EPA. Earth Day seemed like the perfect day to air it on this blog. Thanks, Brad!
Photographer Tom Knoop took this photo of an Osprey leaving the Kingsland Impoundment at DeKorte a few days ago. A link to his site is here. Photographer Greg Gard took some nifty Ruddy Duck shots at DeKorte — bright Tiffany-blue bills and all. A link to his photos is here. And Photographer Dave Rotondi got this shot (below) of a Common Raven in flight at Laurel Hill. Thanks, Guys!
Recently, when a Red-tailed Hawk approached Laurel Hill, where Common Ravens are nesting, the male raven flew out to meet the Redtail and read it the riot act until the hawk was well beyond the nest. In the shot above, you can get a sense of just how large a bird a raven is. Click "Continue reading …" below to see other photos in the sequence.
The Meadowlands Commission's immensely popular pontoon-boat eco-tours begin again next month and run through September. They are a fabulous way to see how the Hackensack River and its marshes are coming back — and a great way to see some great birds or just chill.
For more information about these inexpensive two-hour pontoon-boat tours, click here.
To download a schedule and registration form, click here.
For more information or to register for an NJMC pontoon boat cruise or canoe tour, call (201) 460-4640.
To see more images taken on the Hackensack River last week, click immediately below.
The Tree Swallows are definitely back big-time at DeKorte, and their nesting boxes have a high occupancy rate. These guys were taking a break on the elevated walkway by the Visitor Center late Thursday afternoon.
Duck Hunters on the Hoboken Marshes, 1849; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
In conjunction with our 40th anniversary celebration, we've invited noted regional historian Kevin Wright to reprise his talk on the "History of the Meadowlands, pre-1969." Kevin will present a free slide show and lecture next Friday, Apr. 24, at 12:15 p.m. (lunchtime). Topics include the Lenni Lenape, the Hackensack River,and how the region developed. He will also answer questions. Place:Meadowlands Environment Center, Two DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071. To participate, please RSVP to Donna Bocchinoor call 201-460-4637.
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) Center for Environmental and Scientific Education today received LEED platinum certification from the U.S. Council on Green Building, becoming the first public building in New Jersey to receive the highest level of recognition under the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.
The 10,0000 square-foot science center, which opened in March 2008, features rooftop solar panels that generate nearly half its power and ceiling solar tubes that further reduce reliance on artificial light. Recycled building material was used in countertops, floor tiles and other parts of the center, and energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems were installed.
Other energy-efficient features include a lighting system which dims energy output based on the availability of natural light, the use of Forest Steward Council certified wood in construction, and the use of low-flow toilets and fixtures and waterless urinals to save water.
Approximately 2,000 children per month in grades K-12 from throughout North Jersey participate in educational programs at the science center. As one of the “greenest” classrooms in the State, the building is used by educators as a teaching tool for lessons on conservation, renewable energy resources and sustainability.