Monthly Archives: January 2013

Friday Night’s ‘Nature of the Meadowlands’ Talk

4-Nature of Meadowlands cover sm The NJMC's Jim Wright is all set for his slide show and talk on the Meadowlands Commission's coffee-table book, "The Nature of the Meadowlands," on Friday night at 8:15 at Allendale's Borough Hall at 500 Crescent Ave., but please watch the weather.

Snow is in some forecasts, and if roads appear to be getting treacherous by 6:30 p.m., we will reschedule.

Check this blog for updates. If you have any questions regarding whether the show will go on as planned, call Jim at 201-469-7349.


Ridgefield Environmental Commission Wins Award

2011 Green Community Award- Ridgefield Boro-page-001Because of Hurricane Sandy, the Ridgefield Environmental Commission didn't get the credit it deserved for winning a Green Community Achievement Award from the New Jersey Forest Service.

The commission received the awrad not only for tree planting, tree diversity and tree maintenance, but also for its monitoring of the local (and beloved) Monk Parakeet colony and for the wonderful Ridgefield Nature Center, where Bergen County Audubon Society and the Meadwolands Commission hold our annual Mother's Day walk.

The plaque will be unveiled on Feb. 27 at the Ridgefield Public Library, following a free slide show and talk on "The Nature of the Meadowlands" by the NJMC's Jim Wright.

Congratulations to Ridgefield for this award.

Don Torino’s Column on Common Redpolls

Don Torino's latest column on is on the Common Redpolls seen at Losen Slote Creek Park.

Here's a sample:   

On a foggy Sunday morning, I walked the trails of one of the most unique natural places in the Meadowlands, Losen Slote Creek Park.

As I passed through the inimitable woodland habitat and entered a mist filled meadow full of Sumac, Blackberry, and Birches, I could hear a buzzing call that intensified as I entered the picturesque stand of Gray Birch that graces Losen Slote.

As I got closer to the trees, the electric sound got even louder and through the fog I could see masses of tiny birds hanging from the catkins like Christmas ornaments.

Raising my binoculars into the murkiness I could see what I had heard from far back, Redpolls!

The link is here, with photos by Jeff Nicol, including the one above. 


NJMC Park Designers Win Award for River Barge Park!

River Barge Park Aerial
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) is pleased to announce that it has been named the recipient of a Chapter Award from the New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NJASLA) for the design of the Commission’s River Barge Park.

The Chapter award – the NJASLA’s highest honor – acknowledges the Commission for creating an ecologically sustainable site design by integrating strategies for stormwater management, habitat restorations, reclaimed timber and energy efficiency.

P1110116The Commission will receive the award at the NJASLA’s annual meeting in Atlantic City next week, marking the 28th time that the NJMC has been honored by the NJASLA for its design of Meadowlands District parks.

River Barge Park, located along the Hackensack River in Carlstadt, opened in May 2012. The 5.5-acre park provides the first public access to the river from its western banks in southern Bergen County in decades. The NJMC preserved the property, which was once slated for residential development.

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Teaser Answered

Yesterday, we asked you to count the number of Black-crowned Night Herons in the above photo. The answer is nine. (see below).
IMG_4026-001Closeup of the upper left part of the frame follows, for you naysayers out there. Congrats to Patrick Carney for getting the right number, although there's probably another one in the somewhere… Horned larks, not so much.)

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Photographers Showcase: Photographers Wanted!

1-DSCN9945-001As we reviewed the Meadowlands Nature Blog posts from this past year, we realized just how many awesome images we posted from nature photographers.

In an effort to showcase these talents, and to get more folks to appreciate the natural beauty of the Meadowlands, we have started a new feature: "Monday Photographer Showcase."

We invite photographers to send in three of their favorite Meadowlands images, a brief bio, a little squib about why they love photographing here, and a link to their online pages. (A photo of yourself would be great, too!)

Images must be from the Meadowlands, and should be around 150K.

If you don't watermark them, we'll add a copyright for you. Email your photos to, and feel free to suggest ways to make the showcase better.

We'll give it a try, and keep it going for as long as there's interest out there.

So far, we have showcased three photographers:

Paul Sullivan, Roy Woodford and the Bongiornos.


Tuesday Teaser 012213

IMG_4026This is a real birder challenge — overcast day, distant look.

How many Black-crowned Night Herons are in this photo, taken on last Tuesday's Laurel Hill Walk?  (These guys are almost as hard to find as those dang Horned Larks.) Answer tomorrow.

Do You Use eBird?

If you bird regularly, or even just keep a list for your backyard, it's time you signed up for eBird, an online way to keep track of (and share your sightings).

And if you plan to compete in the 2013 Meadowlands Big Year, it's pretty much a necessity.

No more guessing at spellings, or scribbling down bird lists on the back of envelopes.

And if you on  one of  the free guided walks sponsored by the Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon Society, we'll even share our eBird sightings list with you (and you can just remove the names of birds you didn't see).

At you can automatically keep track of life lists, year lists, state  county lists, backyard lists, Meadowlands lists and much much more.

The site is here.

Click "register as a new user," then explore. Everything is pretty self-explanatory if you spend a little time, and it's worth the effort. All your bird sightings will be just a few clicks away. 

If you haven't signed up for eBird, what are you waiting for?