Local Scenes
Kingston Greenways Association


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Celebrate Earth Day with us by tidying up our shared roadsides, neighborhoods, and public lands!

Morning session: 9 to 11 AM: Cleanup of Laurel Avenue and vicinity of Rockingham Historic Site, from just above the village of Kingston up to Route 518. Meet at the Rockingham parking lot, 84 Laurel Avenue.
Afternoon session: 2 to 4 PM: Trash collection in the Mapleton Preserve, Cook Natural Area, and in areas adjacent to Mapleton Road, Division Street, Heathcote Road, Ridge Road, Greenwood Avenue, and Railroad Avenue. Parking for the event is along Railroad Avenue off Ridge Road.

Grabbers, gloves, orange vests, and garbage bags will be provided. Wear sturdy boots and clothing! For more information, please call 609-750-1821.


The law states that “Smoking is prohibited in an indoor public place or workplace or at a public park or beach, except as otherwise provided in this act.” N.J.S.A. 26:3D-58(a). A “Public park or beach” means a State park or forest, a county or municipal park, or a State, county, or municipal beach, but does not include any parking lot that is adjacent to, but outside of, the public park or beach.

A “State park or forest” means any State owned or leased land, water or facility administered by the Department of Environmental Protection, including, but not limited to, a park, forest, recreational area, marina, historic site, burial site, or natural area, but not including a wildlife management area or reservoir land.” The ban includes the use of electronic smoking devices as well as smoking tobacco products. The full text of the law is available at:


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Despite our best intentions, the new trail in Cook rebuilt by Eagle Scout Marc Gambino and his team was far too wet for an enjoyable walk, so we explored the Mapleton Preserve instead. As fall foliage color also did not cooperate with our plans, our focus turned to fungi! Our group's sharp eyes noticed many fantastically different types of mushrooms that walk leader Karen Linder helped identify. We learned about their structures, life cycles, reproduction methods, and toxicity.

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

Jane Rakos-Yates gave an excellent program on wildlife and the work of the Mercer County Wildlife Center

An enthusiastic crowd gathered to meet three permanent residents from the Mercer County Wildlife Center, which exists to rehabilitate ill, injured or displaced wildlife, and release them back into their natural habitats. The animals that visited us are, for various reasons, not releasable back into the wild, but serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. Our wildlife guests were a saw-whet owl, an Eastern striped skunk, and a red-tail hawk (read his story here): Red-tail Hawk

    Eastern striped skunk

       and Red-tail hawk

The Center is a state and federally licensed facility that cares for injured, ill and displaced native wildlife. Last year Mercer County Wildlife Center treated 2,472 animals of nearly 130 different species. If you have found a wild animal needing help, please call the Wildlife Center at (609) 303-0552. The animal may not actually need assistance, and removing it from its environment may cause more harm. They will help you decide whether the animal needs care and, if necessary, ask you to bring it to the Center. Learn about co-existing with wildlife, and lots more about the Wildlife Center at Wildlife Center Friends

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Dr. Alvaro Toledo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers. His primary focus is to establish a research program on Lyme disease, ticks and the vector-borne pathogens at the Center for Vector Biology. Ticks are the most important vectors for infectious diseases in the northern hemisphere, and second after mosquitoes worldwide. Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of different vertebrate species. Typically, ticks have 4 stages (egg, larvae, nymph and adult) that feed on three different hosts in a two-year life cycle. Ticks can transmit different diseases, including Lyme disease, Human granulocytic anaplasmosis and Babesisis among others. The causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, is a spirochete and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks (this is the only way one can get Lyme disease). The safest way to remove ticks is by grasping and pulling them out with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible. Other methods (vaseline, nail polish remover, matches) may stress the tick, and make it more likely that you could be infected!

Dr. Toledo has kindly provided to KGA a copy of his fascinating and informative presentation, which may be viewed here: Dr. Toledo's Tick Talk

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Our thanks to the many people who joined us to celebrate Earth Day by removing garbage from our open spaces, woods, and roadsides. The cleanup of Laurel Avenue and the environs of Rockingham Historic Site was ably undertaken by the morning crew.

In the afternoon, volunteers collected litter in areas adjacent to Mapleton Road, Division Street, Heathcote Road, Ridge Road, Greenwood Avenue, and Railroad Avenue. South Brunswick Girl Scout Troop 82416 amassed an eye-popping motherlode of trash from within the Mapleton Preserve, and made some unusual finds.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Leader Karen Linder had this report:
Birds were few, but the grasses and winter weeds in the seedbeds were lovely. Things livened up when the sun came out amd it warmed up a bit. Six bluebirds shining 15 feet away on the ground was a nice reward for the dry birding. Then messes of yellow rumps, cedar waxwings. We saw a fox, six deer, raccoon tracks, possible possum tracks, and some wonderful tiny bird tracks. Raptors were few--a red tail and the Barclay Square Coopers Hawk. One vulture. Four great blue herons, and a cormorant. No spectacular masses or notable numbers but a rewarding and lovely day, with 35 species total. The neatest view was of a chickadee, popping in and out of a cavity that was just his size.

2017 Christmas Bird Count Results, Kingston segment