Through its educational arm, the Meadowlands Environment Center, the NJMC has an extensive outreach program that connects area students with the natural world.
Last week, for example, seventh- and eighth-graders from the Belleville Middle School's Science Club learned how — and why — Meadowlands Commission naturalists are banding birds in North Arlington.
This week Meadowlands Commission naturalists banded 295 birds in North Arlington, including 27 Ruby-crowned Kinglets and 107 Savannah Sparrows — a threatened species in New Jersey and a bird we at the Meadowlands Commission are especially interested in.
Click here for all bird banding reports.
Click "Continue reading…" immediately below for this week's tally.
Friday, Oct. 17, is the carillon's first anniversary, and the local AMVETS group is having a commemoration at the site at 11 a.m., followed by coffee at the Meadowlands Environment Center just down the road in Lyndhurst. The public is invited.
The carillon chimes on the quarter hour, with a lengthier anthem on the hour. Then first time you walk by when it chimes, it catches you by surprise but the pealing appealing once you get accustomed to it.
There are several AMVETS carillons nationwide, including one at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Va. For more information on the AMVETS Carillon program, click here.
Ridgefield, in the northern part of the Meadowlands District, has several nifty attractions, from the restored wetlands of the Skeetkill Creek Marsh to the Monk Parakeets that nest under the highway bridge over the train tracks on Railroad Avenue.
But there's also the Ridgefield Nature Center, a beautiful wooded natural area comprising 5.4 acres off Shaler Boulevard by Ray Avenue.
The property was the source of the spring for the Great Bear Spring Water Co. from 1920 to 1975, at which point the land was sold to the Borough of Ridgefield.
Since then, the borough has been restoring the site, planting well-labeled native trees and plants and curtailing the invasive species. Those are labeled, too — so you'll know what to look out for in your own backyard and elsewhere.
Click "Continue reading…" immediately below for more information on the Ridgefield Nature Center.
We know that some people get freaked out by snakes, or even photos of snakes, so we are posting some nifty close-ups of this snake — a northern brown snake, aka a Dekay's snake, thanks to Ray Duffy's ID) on the "jump" of this post.
If you do look on the jump, be ready for a surprise ending.
Click "Continue reading…" immediately below to see the snake shots.
E-mail Jim Wright if you prefer that snake shots not appear on "the front page" of the blog.
The rough stretch of road connecting Schuyler Avenue in North Arlington and DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst is officially called Disposal Road or AMVETS Way, but these days it's Raptor Road.
Every trip we've made along the road in the past week, we've seen a redtail or kestrel or marsh hawk. The female marsh hawk was seen hunting along the Kingsland Landfill last Thursday.
For more raptor shots, click "Continue reading…" below.
One of the Meadowlands Commission’s missions is to revitalize and diversify the region’s wetlands.
To replace the invasive species phragmites, a tall inhospitable reed that tends to dominate a marsh, NJMC has been planting all sorts of native marsh grasses in marshes throughout the 14-town district.
To measure the success of those efforts, the NJMC’s Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute has been using some innovative methods, including the use of helium-balloon photography (see video above).
On Thursday, MERI is holding a workshop for wetlands professionals on the use of such remote techniques to monitor marsh vegetation.
More about the workshop here.
Grab your camera.
A major Meadowlands Monarch migration is under way — from along the Hackensack River to Mill Creek Marsh to Lyndhurst and North Arlington.
More on migrating Monarchs here.
The Meadowlands Commission hosted a press conference on the Harbor Herons Project today, featuring speakers from New York City Audubon and the New Jersey Audubon Society talking about the preliminary findings from this summer’s research.
Click "Continue reading" to learn more.
Click here for all Harbor Herons posts.
NJMC naturalists are conducting a study to see what kinds of habitats should be created on the Meadowlands’ landfills to attract a greater diversity of migrating birds and to provide nesting habitat for threatened or endangered grasslands species, such as Savannah Sparrows and Grasshopper Sparrows.
As part of the study, Meadowlands Commission naturalists have been mist-netting birds on the Erie Landfill in North Arlington, banding them and recording their vital statistics, and then releasing them.
We will post the bird data for the week here on Friday afternoons through early November whenever possible.
Click "Continue reading…" immediately below for this week’s tally.