Union County, NJ – What’s in your backyard? Aside from ordinary denizens like deer, rabbits and raccoons, Union County is home to hundreds of fascinating plant and animal species. Union County residents and visitors are invited to encounter some of these unique and unusual neighbors at Bio-Blitz 2016, the 12th annual ‘round-the-clock, 24-hour snapshot survey of flora and fauna in County parks.
Bio-Blitz 2016 will begin Friday June 10 at 5:00 p.m. and continue through the night and the following day for 24 hours, concluding at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11.
“Bio-Blitz is packed with activities for all ages, and it provides you with a chance to meet the naturalists and science professionals who work to catalog and conserve our natural environment,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “I encourage you to come and visit Bio-Blitz 2016, especially if there is an aspiring scientist in your family.”
For Bio-Blitz 2016, survey teams of professional scientists and naturalists will spread out among three County parks: Kawameeh Park in Union Township, Black Brook Park in Kenilworth, and the Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth.
The public is invited to watch the survey teams in action and participate in many other activities and programs. Kawameeh Park in Union Township will serve as the “Bio-Blitz Central” headquarters. Members of the public can visit Bio-Blitz Central for walk-in activities, exhibits and ongoing programs any time starting at 5:00 p.m. on Friday June 10.
Among the ongoing activities for all ages at Bio-Blitz Central are live exhibits, an “insect lab,” hands-on displays, and many opportunities to interact with survey teams as they examine and catalog their samples.
Visitors to Bio-Blitz Central can also sign up for scheduled nature tours and activities. All of the activities are free and no other pre-registration is required. Free shuttles are also available for most of the activities taking place at Black Brook Park and Galloping Hill.
Bird walks, mammal surveys, foraging for wild edibles, a geocaching demonstration, nature photography, night-time insect trapping and the popular “Frog Slog” are among the many scheduled activities.
Bio-Blitz is sponsored by the Freeholder Board with the generous support of many partners and sponsors.
For complete information about Bio-Blitz 2016 including a schedule of programs and activities visit ucnj.org/bio-blitz.
Professional scientists and other knowledgeable experts who are interested in joining a survey team can join online at ucnj.org/bio-blitz until June 1. For more information about joining a team or volunteering in another capacity, please contact Betty Ann Kelly, Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Photo credit: Hadel Go.