Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s 18th Annual Fall Forestry Festival – a celebration of the changing of the seasons, nature, and New Jersey heritage – will be held this Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Division of Parks and Forestry’s Forest Resource Education Center in Jackson, Ocean County.
“The Fall Forestry Festival gives New Jersey residents many fun and creative ways to learn about forest ecology and the important role of trees throughout the development of New Jersey,” said Richard Boornazian, DEP assistant commissioner for natural and historic resources. “We encourage everyone to come out to the festival for a day of fun and learning that is especially ideal for families with kids.”
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.
In all, more than 40 forest- and nature-themed programs, activities and demonstrations will be featured.
Visitors can watch foresters turn logs into lumber, observe carvers transform ordinary pieces of wood into art, learn the art of making maple sugar, and take a hike deep into the woods.
“Through fun and hands-on activities like these, the festival affords an opportunity to better understand the role trees play in ecology and history,” said State Forester Lynn Fleming. “Woodlands continue to be important in so many ways, giving us clean air, reducing greenhouse gases, providing habitat for birds and animals, and giving us places to simply enjoy solitude and nature.”
Children’s activities include pumpkin painting, wooden helicopter building, tree climbing, and acorn planting. Smokey Bear will also be on hand, as well as other forest mascots.
Festival-goers will also get to discover the unique plants and creatures of a Pinelands forest, find out what it takes to be a beekeeper, learn how to expertly identify trees, build a bird house or a bat house, see a sawmill in operation, take a hayride, and discover the creatures of New Jersey's swamps.
Admission and parking are free. Food will be available for purchase. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring insect repellant.
For a full list of events and driving directions, visit: www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/forest/fall_festival.html or call the Forest Resource Education Center at (732) 928-0987.
Many programs may fulfill requirements for scouting badges. Email the FREC to be added to the scout mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Forest Resource Education Center, operated by the DEP's State Forestry Services, is committed to providing exceptional conservation education programs that promote benefits of trees and forest stewardship to all age groups at no cost.
The New Jersey Forest Tree Nursery, located on the same property, grows 650,000 seedlings yearly for reforestation efforts across the state.