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SAVE THE DATES!
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY OF SERVICE WORK SESSION
Monday, January 20th, 2020, Noon to 3 pm
This year, our work session honors our friend Daniel Harris, who passed away peacefully on December 26th. Daniel was a loyal and active member of Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands. He participated in many events over the years, picking up trash, cutting back invasives in the Mapleton Preserve, serving as registrar, and giving an environment-themed reading of his poetry for us. He was a passionate advocate for the environment and for sustainability, and also a committed crusader for social justice. It is especially fitting to pay tribute to him on this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
We will be clearing small trees, brush, vines, and trash in the Mapleton Preserve. Come spend a winter afternoon outdoors with us, and discover the special joys of stewardship! Bring saws, clippers, loppers and rakes. Work gloves, sturdy shoes, warm clothing and hats are a must. All are welcome. Call 609-683-0483 for more information, or if you would like to involve a group to help.
“GETTING BY: SURVIVAL STRATEGIES FOR MAKING IT THROUGH THE WINTER”
Saturday February 1, 2020, 2 – 3:30 pm
This walk in the Mapleton Preserve will focus on how wild animals (including insects, birds, and even groundhogs) make it through the winter in New Jersey, and we will look for signs of animal activity in the Preserve. Dress for the weather, because it might be cold out there. If it is snowy, we will look for tracks, and try to guess whether the groundhog will see his shadow tomorrow. Free and open to all, but preregistration requested (609-683-0483). Truly inclement weather cancels, but light snow just adds to the fun!
FIRST DAY HIKE
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Over 100 people (and several dogs) joined us for a First Day Hike in the Mapleton Preserve. The walk was brisk, as the day was cold! Many stayed to warm up and socialize in the Education Building after the walk. It was a marvelous way to begin a new year!
THANKSGIVING DAY NATURE WALK: LOOK CLOSELY!
November 28th, 2019
Karen Linder and an enthusiastic group explored the Mapleton Preserve on our annual Thanksgiving Day walk. With the aid of magnifying glasses, we sought out often overlooked natural things, and enjoyed the subtle beauty of late fall. Our thanks to Kirstin Ohrt for the wonderful images below!
Thursday, October 3, 2019
In 1913, William Flemer Sr. bought three farms in Kingston to expand his Springfield, NJ nursery. From that beginning, Princeton Nurseries grew to become one of the world’s largest and most respected producers of ornamental plants. Four generations of the Flemer family, together with many of their Kingston neighbors, lived and worked there. William (Bill) Flemer IV shared their story.
We are indebted to Bob Barth for recording Bill’s talk. The video can be viewed at https://archive.org/details/fpnl_flemer2019
About Bill Flemer: William Flemer IV was born in Princeton and grew up on his family’s Princeton Nurseries property in Kingston. He attended Nassau Street School and Princeton Country Day School, and graduated from Princeton Day School in 1971. He worked on the family nursery during his summers from age 10 on. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied horticulture. He returned to the family nursery full time in 1978, where he rose to become vice president.
Bill moved to western North Carolina in 1987, where he started his own small nursery, Earthshade Nurseries, growing native woody ornamental plants. In 1992 he returned to Princeton Nurseries, then later co-founded Mapleton Nurseries in Kingston with David Reed on former Princeton Nurseries land.
A New Jersey Certified Nurseryman and a New Jersey Certified Tree Expert, Bill has served on both the Borough and Township Shade Tree Commissions in Princeton. He is currently employed at the D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton as site manager for the Trust’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell. His main focus there has been the management of a pilot project growing large quantities of native grasses and wildflowers for their seed, a collaboration between D&R Greenway and The Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island, a division of the Parks Department of the City of New York. He is responsible for stewardship of the land and trails that are enjoyed by the public.
A guitarist and vocalist, his other passion is playing bluegrass and country music with a variety of local bands.
NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY
Saturday, September 28, 2019
A lively crew, including a group from the YingHua School in Kingston, weeded the butterfly garden, then planted pollinator-attracting plants or seeds–milkweed, butterfly weed, and bee balm. A hardy group addressed vines and shrubs climbing and crowding the ginkgos in the Preserve’s signature tree row.
Other volunteers tended trees in the Flemer Arboretum and around Park headquarters, weeding and mulching around them, adjusting plastic fencing to guard against “buck rub,” and pulling off excessive Virginia creeper.
Photos below of ginkgo row courtesy Jason Rand
Butterfly gardeners experienced an exciting moment–observing a praying mantis eating a bee!
Thank you to everyone who came to help. A wonderful time was had by all!
TWO-FOLD SPRING CELEBRATION:
A WALK AND A “BOOKNIC”
Saturday, May 11, 2019
On a fair spring day, over 50 people came to the Mapleton Preserve for a celebration of the season. Some went for a walk through the former Princeton Nurseries site with Rick Henkel, formerly Sales Manager for Princeton Nurseries, for which he worked for 32 years. Rick graciously shared his extraordinary knowledge of trees and of Princeton Nurseries.
Others enjoyed dancing around a beautiful maypole hand-crafted by trustee BreeAnne Lemmerling. There was also a table loaded with nature-themed books loaned by South Brunswick Public Library, so families could select a book, find a tree, and have a good read in the beautiful Flemer Arboretum. And president Karen Linder supplied fanciful materials for participants to doll up for the occasion.
“BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE” –
TREE ID USING BARKS AND BUDS
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Ten people spent three intensive hours with Karen Linder using field guides and keys to hone their skills at identifying trees without their leaves, using clues found in buds, fruits, leaf scars, branching patterns and bark.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY OF SERVICE WORK SESSION
Monday, February 18, 2019
(POSTPONED from January 21st)
We are grateful to the two hardy crews who helped free the trees in the ginkgo row of vines and invasives, and collected trash along Mapleton Road. A special thank you goes out to our registrars Beryl and Robert, and to our president Karen Linder for providing hot cider and other welcome refreshments. The weather was chilly and breezy, but the atmosphere was warm with energy and fellowship!
FIRST DAY HIKE
Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
Well over one hundred people walked with us on New Year’s Day, through the Mapleton Preserve, across Mapleton Road to the path between the D&R Canal and the former seedbeds of Princeton Nurseries, on to the turning basin and the Locktender’s House, and back along what we like to call the osage orange trail. Photographer Laura Hawkins captured these terrific photos. A big thank you to her and all who participated for starting the new year off on a bright note!
THANKSGIVING DAY WALK
Thursday, November 22, 2018
A score of people turned out for our annual Thanksgiving Day morning exploration of the Mapleton Preserve, despite the bitter temperature, to search for signs of our local wildlife and what they might be having for Thanksgiving dinner–a rather different menu from ours!