This year, 2019, will mark the 10th anniversary of Bergen County Audubon’s partnership with the Meadowlands.
A decade ago BCAS and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (now the NJSEA) decided to work together to help more people get outside and discover the wonders of an incredible natural world that was right outside their door, our New jersey Meadowlands.
With the help of then-NJMC employee Jim Wright we began conducting twice-monthly free nature walks as an experiment to see how many people would enjoy and learn to love the Meadowlands the way we did. It did not take long to realize that our partnership was very special and the passion for nature in the Meadowlands would bring in people from all walks of life and from many miles around.
Soon we worked together to start “Meadowlands Butterfly Day,” which began as a walk with 70 people and now brings in more than 1,000 people in late July each year. Then came ‘Moth Night” and more recently our “Meadowlands Birding Festival.” These events are all in addition to all our nature walks and other special events, such as Birding for Beginners, all for free and all because both groups agreed more people need nature in their lives and that there is nowhere better than the Meadowlands to do that .
To say this has been a dream come true for me would be an understatement. As a child of the Meadowlands I grew up with the Meadowlands in my heart and soul but sadly witnessed some of the worse things that could ever be done to the environment.
Yet at the same time I have been very proud to see our Meadowlands rise from the ashes to become one of the most incredible natural areas in the entire country. And for a poor Meadowlands kid like me to be able to help folks learn and love the Meadowlands the way I do it could not ever get any better than that.
So this year, as a celebration of the partnership the Bergen County Audubon Society and the NJSEA plan many more special events to get even more people out to enjoy the Meadowlands along with all of us. Stay tuned to this column and meadowblog.net for announcements in the coming months.
This partnership is a proud shining example of what can be accomplished when good people work together to make our world a little better for nature and people.
See you in our Meadowlands in 2019.