The colorful new T-Shirt is now on sale at the Tideland Treasures Gift Shop at the Commission’s Meadowlands Environment Center (MEC). The shirt is the first in a series of attractive, quality apparel promoting the Meadowlands District’s amazing natural resources.
The 2011 Bird of the Year T-Shirt, made of 100 percent cotton, features the NJMC egret logo on the front and a full-color photo of the bird on the back. The shirt is available in adult sizes small to XL for $14 and in sizes XXL for $16 and XXXL for $18. The second shirt in the series, the NJMC 2012 Bird of the Year T-Shirt, is scheduled to go on sale in November, in time for holiday gift shopping.
All proceeds benefit MEC programming, which includes highly popular, interactive natural and physical science programs for students in grades K-12 and public environmental education workshops for the entire family. More than 12,500 children participated in school programs at the MEC during the 2010-11 school year.
The Great Egret was chosen as the inaugural Bird of the Year because it is a large, stunningly beautiful white bird that is literally and figuratively emblematic of the Meadowlands’ astounding environmental recovery.
Several decades ago, the Great Egret was seldom seen in the Meadowlands because the Hackensack River was too polluted to support many fish – the bird’s main diet. As the estuary got cleaner, the Great Egret arrived in huge numbers. The bird is featured on the Commission’s logo.
The majestic bird, known for its huge wingspan and graceful flight, can often be seen flying overhead on the Hackensack River and fishing in DeKorte Park’s tidal impoundments in Lyndhurst. The egret can be seen in the warmer months throughout the Meadowlands District.
The Meadowlands region is a prime spot for bird-lovers. More than 280 winged wonders, including many on the State’s threatened and endangered species lists, can be seen regularly in the District, including the Peregrine Falcon, the Bald Eagle and the Black-crowned Night Heron. DeKorte Park was named a “National Birding Hotspot” by Birder’s World Magazine in 2010.
The 2011 Bird of the Year T-Shirt is available at the Tideland Treasures gift shop, located in the MEC in DeKorte Park. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Customers may also order the shirt by phone by calling the store at 201-460-4652. Customers are responsible for shipping costs.