Earth Day Cleanups
Saturday, April 22, 2023
The hearty morning corps of volunteers cleaned up around Rockingham and along Laurel Avenue on the Franklin Township side of Kingston, while
the afternoon crew focused on litter in Mapleton Preserve and roadside trash along Ridge Road and Division Street on the South Brunswick side.
Our warm thanks to all who participated in making our community cleaner and safer!
AUDUBON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
Sunday, December 16th, 2022
The counting area for this year’s Audubon Christmas Bird Count CBC) included Mapleton Preserve and seedbeds, the upper nursery, Heathcote Farms, and the
Cook Preserve. Some highlights included a calling red-shouldered hawk, a raptor that has been seen (and heard) multiple times near Basin Street in
recent years. Hear their call, and learn more at Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed hawks were well represented, with 8 seen on the count day, including an amorous pair sitting close to one another on a tree branch. The “best
bird of the day” had to be a lovely male Northern harrier; a slim grey bird with a long banded tail, who was gliding low over the seedbeds looking for
One of “our” eagles was spotted in a tree, not far from the Canal. Both birds have been observed at their nest on Mapleton Road. According to
NJDEP, in 2022 this pair fledged two chicks, adding to the total of 335 eaglets raised in New Jersey last year, from 250 active nests. This is a dramatic
comeback from the 1970s and 1980s, when, due to widespread use of DDT, the New Jersey eagle population was reduced to a single pair in a remote part of
There were a lot of flickers (9) and blue jays (22) observed, and more juncos (28) than we saw last year. However, no yellow-rumped warblers were found,
for the third year in a row. Cedar waxwings were absent as well, although close to 100 robins were seen eating holly, callery pear and bittersweet near
Ridge Road. A flock of 22 turkeys was also seen.
Click here to see the full count results: CBC 2022
Many thanks to our counters this year!
DOUG TALLAMY ON THE NATURE OF OAKS
Wednesday, October 5, 2022 on ZOOM
Professor Tallamy's webinar is now available on youtube: Doug Tallamy on The
Nature of Oaks
Did you know...
Oaks are the best soil stabilizers?
Oaks and blue jays evolved together?
Oaks make great street trees?
Oaks' excellent leaf litter protects soil communities?
Learn more about these incomparable trees and the tremendous diversity of life they support!
Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has
authored 106 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 41 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many
ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities.
His book Bringing Nature Home was published by Timber Press in 2007, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in
2014; Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, was released in February 2020, and his latest book The Nature of Oaks was released
by Timber press in March 2021.
In 2021 he cofounded Homegrown National Park with Michelle Alfandari. His awards include
recognition from The Garden Writer’s Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, The Garden Club of America, and The American Horticultural
SUNDAY EVENING WALK IN HEATHCOTE MEADOWS
Sunday, August 21, 2022
Photo by John Keisers
Light breezes and a mild temperature favored our group on this leisurely walk through Heathcote Meadows. Late summer grasses, boneset, goldenrod, milkweed,
Queen Anne's lace, virginia creeper, New York ironweed, coppery curly dock, horse nettle, mountain mint, tick trefoil, rosy camphor-weed, and fleabane
were plentiful, along with less welcome plants like mugwort, Chinese bush clover, and poison ivy.
Bird activity was light, but we were graced with two flyovers by a Great Blue Heron, and scattered bluebirds. All in all, a lovely walk!
EARTH DAY CLEANUPS
Saturday, April 23, 2022
Fine weather and a robust turnout on both the Franklin and South Brunswick sides of Route 27 resulted in one of the best Earth Day cleanups ever!
Above, volunteers at the morning session collected 20 bags of trash near Rockingham Historic Site and along Laurel Avenue.
Below, afternoon litter collectors found plenty to fill their bags in the Mapleton Preserve (including the new "Blue" Trail, to be officially opened on June 4th,
National Trails Day), on the Rail Trail, and along Ridge Road and Division Street.
Photos by BreeAnne Lemmerling