THRILLING NEWS!

The Princeton Nurseries Historic District has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places!

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SAVE THE DATES!

FIRST DAY HIKE

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019, Noon – 2 PM

Exercise your New Year’s resolution to walk more, or make new friends on this easy 1.5 mile loop hike through the Mapleton Preserve. We know you will want to sleep in a little, so the walk will not start until noon. It will begin and end at the Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park Headquarters at 145 Mapleton Road in Kingston. Dress for the weather, whatever it is. The walk is free and all are welcome. Socialize after the walk over cocoa.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY OF SERVICE WORK SESSION

Monday, January 21st, 2019, Noon to 3 PM

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.

“BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE” –

TREE ID USING BARKS AND BUDS

February 2019, 1-4 pm–Date TBD

This walk in Mapleton Preserve will focus on the underappreciated beauty and variability of trees in winter. If you take the time to look carefully, they can be identified without their leaves, using clues found in buds, fruits, leaf scars, branching patterns and bark. Let’s try our hand at it, using field guides and keys. Dress for the weather. $10/person for materials, members free. Preregistration required (609-683-0483).

NOTICE

Dirt bikes, four-wheel drive vehicles, and vehicles cutting through the Mapleton Preserve during rush hour are dangerous and destructive. South Brunswick Township and NJDEP regulations prohibit unauthorized motor vehicles in the Preserve. The Township and the State Park Police will work together to address these violations, with extra South Brunswick police patrols focusing on the Preserve.

Please report any such unauthorized traffic you observe in the Preserve to the NJDEP Hotline at 1-877-927-6337. You may also call the South Brunswick Township police, or contact us (link at the right) so that we can pass along the information. Date, time, description of vehicle(s), and photos, especially, are helpful. 

RECENT EVENTS

FRIENDS OF PRINCETON NURSERY LANDS 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!

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Crews removed brush and vines from the base of the Preserve’s signature ginkgo row and elsewhere in the Preserve, and collected litter on the Nursery Lands and along Mapleton Road and Division Street. Sincere thanks to all for their efforts!

SCAVENGER HUNT

Saturday, August 25, 2018

An “old-fashioned scavenger hunt with a modern twist” was hosted by Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands, in collaboration with the D&R Canal State Park Naturalist.  Teams cooperated to find natural objects and complete fun-filled tasks in a timed event.

ANNUAL MEETING AND PROGRAM ON the Northern Copperhead Snake

Thursday, June 7, 2018

During the business meeting, President Karen Linder thanked outgoing trustee Gwen Southgate for her years of enthusiastic and dedicated service to FPNL, and we welcomed three new trustees: Ksenia Bobylak, BreeAnne Lemmerling, and Jason Rand. All three have already contributed considerable time, ideas, and energy to our organization, and we are honored and delighted to have them join our Board of Trustees.

Tyler Christensen gave a riveting and engaging presentation on the Northern Copperhead snake, a reptile of surprising docility, beauty, and complexity, despite its reputation for aggression and perniciousness. It is one of two venomous snakes found in New Jersey (the other being the Timber Rattlesnake), both of which are imperiled in the state. In addition to giving us insight into the lives of these creatures, he spoke of an ongoing radio-tracking study of Northern Copperheads taking place in the Sourlands of central New Jersey. Because their astonishingly cryptic pattern and behavior render them nearly invisible among the leaf litter on the forest floor, radio telemetry has allowed individual snakes to be tracked over multiple seasons, and has revealed a great deal about the state’s southernmost population of these remarkable forest vipers.

Photo by Tyler Christensen

Tyler Christensen manages a radio-tracking study of Northern Copperheads through his company, Piedmont Ecological Services, LLC. Tyler is the director of the non-profit Wild Bird Research Group, Inc., through which he coordinates bird banding research on nearctic-neotropical migrants during the winter months in Costa Rica and Northern Saw-whet Owl migration and winter ecology in New Jersey. He is currently a Land Steward for Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and a board member of the Washington Crossing Audubon Society.

Read more about the Northern Copperhead here: Northern Copperhead

ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Karen Linder led a brief tree appreciation walk featuring flowering trees, and a beautiful memorial redbud was planted with a lot of help from our friends! Dance groups Handsome Molly and the Griggstown Lock Rapper Sword Dancers provided music and dance to revel in the season. Our thanks to all who made this a festive celebration of Arbor Day.

WEEDS, WILDFLOWERS, AND WILDLIFE IN WINTER

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The old Princeton Nurseries fields are full of grasses, wildflowers and wildlife. In the snow-coated fields, Karen Linder and a dozen participants learned to identify plants in the “off-season,” and looked for evidence of the wildlife that lives in the Preserve. 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY OF SERVICE WORK SESSION

Monday, January 15, 2018

Two dozen volunteers of all ages took part in a cleanup session in the Mapleton Preserve. Crews collected many bags of trash, tires and other big debris within the Preserve and along Mapleton Road.

      

A vigorous team took down vines, shrubs and small trees around the Propagation House, which will be the first building to be rehabilitated. Asbestos remediation is expected to begin soon, and then the restoration process can at last commence.  We thank all who proved that energetic stewardship is important, fun, and a good way to keep warm on a sub-freezing day!

 

Propagation House Team

Photos by BreeAnneLemmerling & Tari Pantaleo

FIRST DAY HIKE

Monday, January 1, 2018

Over forty hardy souls and three dogs took a brisk loop walk through the Mapleton Preserve on the first day of the new year. Participants enjoyed the subtle colors of winter vegetation, tree silhouettes, animal tracks, birds in flight, and the sun shining brilliantly on the snow.

THANKSGIVING DAY WALK IN THE MAPLETON PRESERVE

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Our thanks to Laura Hawkins for providing these fine photos she took on our annual Thanksgiving Day morning exploration of the Mapleton Preserve.

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY VOLUNTEER SESSION

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Three cheers for the vine-cutting and trash collecting crews! Much was accomplished, and a wonderful time was had by all. Photos courtesy of Poonam Abbi.

ANNUAL MEETING AND TALK ON BLUEBIRDS

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Photo by Susan Liddle

Allen Jackson, president of the NJ Bluebird Society, gave a presentation on bluebirds, highlighting biology, bluebird boxes that meet design standards (and ones that don’t!), and best management practices with the goal of  fostering a healthy and productive bluebird population in our state.

Bluebirds subsist mainly on insects, but will eat berries during the winter months. The male does the “house-hunting,” then sings to attract a mate (and ward off other males). The female does most of the nest building, and lays three to six eggs which will hatch within a couple of weeks. Both parents share the feeding and housekeeping duties. Fledging occurs about two and a half weeks later.

To learn more about bluebird boxes, their placement, care and monitoring, and for information about predators of bluebirds and how to minimize their impact, please visit NJ Bluebird Society

ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION AND LICHEN WALK WITH DR. JAMES LENDEMER

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dr. James Lendemer, a lichenologist from the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, gave a slide presentation on lichens and then a lichen walk in the Mapleton Preserve. He identified and taught us about these unique and fascinating organisms. For those who could not join us, you can get a sense of the experience participants had by watching this short video: Science Friday Video–“Hunting the Wild Lichen”

 

SIGNS OF LIFE IN THE WINTER LANDSCAPE

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mugwort, broom sedge, grease grass. Field cress, plantain, sphagnum moss. Autumn olive, witch hazel, and white pine. Scarlet oak, dogwood, dawn redwood, juniper, and weeping cherry. Scat of deer, fox, and perhaps coyote. Red-tailed hawk, cardinals, and turkey vultures. These were some of the signs of life in the Preserve explored by a dozen people and two dogs. All five senses came into play–taste, only for the cress!

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY OF SERVICE

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Over forty volunteers attacked intrusive small trees, brush, and vines, and picked up trash in the Preserve on a fair January day. Trails were cleared between some of the old tree rows, and leaves piled up along the fence were amassed for later collection. We extend our hearty thanks to our cutters, rakers, litter collectors, bushwhackers, registrars, photographers, and two people who took on special tasks–the poison ivy ambassador and the hose king! Photos by Laura Hawkins.

FIRST DAY HIKE

Sunday, January 1, 2017

This was a great opportunity for five dozen people of all ages (and seven dogs) to start the new year off outdoors, with a brisk 1.5 mile loop hike through the Mapleton Preserve, into the fields on the other side of Mapleton Road, along the D&R Canal and back to the Preserve.

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Photos by Eileen Beirne

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