Natural Lands Stewardship Workshop

  • Rush Holt Environmental Education Center 80 Scotts Corner Road Cranbury, NJ 08512 United States

A joint workshop between the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association and the NJ Land Trust Network

Cost: $20.00 (Lunch provided)

Dealing with Insects:  The Good, the Bad, the Ugly (9-11)

The Good-Pollinators
Robert Somes, Senior Zoologist, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, will give an overview about  natural pollinators in the state and how natural land managers can promote the health of these important species.

Dr. Tina Harrison, Winfree Lab, Rutgers University, will discuss efforts to preserve NJ's native bee biodiversity, highlighting a project she is working on with the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The Bad-Dangerous for Human Health
Matt Bickerton, Biologist, Middlesex County Mosquito Commission, will discuss the latest practices to safeguard public health from dangerous insects (West Nile, Zika) and how land managers can work with local mosquito commissions and other pest managers to protect natural land and water resources. 

The Ugly-Dangerous for Natural Resource Health
Rich Buckley, Director of Plant Diagnostics Laboratory, Rutgers University, will describe the biggest insect threats to NJ's natural resources, including the emerald ash borer, and actions land managers can take to prepare for and combat these menaces. 

Prescribed Burning  (11:15-12:45)

Why Burn
Emile DeVito, Ph.D., Manager, Science & Stewardship, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, will discuss the ecological benefits of wildfire in natural systems and why managers of natural lands should consider prescribed burning to enhance meadows and woodlands.

How to Burn
Tom Gerber, Section Warden, NJ Forest Fire Service, will describe the procedures that managers need to follow to secure permissions and successfully engage in a prescribed burn.  Tom will describe permits needed as well as outline best practices ensuring burns are safely and effectively accomplished.

Burning Issues
Tim Morris, Director of Stewardship, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, will share his experience in dealing with insurance and liability issues concerning prescribed burning.

Technology Tools for Land Stewardship (1:30-2:30)

Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones)
Damon Noe, Critical Lands Manager, The Nature Conservancy, NJ Field Office will share the work he is doing with drones.  He will describe the practical applications of these machines and how the information is helping him better steward natural lands.

Measuring Public Use
Craig Harley, Senior Park Ranger, Department of Recreation & Community Services, Township of Plainsboro, will share how his department measures public use but will engage the audience to share other techniques.  

Tour of Plainsboro Preserve (2:30-4:00)

Craig Harley will lead a walking tour of the Plainsboro Preserve to point out management practices employed in this popular park.  The tour will also be an opportunity to continue the conversations inspired by the workshop and other management and stewardship challenges.  

Questions?  Contact Laura (Laura@njconservation.org; 908-997-0720) or Pam (pgriffin@njrpa.org; 609-356-0480)