The trail’s inauguration will take place at the WheatonArts ECO Fair set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 6. For more information call 300-5331.
Aiming to empower local youth and community with an awareness of the region’s cultural and environmental assets, WheatonArts and CU Maurice River developed an interpretive nature trail on the center’s property during 2016. The trail’s inauguration will take place at the WheatonArts ECO Fair on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 11:30a.m.
Art celebrates nature, evoking an emotional response to the environment in artists and art lovers alike. Paying tribute to the natural world through creative expression enhances its appreciation by children and adults, and serves as a stimulus for environmental protection. This trail will provide the local community and visitors with a place where they can be inspired and enjoy some of the outstanding natural and cultural resources of southern New Jersey. We hope the trail will also inspire visitors to return and explore other wild areas in our region.
The Nature Trail is within the Wild & Scenic Maurice River’s Watershed, which is part of the National Park Service (NPS). In partnership with the Outdoor Foundation and through its Challenge Cost Share Program, NPS awarded CU Maurice River a grant for $24,000+ to support its trail building initiative.
Challenge Cost Share grant awardees implemented projects that work to introduce Americans to their national parks, national trails, and Wild & Scenic Rivers. The NPS’s goal is to engage people in active, healthy outdoor recreation or in conservation efforts that strengthen our natural and cultural heritage. CU Maurice River matched the grant funds with $30,000+ in services and materials, while many additional community organizations and businesses played an integral part in making this project a reality.
American Littoral Society
Americorps NJ Watershed Ambassador
Droll Yankee Feeders
Cumberland County Department of Planning
CU Maurice River Volunteers and Members
Dunrite Sand and Gravel
Boy Scouts of America SNJ Council (depending on space “Southern NJ Council”) Dept. of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service
East Coast Excavation, Inc.
It’s About Community
NJ Bluebird Society
NJ DEP NJ Fish and Wildlife
Purple Martin Conservation Assoc.
St. Augustine Preparatory School
Vineland NJ Youth Corp
At this year’s WheatonArts ECO Fair there will be an official inauguration ceremony for the Nature Trail followed by a book signing and presentation by behavioral scientist and New Jersey’s most published ecologist Dr. Joanna Burger.
List of ECO Fair activities presented by CU Maurice River and associated with the WheatonArts Nature Trail Inauguration and Celebration:
MORE ABOUT THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER DR. JOANNA BURGER –
"Internationally-Known Behavioral Scientist and New Jersey's most published Ecologist"
Dr. Joanna Burger, Distinguished Professor of Biology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, has conducted research from Antarctica to the Arctic, studying organisms from crabs to sea turtles, fish, birds, and mammals, often involving local stakeholders and Native Americans. She has served on several national and international committees including the National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and others. She is a Fellow of the International Ornithologists’ Union, the American Ornithologists’ Union, The International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the prestigious Brewster Medal from the American Ornithologists’ Union, the Distinguished Achievement
* Entrance to the ECO Fair and the events listed above is free.
11:30 a.m. Trail Inauguration, Ribbon Cutting, and Nature Walk
1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 3:15 p.m.
Joanna Burger Book Signing Keynote Speaker Dr. Joanna Burger Second Nature Walk
Award from the Society of Risk Analysis, as well as conservation awards from New Jersey Audubon, the Delaware Valley Ornithological Society, and the International Waterbird Society. She has published over 600 papers in refereed journals, and many books, including The Parrot Who Owns Me (Random House), 25 Nature Spectacles in New Jersey, A Naturalist Along the Jersey Shore, and Life Along the Delaware Bay (Rutgers University).
Some spectacular natural phenomena occur in the wilds of New Jersey. Dr. Joanna Burger will take attendees through the seasons, looking in on the amazing displays that pass before our eyes each year. These include Mountain Laurels and bog orchids, frogs chorusing, the masses of Horseshoe Crabs that carpet Delaware Bay beaches in May, and the thousands of migrant shorebirds that feast on their superabundant eggs. Other spectacles include nesting colonies of Black Skimmers on beaches and Night Herons in coastal forest. Autumn sees the migration of the Monarch Butterflies en route to the Mexican mountain forests, and the arrival of Snow Geese and Tundra Swans from the Arctic. These and other natural marvels intertwine and depend on each other, weaving an exciting ecosystem that is uniquely South Jersey.