Friday, December 16, 2011

The Great Swamp Under A Full Moon

Thanks to those of you who joined us at the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) on a gorgeous full-moon night on December 10 to take part in our last full-moon hike of the season. More than 120 people attended this event; more people than GSWA has ever had on one of these hikes! The turn-out was truly amazing, so we have decided to put more of these outings on our calendar in for 2012. Keep an eye out for our event announcements and please tell your friends to join our email list by visiting our home page at (Please note that we will be limiting future hikes to 30 guests in order to increase the chances of hearing wildlife and minimize the damage of foot traffic.)

If you are out and about after dark on these long nights, here are some of the sights and sounds to watch out for. The next full moon won’t be until the new year. It’s 7:30 a.m. on January 9th and goes by the name of the Full Wolf Moon. It’s also known as the Old Moon, or the Snow Moon according to some native peoples. Bundle up and head for a street light free area to watch or wander by its light.

While you’re out and about, listen for the three owls you might be lucky enough to hear. Those present on our hike listened hard for Screech, Barred and Great Horned owls, but, as they are all breeding during the winter months, pairs will be active hunting for their young owlets over the coming nights.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

NJ’s largest owl, also known as the hoot owl. Its call is the haunting low-pitched but loud ho-ho-hoo hoo hoo. They are locally common, and very likely owl you’ll hear out the window in your yard as they hunt for their prey of small to medium-sized mammals such as rabbits, hares, and skunks. Great horned owls have even been known to hunt prey much heavier than themselves, such as raccoons, and young fox, even Great Blue Herons! They are paired up by now, getting ready to lay their eggs in the bleakest part of winter, so listen for their paired calling.

Barred Owl (Strix varia)

Also known as the hoot owl, this owl has a call not unlike a rooster! Some say the call can be parsed as who-cooks-for-you-who-cooks-for-you-too-oo. This owl prefers deeply forested areas including prey rich wetland areas within Great Swamp watershed, although some residential neighborhoods may make good habitat too. This owl feeds on smaller mammal prey, or small songbirds as they roost. Driving through Great Swamp at dusk you might be lucky enough to spot a Barred owl getting a jump on its nocturnal hunting.

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)

One of the smallest owls in NJ, the grayish or reddish screech owl has a haunting tremolo like call. It does not sound like the unearthly screech of the barn owl, but has a rolling trill. This species breeds in late winter. Males, who find and secure the nest site, attract their mate by calling, by the quality of the nesting cavity they have found, and by the food they place within the nest! As with most owls, both parents care for the young. You might hear their communication calls as they hunt when you step out late at night to let the cat out!

Hikers at last week's Moonlight Hike learned a little about both nocturnal (night active) and diurnal (day active) creatures of the area, and also learned a new crossword puzzle word—crepuscular—which covers those animals active at dawn and dusk in the twilight hours. Though it may seem that we humans are also crepuscular at this time of year, look forward to steadily lengthening days after the winter solstice on December 22.

We hope you will continue to visit places around the Great Swamp Watershed, including Morris and Somerset County Park Commission’s properties, Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Morristown National Historical Park, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, and, indeed, our own Conservation Manamgnet Area located at 1 Tiger Lily Lane in Morristown.

And, we do hope you’ll consider joining our organization and venturing out with us on another educational program in 2012.

Best regards for the holidays,

Your Friends at the Great Swamp Watershed Association


Friday, December 9, 2011

Full Moon Hike Sold Out!

Dear Friends of GSWA,

Registration for our Full Moon Hike on December 10, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. has closed early.  We have reached the maximum number of participants we can accommodate on this walk.

Another night hike will be scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.  Please sign up for our eNewsletter to receive event announcements via email.  Visit our home page at for our eNewsletter subscription form.

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Artists Celebrate The Great Swamp And The Great Swamp Watershed Association

Twenty-five well-established artists—many local—find inspiration in New Jersey’s Great Swamp

Protecting our Waters and our Land, a new exhibition of fine art coming to Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery and the Bernardsville Public Library this December and January, features artists’ visions of the Great Swamp, one of New Jersey’s last wildernesses.

Located less than a stone’s throw from some of the state’s most densely populated urban and suburban centers, the Great Swamp’s large, undeveloped tracts of forest and wetlands provide a safe haven for a wide variety of plants and animals that have been pushed out of other areas by human activity.

The intrinsic natural beauty of the Great Swamp and the ten towns ittouches have inspired 25 well-established artists—many of them local—to create a multitude of stunning works in oil, pastels, watercolors, photography, and other media.

Two environmentally concerned art aficionados, Kathleen Palmer of Bernardsville and Ben Wolkowitz of Madison, have collected these pieces together into a single exhibit celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Great Swamp Watershed Association and honoring the organization’s ongoing commitment to the protection of the Great Swamp’s environmentally sensitive waters and land.  Palmer is also the owner of Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery, while Wolkowitz serves as the current President of the Great Swamp Watershed Association.

"The Great Swamp Watershed Association has played a crucial role in protecting our natural resources,” Ms. Palmer said recently, “This exhibit honors their efforts and serves as a thank you from the many artists who have loved to photograph and paint this pristine area of our great state."

Protecting our Waters and our Land includes pieces by renowned New Jersey artists Gerry Heydt (Plainfield, NJ) and Mark de Mos (Morristown, NJ).

Known for her atmospheric, boldly brushed landscape landscape and still life paintings, Ms. Heydt is intimately familiar with the natural world and the work of environmental groups like GSWA.  In 2010 she created a similar exhibit of artwork honoring the legacy of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey. “Still Waters,” one of Ms. Heydt’s pieces that will be on display in Bernardsville, transforms a typical scene of one of the Great Swamp’s many wetland areas into an image of true environmental majesty.

Mr. de Mos endeavors to produce art that is alive and creates a drama conveying a feeling or a slice of life.  His professional painting career stretches back more than three decades and, as one of the founders of the Pastel Society of New Jersey in 2005, he is working to secure a vital future for pastel painting within the state.  Mr. de Mos’s piece “Fallen Giants” is an oil painting in golden hues that reflects on the nature and importance of trees within the Great Swamp.  Given the landscape damage cause by recent hurricanes and snowstorms, this piece will strike a relevant and timely chord with all those who see it.

Protecting Our Waters And Our Land opens to the public on Thursday, December 1, 2011, and will remain on display through Saturday, January 28, 2012.  Half of the exhibition will be housed at Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery located at 5 Morristown Road in Bernardsville.  The other half of the exhibition will be housed across the street at the Bernardsville Public Library located at 1 Anderson Hill Road in Bernardsville.  Please check the hours of operation for each venue in order to determine the best time to visit.

A reception celebrating the opening of the exhibit will be held as part of the monthly BernARTSville Art Walk series on Friday, December 2, 2011.  All are welcome to stop by Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and the Bernardsville Library between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., for this special viewing.  Participating artists, as well as representatives from the Great Swamp Watershed Association will be in attendance.  Refreshments will be served.

Works displayed in the exhibition will be available for sale at a variety of price points. Notecards depicting selected works from the exhibit will be available for sale from Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery and the Great Swamp Watershed Association ( A percentage of proceeds from all sales will go to support environmental education, advocacy, and stewardship programs within the Great Swamp watershed region.

Participating artists include Stephanie Amato, Albert L. Bross Jr., Charlie Churchill, Mark de Mos, Susan Donnell, Tim Gaydos, Gerry Heydt, Lee W. Hughes, Ari Kaufman, Carol Livingston, James McGinley, Doug Merritt, Dannielle Mick, Neil Nappe, Nancy Ori, Anthony Panzera, Robert W. Pillsbury, Linda Quinn, John Reilly, Charles Robinson, Elliott Ruga, Deborah Seymour, Alana Van Rensselaer, and Ray Yaros.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Learn About Road Salt Alternatives Before Winter Is Here To Stay

On Thursday, November 10, Great Swamp Watershed Association and United Water will present a special workshop on environmentally sensitive snow and ice removal practices for the approaching winter season. The Winter Roads Maintenance Workshop will provide tailored information for an audience of landscapers; apartment, condo, office, and campus maintenance crews; snow plowing contractors; municipal public works departments and others engaging in moderate to large-scale snow removal activities during winter months. Homeowners are also encouraged to attend to pick up tips on environmentally sound de-icing techniques for their own properties.

“We look forward to helping GSWA educate attendees about new snow and ice management techniques that will increase efficiency, save money, and reduce their impact on water quality,” said United Water Vice President for External Affairs Edmund M. DeVeaux.

The goal of the workshop is to raise awareness about year-round pollution from road salt and other winter road treatments.  Scientific study has demonstrated that road salt is the most abundant water pollutant found in our area.  Water quality testing performed by GSWA experts along Morris County’s Loantaka Brook between 2005 and 2007 illustrates the larger problem facing the 55 square mile Great Swamp Watershed.  The study concluded that local wintertime de-icing regimes along roads, adjacent to parking lots, and in the vicinity of large housing and office complexes introduced sodium and chloride contamination into the stream at levels that would cause chronic toxicity in stream water throughout the year.  The enduring presence of road salt is attributable to its ability to be retained in the soil for a long period of time, gradually leaching into groundwater supplies.

For more information about GSWA’s Loantaka Brook study, please see the following web page:

GSWA research on road salt prompted the organization to produce a similar workshop in 2009.  More than 40 participants from local municipal public works departments attended that event. The Nov. 10 workshop will build on the success of this original program by extending information about salt alternatives to a new audience that also engages heavily in snow and ice removal activities.

During the workshop, presenters will lay out the environmental effects of sodium and chloride on water quality, and provide information about alternatives to traditional road salt.  Some of the alternatives covered will include the use of pre-wetted salts and brine. Presenters also will spend time reviewing the equipment needed to make and use brine.

The Winter Roads Maintenance Workshop will take place on Thursday, November 10, 2011, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., at GSWA’s offices located at 568 Tempe Wick Road in Morristown, NJ. Admission is free, but advanced registration is appreciated.

Please register online at or call 973-539-3500 x22.  A continental breakfast will be served.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Geocaching: This Outdoor Game Might Become Your Next Passion

Learn geocaching basics at a workshop presented by Great Swamp Watershed Association and Northern New Jersey Cachers

You played Hide-And-Go-Seek and Capture The Flag as a kid, right? You did your fair share of scavenger hunts too. Now that you are grown up, and maybe have a family of your own, it’s time to up the ante a little bit, don’t you think?  It’s time to get outside and do a little geocaching!

Never heard of geocaching before? Well, it’s a game—a real-world, global treasure hunting game where the players use GPS devices (a navigation tool or GPS-enabled smartphone) to locate special containers hidden outdoors at special locations. 

Geocaches—the containers and objects you set out to find when you go geocaching—come in many different forms.  Traditionally, your coordinates will lead you to a container holding a log book where you record the date and time of your visit for posterity. Sometimes you will find an item that you can take as a keepsake, provided you leave another item of equal or greater value. Sometimes, finding one geocache gives you coordinates or clues for finding another, or points you toward an environmental landmark like an old tree or a bird’s nesting box.  Whatever turns up at your destination, it’s a good bet that the natural beauty you have seen and experienced on your way is what the game is all about.

Like all games, geocaching has rules.  The first two—recording your visit in a log book and only taking a geocached item when you can replace it with something else—were mentioned earlier.  Other rules include not putting yourself or others in danger, respecting local laws and property rights, and, minimizing your impact on the environment.

Before you start geocaching, you will want to make sure you are familiar with all its rules.  You will also want to make sure you know how to get out and enjoy our natural world without disturbing it.

If this sounds like a lot to consider for a simple treasure-hunting game, never fear!  Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) and Northern New Jersey Cachers (NNJC) have you covered.  The two nonprofit groups are teaming up on Saturday, November 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to teach you all the basics of geocaching—from selecting your equipment to maintaining the health and beauty of all the wild and scenic natural areas you visit.  This Introduction to Geocaching Workshop is open to all ages and skill levels, and will begin at GSWA’s office at 568 Tempe Wick Road in Morristown, NJ. After a quick class introducing you to basic geocaching concepts, the workshop will travel to GSWA’s Conservation Management Area (CMA) at 1 Tiger Lily Lane in Morristown.  The CMA—with its 53 acres of undeveloped fields, streams, and woodlands—is a perfect venue for testing out your newly acquired geocaching skills, and there are already several geocaches hidden there for you to find and enjoy. Please note that you do not need your own GPS device in order to participate. And, all the walking or hiking we do outdoors will be on easy, level terrain, so people of all ages will be comfortable, especially kids!

Advanced registration is required for participation in the geocaching workshop. GSWA asks all those who are not yet members of the organization to contribute $10 per person to help offset expenses.  Register online at or call GSWA’s event hotline at 973-538-3500 x22.  Please remember to bring your boots or hiking shoes to the workshop—it’s been really wet the past two months! Please also remember to dress appropriately for the weather, and bring your own reusable water bottles and snacks for the outdoor portion of the program.

Get outside and enjoy the natural world! Give geocaching a try on November 5!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bears In The Back Yard

The recent spate of bear sightings in Harding, NJ—one of the ten towns within the Great Swamp Watershed—put us in mind of a story one of our volunteers wrote for our last print newsletter.  In that piece, our volunteer, Jim Northrop, spins a tale about an imaginary encounter with a mother bear during one of his visits to GSWA's offices on Tempe Wick Road in Morristown.  As the fantasy unfolds, Jim takes the opportunity to relay some important information and insights about the ever-increasing frequency of interaction between bears and people in our region.

The story—which was inspired by a real-life bear encounter here at GSWA's offices over the summer—is reprinted here for you to read.  We hope you enjoy it!


Meet The New Neighbors
by Jim Northrop 


I am a GSWA volunteer.  Last week we had an early evening meeting.  It was hot and sticky; dusk had come as the meeting adjourned.  As I walked out of the GSWA building toward my car, I noticed a large black object up the hill near the woods.  O. M. G. ----- it was a large black bear sniffing her way toward our garbage cans.  I remembered that the night before, we had been guests here at a GSWA volunteer appreciation party.  Pizza was the main culinary attraction, and discarded pizza boxes (holding a few bits of uneaten pizza crust) would have smelled good even to me!

I froze, and the bear cautiously came closer.  I know that black bears are fast runners, even though they are the largest land mammal in New Jersey —in fact, I am told they can overtake a running deer when they want to.  I did not want to give the bear any cause for attacking me.  I stood frozen and still.

A few steps later the bear stopped, looked at me and said, “I smell pizza.  Can we share?”  

By this time I was the only volunteer around—the others had gone home.  I wished for someone else there who could assure me that the heat had not made me crazy.  Could this really be a talking bear?!!

Then I heard the bear speak again.

“I have two cubs with me, and my job is to teach them how to live off the land.  They know about berries and small succulent plants, but they have never heard of pizza.  I’m going to call them over.  Please do not spoil their lesson by yelling at them or throwing something at us.”

 I did not have to be told twice.  I knew that a mother black bear will get very violent, if necessary, to protect her young cubs.  So, I just stood there quietly and watched.  Oh, how I wished I had brought a camera!

Ten minutes later, they had shredded the pizza boxes and feasted on every last crust they could find.  The mother bear looked over at me and saw that I was not a threat, so she began a conversation.

“I’m new to these parts,” she said.  “I grew up in Sussex County, but recently there’s been so much residential development up there.  A lot of new bears have moved in too.  I had to find a new home.  I had to go where the people had not yet thought to guard their garbage from curious, hungry animals like me.  So, here I am, and I am loving it!”  

Remembering that a black bear’s choice of home range is largely determined by the types and availability of food, I wondered what she liked to eat when no pizza crusts were handy.

“Well,” she said, “most of the time I eat plants—especially their berries, fruit and nuts—but, I also like insects.  You know, finding an ant hill is really a treat.”

“I also like mice and other small mammals, and delicacies like the white-tailed deer carcass I found the other day.”

“I do not come across those tasty bits very often, but I am not choosy—any fresh roadkill will do just fine.  But, I am getting a bit spoiled from so much food.  You humans call it garbage, but I think it’s great!“

“My cubs have begun to associate garbage with people—not that they want to actually eat people, but if they smell humans around they assume that some tasty ‘garbage’ is nearby.”

“Sometimes this creates a problem.  When my cubs approach, people get frightened.  They think the cubs will try to make them their meal.  You see, sometimes bears are completely misunderstood.”

I felt sorry for the bear and her cubs.  After all, humans also get into trouble by misunderstanding the intentions of others.

“I am sorry you can’t be spared this grief,” I said, “but you should know that there are conservationists around who want to end the misunderstanding between people and bears.  They get other people to stop leaving their food and garbage around outside as ‘bait’.  In fact, in New Jersey, people can be punished with a fine for feeding the bears.”

“That’s very kind,” she said with a smile, “except that educating will mean no more pizza!”

“My favorite food is not really pizza, anyway.  I love finding a good-sized beehive.  You see, my fur is bee proof, and the occasional sting on the nose is well worth the sweet honey I usually find inside.”

About then, I noticed a very large shadow moving toward us from the woods.  The black bear noticed it, too, and told me that it was her mate coming from another part of the woods.  He was coming to investigate all the commotion.

The appearance of the second bear did not surprise me much.  You see, I had read once that black bears have a remarkable sense of smell, and that they have been known to smell a source of food more than two miles away.  They are also known for their good hearing and can see very well; although, they are said to be a bit near-sighted.  Their ability to see in color helps them forage for those fruits and berries they like so much.

As her mate approached, my new friend said, “I have to go.”

“My mate gets very upset when we do not save some good food for him, and my cubs and I have licked this area clean!”

As she turned to leave, I waved her a goodbye and wished her family a safe journey.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Photos From A Watershed Event: GSWA's 30th Anniversary Gala

Great Swamp Watershed Association's 30th Anniversary Gala, held on Thursday, October 13 at the Westin Governor Morris Hotel in Morristown, NJ, drew more than 300 people out in support of the organization and local environmental issues.  Here are some photos from this very special evening.  If you attended the gala and took photos that you would like to share here, please contact GSWA's Director of Communications & Membership Steve Reynolds at or call 973-538-3500 x21.

Thank you to all who joined us at the 2011 gala and all those who supported the event but could not attend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gala Event Honors 30 Years Of Service To Local Environment

A Watershed Event—the aptly named gala event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA)—drew more than 300 people to Morristown’s Westin Governor Morris Hotel last Thursday to support the health and beauty of the local environment.

Guests from throughout the region and all walks of life gathered together to honor Abigail Fair and Julia Somers, two local environmental heroes whose tireless efforts have helped preserve the integrity of water and land within the 55-square-mile Great Swamp Watershed over the past three decades.  In 1981, Ms. Fair, better known as Abbie, founded the Great Swamp Watershed Committee, a group that would eventually become the GSWA. Known throughout the region for her 22 years of service to the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), Abbie also coordinated the Freshwater Wetlands Campaign which paved the way for passage of New Jersey’s Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act of 1987. Ms. Somers served as the Great Swamp Watershed Association’s first professional executive director, a position she held for 16 years, from 1992 to 2006.  Today, she serves as Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition where she works to protect, enhance, and restore the lands and waters of northwest New Jersey’s entire Highlands region.

The evening kicked off in high gear as revelers gathered along the hotel’s second-floor mezzanine for cocktails and a performance by the local acoustic rock band Faded Genes.  For those looking for a bit of friendly competition, GSWA elegantly arrayed items from a 120-lot silent auction outside the dining room for all to peruse.  Guests swapped bids on everything from stays at luxury accommodations in Donegal, Ireland and Montana’s Big Sky Resort, to works of art created by local artists and private tours of Great Swamp’s remotest corners.  By evening’s end, the auction generated a substantial amount of financial support for GSWA’s ongoing environmental education, stewardship and advocacy programming.

Dinner was a grand, two-hour affair punctuated by remarks from GSWA’s current Executive Director Sally Rubin, Gala Chair David Budd, and the Chairman of GSWA’s Board of Trustees Ben Wolkowitz.  An army of servers distributed course after course of the evening meal to tables sponsored by event underwriters, including Pfizer, Chrysalis Pharma Partners, Merck Consumer Care, Novartis, Peapack-Glastone Bank, and United Water.  

As the feast proceeded, Ms. Rubin expressed her deep gratitude to the assembled guests.

“As I stand here and look out over all of you who have turned out tonight, I feel myself choking up a little,” Rubin said, “It’s wonderful to know that so many of you care about the Great Swamp and the important work done by this small organization.”

A delectable dessert course and reflections from guests of honor Abbie Fair and Julia Somers capped off the evening.  After receiving a framed print of the gala’s signature photograph—a great blue heron from Great Swamp captured in flight by photographer Ari Kaufman—Ms. Somers thanked all those in attendance.

“It is wonderful to see so many people come out for the Watershed Association, and for Abbie and me,” Julia remarked. “It is very humbling to be recognized for something I never did alone.  I know I could never have accomplished anything without broad support from folks who feel just as strongly as I do about the importance of protecting the watershed.”

Following the event, Ms. Fair offered the most compelling summary of the festivities.  In an email to members of GSWA’s staff she wrote:

The crowded room at the gala was a great testament to the work GSWA has done and continues to do to protect the Great Swamp Refuge and its watershed. Working for clean water is essential to the future.

As the celebration drew to a close—after the last speech had been delivered and the last silent auction prize claimed—the future of clean water in New Jersey was a little more secure.  Proceeds from ticket and auction purchases had exceeded all expectations, and, in the words of Gala Chair David Budd, the larger-than-expected turnout “…represented undeniable evidence that all those who live, work, and play in our region value the service done by Great Swamp Watershed Association.”  All proceeds from the gala will be used to support GSWA’s environmental education, stewardship, and advocacy work within and beyond the boundaries of the Great Swamp Watershed.

Profound thanks go out to all those who contributed to the success of A Watershed Event.  The Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers of GSWA look forward to seeing you at next year’s gala!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Colors Hike: Photos from GSWA's Conservation Management Area

Great Swamp Watershed Association's Director of Education & Outreach Hazel England led a short, afternoon hike through the organization's Conservation Management Area in Harding, NJ. Despite the soggy conditions left over from Hurricanes Irene and Lee, seven hikers braved two hours of mud and the mosquitoes to learn a little more about the environmental significance of wetlands and New Jersey's Great Swamp.  See what they saw! Check out the slideshow below.


View more photos from the Great Swamp Watershed Association by visiting our Flickr profile at

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tame Flooding & Curb Pollution: Build A Household Rain Garden

Have you ever thought about all the water that runs off your roof and your driveway during a rain storm? Has the aftermath of Hurricane Irene made you ask how you can help prevent flooding in our area? 

With all of our roads, parking lots, driveways, offices and homes covered in hard, impermeable materials like concrete and asphault, our stormwater doesn't get much of a chance to sink into the ground like it should.  Instead, it gathers into fast-moving torrents capable of carrying away loose soil and debris, and pollutants like trash, motor oil, gas, and road salt.  When those torrents come together in the nearest stormdrain, the next stop along the line is the nearest river, steam, pond or lake. After you think about it a little, it is easy to understand why erosion and pollution from stormwter runoff represent one of the biggest threats to our supply of clean water in northern New Jersey and how all those hard surfaces worsen our flooding problems.

If you own a home with a yard, there is something you can do to help.  Build a rain garden.

A rain garden is little more than a depression in your yard filled with carefully chosen plants and shrubs.  Choosing a low spot lets you feed all the stormwater running off your home and your driveway into a place where it can soak into the ground. Filling the garden with native plants that can survive local environmental conditions helps pull that water into the soil faster.  What you get at the end of the rain gardening process is an attractive piece of landscape that can cut local water pollution up to 30%, curb erosion on your property and along your neighborhood stream, and lessen the chance of local flooding by putting thousands of gallons of water back into the ground rather than out in the street or down flood-prone stormdrains.  Since you will not need to water your yard so often, the savings on your water bill is not bad either.

Sound like something you want to learn more about?  Visit the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, for a special Rain Garden Workshop.  We will show you how to choose the best spot for your garden, how to make sure your gutters and driveways are properly drained, and how you can find the right native trees, plants and shrubs for your new garden plot.  Join us at 568 Tempe Wick Road in Morristown, NJ, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., to hear Hazel England, GSWA's Director of Outreach and Education resident rain garden expert, give you all the details. You will also have an opportunity to tour GSWA's own demonstration rain garden, installed in 2008.

Registration is required.  Attendance is free for current GSWA members. Non-member adults are asked to contribute $10.00 for participation. Registration and more information is available online at Please call 973-538-3500 x20 if you have any questions about this activity.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Colors Hike In Great Swamp, Sunday, September 25


On Sunday, September 25, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Hazel England, GSWA's Director of Education & Outreach, will lead a tour of new trails and boardwalks at our 53-acre conservation management area (CMA) in Harding, NJ.  This beautiful forested wetland area positively teems with life and provides habitat for several threatened species, including wood turtles and barred owls.  Pools, streams, and woods line all the trails at the CMA and offer a fantastic opportunity to listen for birds, spot native plants, and watch the changing colors of fall.

There have been many changes at the CMA of late, the biggest and most impressive being a recently completed trail expansion.  That’s right; GSWA has almost doubled the total trail length! Thanks to an easement granted by Harding Land Trust, the  new extension finally allows hikers to take in the site’s beautiful swamp-forest area also known as the Case property.

In the wake of Hurricane Irene and the remnants of Hurricane Lee, this walk also will provide some insight into the extent of flooding and wind damage in the region.  Please note that the recent flooding will cause our trails to be quite muddy. Plan to  wear boots or other appropriate footwear. Please dress appropriately for weather conditions on the day and bring along a reuseable water bottle. Feel free to bring along field guides and binoculars if you have them.

Registration is required in order to attend this event.

What: Fall Colors Hike in the Great Swamp.


When: Sunday, Sep. 25, 2011; 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: GSWA Conservation Management Area, 1 Tiger Lily Lane, Harding, NJ

Registration: online at or by telephone at 973-538-3500 x22.

Cost: Free for GSWA members and member families, $10 donation for non-members, $5 donation for non-member children (6-17 yrs.); $30 donation for non-member families.

We look forward to seeing you at the CMA! 

For a list of upcoming GSWA events, please visit:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hurricane Irene Damages GSWA Conservation Area

While impacts from last weekend’s hurricane continue to be felt throughout New Jersey, our own beloved Conservation Management Area (CMA) within the Passaic River’s headwaters has not escaped Irene’s wrath unscathed.
The 53-acre area is a flood plain forest, which means that its resident tree and plant species have evolved to deal with fluctuating water levels. Our trees have flared-buttress roots to give them support when the river overflows its banks and the ground is flooded. The same roots penetrate deep into the soil to gain water when the land is parched. The CMA has flooded extensively during past storms—including recent nor’easters and following Hurricane Floyd in 1999—but despite the fact that our trails were constructed with flooding in mind, they could not stand up to Irene’s floodwaters.
Several trees have fallen throughout the property, including some along the deer exclosure built around the perimeter of the property. Stream crossings that remained in place during previous floods floated away under the force of this storm surge. The boardwalk sections around Zimmer Marsh, newly constructed by corporate workday volunteers this summer, have been tossed helter-skelter, a testament to the sheer volume of water dropped by this storm. The current deposited some boardwalk sections 50 yards downstream. Emergency repairs have been underway over the last few days. Thanks to the help of some stalwart GSWA volunteers, the bridge over Silver Brook has been floated and hauled upstream and back up to the riverbank where it belongs. The photographs you see here show some of the damage done to the CMA, and some of what has been done to correct the worst problems.
We still have a lot of work ahead for us before the trails are back in good shape for the fall season. We need your help as the clean-up proceeds, so why not don your hip boots and help us put GSWA’s CMA trails back together!
Please contact Hazel England at if you have some time to help us with this project.
Check out the attached photos for a sense of what this situation's been like.
Thanks to Blaine Rothauser, John Neale and Chuck Gullage for photos.

eNews for September 2011 from Great Swamp Watershed Association

GSWA's eNewsletter for September 2011 is out! Check out our stories on Hurricane Irene and the damage it caused at our Conservation Management Area and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  And, don't miss announcements for all of our upcoming Fall 2011 public events!  We've got talks, movies, hikes and workshops planned for the season that you will not want to miss.  Click the short link below to read more:

Across The Watershed...In Brief for September 2011:



Breakfast Briefing Talk on September 13, 2011: Vegetation & Deer Management at Jockey Hollow

Summer is past and that means it's time for GSWA's Breakfast Briefing Series to resume. This is your once-a-month chance to catch up on current environmental issues before work.  Join us at 8:00 a.m. in our Tempe Wick Road offices for a continental breakfast and a presentation delivered by one of our special guest speakers.  (Presentations conclude at 9:30 a.m.)

Check out our first program on Tuesday, September 13, starting.  To register, visit and click on Event Registration.

Vegetation & Deer Management At Jockey Hollow
Tuesday, September 13, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Special guest Jill Hawk, Superintendent of Morristown National Historical Park, stops by to tell us more about the public scoping process that will help the National Park Service draft a Vegetation and White-tailed Deer Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (plan/EIS) for Jockey Hollow.  The plan/EIS will address issues associated with proliferation of non-native invasive plants, the effects of white-tailed deer overpopulation, and the loss of key aspects of the park's landscape.

Register: Please register online at or call 973-538-3500 x22 for more information.

Location: GSWA Offices, 568 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown, NJ

Cost: Free for members and member families. $10/non-member adult, $5 for non-member children (6-17 yrs.), $30/non-member family.

Upcoming Breakfast Briefings:

Dealing with Deer In Our Region (with Emile DeVito, NJCF)
Tuesday, October 11, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Fracking: What You Need To Know About Hydraulic Fracturing For Natural Gas
Tuesday, November 15, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Friday, September 2, 2011

GSWA Educatio & Outreach Director Hazel England

Lorraine Ash of The Daily Record profiles GSWA's Director of Education & Outreach Hazel England.  The two talk deer, native plants, land-use and other local biodiversity in the following article published on Wednesday. Check it out!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Enviro Hotspot Update: GSWA Weighs In On Organic Farm in Chatham Twp.; Changes In Store For Honeywell Development in Morris Twp.

We bring you two updates today on environmental hotspots in the Great Swamp Watershed.

First, GSWA representatives weigh in on the safety of organic farming in Chatham Township, NJ. Check out this article in Chatham Patch for what they had to say:

Next, we bring you a story from The Daily Record about revisions made to the Honeywell corporation's plans for its worldwide headquaters development in Morris Township, NJ.  The new plan seeks to address a number of citizen concerns. Read more:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Thanks for keeping up to date with GSWA!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Help GSWA Win $10,000. Vote For This Photo!


Got Box Turtle?
Photographer: Ari Kaufman, June 2011

Vote for Great Swamp Watershed Association's submission to Cvent's photo contest and help us win $10,000 for our environmental programs.  This shot was taken by volunteer photographer Ari Kaufman on the second day of GSWA's 2011 BioBlitz at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (June 18, 2011). In addition to collecting scientific data, this year's BioBlitz focused on educating children about the local environment, especially the great variety of wildlife found in the Great Swamp watershed.  A few days following the event, the father of one of our young participant wrote to us to say, “[You] made my son feel special. This event changed his life."  We cannot imagine a better compliment than that.

Help us continue this legacy for many years to come.  Vote for this photo once a day from August 9 through August 22!

Click here to vote with your Facebook account:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

eNews for August 2011 from Great Swamp Watershed Association

Check out what's up in The Great Swamp! Read @GSWA's e-Newsletter for July at

Topics include: 

  • A Hot Hike at the CMA - New Trails!
  • Summer Event Reminder 
  • Victory At Primrose Estate - Open Space Preserved
  • Comment on Local Deer Population
  • 30th Anniversary Gala
  • Help Your Neighbors In August - Volunteer Event
  • Comings & Goings
  • Welcome New Members!
  • Did You Know? - All About Box Turtles

Sign up to receive our monthly e-Newsletter and other communications from the Great Swamp Watershed Association via email. Just complete the sign-up form on our home page located at


Friday, July 29, 2011

Victory at Primrose Farm Estate!

Harding Township Committee Votes In Favor Of Open Space

Thanks to the dedication a few local citizens, Harding Land Trust will now be the proud owner of 45 acres of prime open space.  About 100 residents turned out Wednesday evening, July 13, for a Township Committee meeting where committee members determined the fate of environmentally sensitive land at Harding’s Primrose Farm Estate.  Thanks to the concerted efforts of groups like the Great Swamp Watershed Association, Harding Land Trust and The Trust for Public Land, most of those in attendance spoke out in favor of sparing the Estate from the developers’ bulldozers.

Although Committee members voted unanimously to keep 45 acres of Primrose Farm undeveloped and open for public recreation, final decision-making on the issue appeared to be close.  Weeks of uncertainty and speculation about the Township’s ultimate intentions for the property lead a number of stakeholders to rally supporters on behalf of the open space plan.  Harding Land Trust generated a petition in support of the project that garnered the names of more than 180 local residents.  GSWA distributed information outlining the property’s intrinsic value as a location for undisturbed wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation and encouraged attendance at the meeting to show support for the preservation.

Our profound thanks go out to all those who stood up for open space and the environment on July 13.  Without your unwavering commitment to the Primrose plan, 13 new ”McMansions” would be ready for construction and the single largest and most-naturally-diverse piece of outdoor space left inside Harding Township would be no more.  What a fantastic victory for those who would protect Great Swamp from the hazards of overdevelopment!

Unfortunately, the fight is not over.  The 45 acres of land Harding Township has agreed to keep undeveloped covers less than half of the entire 122-acre Primrose Farm Estate.  Another 77 acres still needs protection and still needs our help.  Protection for that acreage has yet to be ratified under Phase II of the Primrose Open Space Plan, and completion of that plan remains contingent on receipt of additional open space funding from Morris County and Harding Township.  GSWA will be participating in this phase of the preservation through a Green Acres application for $200,000.   We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed as work on Primrose Phase II progresses.



Sally S. Rubin
Executive Director
Great Swamp Watershed Association



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Help Your Neighbors AND Have Some Lakeside Fun On August 20!


Hey Great Swamp Enthusiasts!

Our friends and neighbors at the Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) need our help on Saturday, August 20.

100 volunteers are needed to help MWA and others hand-pull non-native, invasive water chestnut (Trapa natans) plants from Lake Musconetcong.

Lake Musconetcong is home to the largest infestation of Water Chestnuts in the state of New Jersey.  These highly invasive, nonnative aquatic plants were introduced into U.S. waters in the late 1800s. Since then they've been crowding out native water plants and choking the life out of waterways throughout the northeastern U.S.  Check out this map of the water chestnut invasion created by the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States.

Here are a few more facts about invasive water chestnuts and Lake Musconetcong:

Here are some event details:

What: Water Chsestnut Removal at Lake Musconetcong

When: Saturday, August 20, 2011; Starting at 9AM

Where: Parking lot next to Arbolino Park (Center Street in Netcong)

  • Row boats, canoes and possibly kayaks will be provided to those who want them.
  • Volunteers are needed for pulling out plants, running event registration, cooking, parking and post-event clean-up. (There's lots to do!)
  • Download the event flyer here.

More information is available at by contacting Chris Trainor and MWA at 908-537-7060, or by emailing Chris at

MusconetcongWaterChestnutPullFlyer.pdf Download this file

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What Do You Think About Local Deer Overpopulation?

Public Hearings On Deer Control At Jockey Hollow

The National Park Service (NPS) seeks comments from the public as it develops a new plan for controlling the exploding deer population at Morristown National Historical Park (NHP – Jockey Hollow).

According to a recent press release, the Vegetation and White-tailed Deer Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (plan/EIS) will be designed with the goal of promoting the natural regeneration of hardwood forest that reflect the natural and historic diversity of the park.

NPS will hold two public hearings about the White-tailed Deer EIS that we encourage you to attend:

White-tailed Deer EIS Public Comment Hearing #1
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

White-tailed Deer EIS Public Comment Hearing #2
Thursday, July 28, 2011
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Both hearings will take place at Morristown NHP, Washington’s Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ  07960.

Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) wants to remind you that local deer populations run as high as 70 to 100 deer per square mile. That’s 7 to 10 times the number of deer most of the land in our region is equipped to support.  Left unchecked our deer could strip away certain native plants and subsequently crowd out other wildlife sharing the same food and habitat.  Such a loss of biodiversity has profoundly negative implications for local soil and water quality.  Soil erosion increases and the composition of nutrients and minerals entering the water supply change dramatically.

Controlling deer overpopulation is possible.  GSWA’s Conservation Management Area (CMA) in Harding Township provides examples of successful deer-control techniques, including the construction of an effective deer exclosure fence that prevents herds from doing major damage. After installing the fence, GSWA scientists and volunteers noticed a marked increase in native plant growth at the CMA.  This has brought us one step closer to providing New Jersey with another 53 acres of biodiverse open space to serves as healthy habitat for migratory birds, endangered amphibians and important insects.

Written comments on NPS’s proposed White-tailed Deer EIS may be submitted through August 14 via the Internet at or by mailing them to Mr. Robert Masson, Biologist Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ 07960.

We hope you choose to make your voice heard on this important community issue.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nature Walk in the Great Swamp Watershed, Friday, July 22


Don't forget! GSWA Education & Outreach Director Hazel England will be guiding a tour of GSWA's 53-acre Conservation Management Area in Harding, NJ this Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) owns 53 acres of land in Harding Township that is maintained as a Conservation Management Area. This forested wetland contains vernal pools, streams, and woods with wildflowers and wildlife aplenty.

 We will take an early evening stroll along the boardwalk trails, listening for birds and searching for native plants. This is an easy-paced hike at an important restoration area. Children are welcome.

Location: GSWA Conservation Management Area, 1 Tiger Lilly Lane, Harding, NJ. Please register to attend at or visit

Cost: Free for GSWA members, $10 for non-members, $5 for non-member children under 5, $30 for non-member families.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

News from @GSWA for July 2011

Check out what's up in The Great Swamp! Read @GSWA's e-Newsletter for July at

Sign up to receive our monthly e-Newsletter and other communications from the Great Swamp Watershed Association via email. Just complete the sign-up form on our home page located at

Thursday, June 30, 2011

BioBlitz 2011 A Success!

Over a 24-hour period between 5 p.m. on Friday June 17 and 5 p.m on June Saturday, June 18,  Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)) and the Friends of the Great Swamp (FGS) led more than 150 scientists, volunteers and participants in a concerted effort to find and identify as many different plant and animal species as they could within the confines of the northern New Jersey’s 7,768- acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  As data continues to roll in from the event, BioBlitz 2011—the third of its kind to be held in the Great Swamp watershed since 2007—seems poised to exceed all the scientific and educational benchmarks established by past BioBlitz gatherings.

 Although a final tally of all the different plants and animals seen at BioBlitz 2011 is still a few days away, we can give you an update on some of the weekend’s highlights and show you some amazing photos from the event.

Event Highlights:

  • More than 100 members of the public (non-scientists) participated in the event.
  • More than 60 scientists volunteered their time to study the wide variety of plants and wildlife found in the Great Swamp.
  • Some unusual wildlife species were seen or heard, including the following:
  • Federally-endangered Blue-spotted salamanders (Ambystoma laterale)
  • Hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus)—water fowl that are usually only present during winter months
  • More than 25 species of Crane fly – the long legged weak flying insects that look like giant mosquitoes and throng the porch lights
  • A couple of much-talked-about, but, as yet, unidentified woodland orchids, amongst 200 species wildflowers seen.
  • More than 15 species of freshwater fish netted in Passaic River tributaries.
We’ll have more details about the plants and animals spotted this year once the scientists (and GSWA staff!) rest up a bit from their 24-hour biological marathon.  (Yes! There were many people there for the entire 24-hour period. Just ask the Chiropterologists—bat scientists—and their assistants who were out past 2 a.m. Saturday morning collecting their specimens.)  In the meantime, check out some of the amazing event photos we’ve posted on our Flickr account. (Note: you do not need a Flickr account to view the photos.)

What’s a BioBlitz?

If you’ve never heard of a BioBlitz before, here’s a crash course.

A BioBlitz is an intensive snapshot survey—part contest, part scientific research & part educational opportunity—bringing together biological experts from local scientific institutions, nature clubs, & government wildlife agencies. Every major group of animals & plants will have a team assigned to look for as many species as possible in 24-hours.

Why do a BioBlitz?

A BioBlitz serves 4 main goals. It—

Raises Public Awareness: A BioBlitz is held in order to  increase your awareness of the variety of life in your immediate neighborhood, as well as teach about how   plants & animals  improve your quality of life;
Excites Kids About Science: A BioBlitz gives local schools & school students an opportunity to gather scientific information the same way real scientists do;
Generates Data: A BioBlitz generates an important list of plant & animal species found in a particular area; and it
Celebrates Biological Diversity: A BioBlitz celebrates the diversity of life in an area like the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Visit GSWA on the web at
Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't Miss GSWA's May Events

May Day Hike
Sunday, May 1, 5-6:30 p.m.
GSWA's Conservation Management Area, Tiger Lily Ln, Harding Township
Long ago young maidens would arise and wash their faces in the dew on May Day to stay young forever. We can’t promise eternal youth, but we do promise you’ll feel rejuvenated after a spring hike around the 50 acres of GSWA’s Conservation Management Area. Listen for returning neo-tropical migrant birds, watch for wildflower blooms peeking out and enjoy the frog chorus in a gentle family-friendly hike along the trails of GSWA’s flagship restoration area.

A Passaic River Words and Pictures
Thursday, May 5, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
GSWA Offices, 568 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown
Local area resident and West Morris Mendham High School teacher Bruce Taterka, and his paddling companion Juergen Englerth, paddled the entire length of the Passaic River from source to sea. They completed their journey in stages whenever free time allowed over the last several years. Bruce and Juergan will share their incredible stories and pictures about this fascinating trip along one of the most interesting rivers in New Jersey. Through changing river widths, seasons, economic conditions and habitats see the Passaic through a kayak paddlers perspective and camera! Enjoy wine, snacks and a Passaic river cocktail created especially for the evening!

These programs are free for members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five or over and $30 per family. Register at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tomorrow Night at GSWA...

...David Wheeler will be here, author of Wild New Jersey! We are so excited to have him here and would love for everyone to join us. The program will begin at 7 pm and end around 9 pm and will be held at 568 Tempe Wick Rd. in Morristown, NJ.

There is no cost to members, for non-member adults it will be $10, $5 for children under five years old, and $30 per family.

For more information on Mr. Wheeler please visit his website and the release for tomorrow night.

For more information on GSWA or any questions, please visit or call 973-538-3500

See you tomorrow night!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Evening with David Wheeler

David Wheeler, author of “Wild New Jersey: Nature Adventures in the Garden State’” will be the special guest of GSWA where he’ll give a presentation on his exploration of our state’s biodiversity. Refreshments will be served. Free for GSWA members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five and over, and $30 per family. For additional information on Mr. Wheeler and his new book, visit Pre-register for this event by visiting or call 973-538-3500 x22.

The event will be held from 7-9pm at Great Swamp Watershed Association (568 Tempe Wick Rd., Harding Twp).

We would love to see all of you there!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Scott Baxter-Green and GSWA Present Breakfast Briefing

The Great Swamp Watershed Association and Scott Baxter-Green, Water Quality Manager with NJ American Water will discuss water quality concerns and maintaining the underground infrastructure. The program will begin at 8 am and go until appx. 9:30 at GSWA Headquarters: 568 Tempe Wick Rd, Morristown, NJ. The program will be free for GSWA members, $10 for non-member adults, $5 for non-member children under five, and $30 per family (if non-members.) To become a member and attend most programs for no additional cost please visit or inquire on the day of the Breakfast Briefing. To pre-register please visit our website (above,) email, or call 973-538-3500 x 22. Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring Programs at GSWA

Great Swamp Watershed Association's Spring Programs

March 8 – Breakfast Briefing: Current Drinking Water Issues, 8-9:30am at Great Swamp Watershed Association, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Harding Twp. Join the Great Swamp Watershed Association and Scott Baxter-Green, Water Quality Manager with NJ American Water, to learn about upcoming water quality concerns and maintaining the underground infrastructure. Free for GSWA members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five and over, and $30 per family. A continental breakfast is included. To learn more and pre-register, visit or call 973-538-3500 x22.

March 24 – An Evening with Author David Wheeler, 7-9pm at Great Swamp Watershed Association, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Harding Twp. David Wheeler, author of “Wild New Jersey: Nature Adventures in the Garden State’” will be the special guest of GSWA where he’ll give a presentation on his exploration of our state’s biodiversity. Refreshments will be served. Free for GSWA members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five and over, and $30 per family. For additional information on Mr. Wheeler and his new book, visit Pre-register for this event by visiting or call 973-538-3500 x22.

March 26 – Project WET Workshop, Saturday, March 26, 9am-3pm at Great Swamp Watershed Association, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Harding Twp. This workshop is an interdisciplinary, supplemental water education program for K-12 formal and non-formal educators who will experience activities they can use to teach all kinds of water concepts – from the water cycle to water properties, aquatic ecosystems and water pollution prevention. Cost is $15 and includes breakfast. To register, visit or contact Hazel England, GSWA Director of Education and Outreach, by calling 973-538-3500.

April 12 – Breakfast Briefing: Rain Barrel Workshop, 8-9:30am at Great Swamp Watershed Association, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Harding Twp. Join the Great Swamp Watershed Association and Ken Sicknick from the Morris County Soil Conservation District to learn all about rain barrels and how to build one yourself. There will also be a limited number of rain barrels available for purchase. Free for GSWA members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five and over, and $30 per family. A continental breakfast is included. To learn more and pre-register, visit or call 973-538-3500 x22.

April 15 – Moonlight Hike, 7-8:30pm at the Cross Estate, Leddell Rd., Morristown National Historical Park. Join the Great Swamp Watershed Association for a guided night hike at the beautiful Cross Estate. We’ll listen for watershed animal inhabitants while we play some games to learn more about sharpening our night senses. Revel in being out after dark without a flashlight! Free for GSWA members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five and over, and $30 per family. To learn more and pre-register, visit or call 973-538-3500 x22.

May 1 – May Day Hike, 5-6:30pm at Great Swamp Watershed Association’s Conservation Management Area on Tiger Lily Lane in Harding Twp. Join GSWA for a guided spring hike around the 50 acres of the CMA, where we’ll listen for returning neo-tropical migrant birds, watch for wildflower blooms peeking out and enjoy the frog chorus in this gentle family-friendly hike along the trails of GSWA’s flagship restoration area. Free for GSWA members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five and over, and $30 per family. To learn more and pre-register, visit or call 973-538-3500 x22.

May 5 – Water We All About? Wine and Movie Night, 6:30-8:30pm at Great Swamp Watershed Association, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Harding Twp. Share wine, cheese and conversation on a selection of hot topic movies on water-related issues. We’ll view and discuss selected portions of “Flow” and “Tapped,” both award-winning documentaries highlighting different aspects of the worldwide water industry. Free for GSWA members. The fee for non-members is $10 per adult, $5 for each child five and over, and $30 per family. To learn more and pre-register, visit or call 973-538-3500 x22.

May 15 – Become a “stream team” volunteer by attending GSWA’s Visual Stream Assessment Training on Sunday, May 15, 9:30am-12:30pm. This one-day session teaches volunteers how to help the Great Swamp Watershed Association gather information on stream depth and width, observed wildlife and plants and the condition of the water’s surface and stream banks. The training includes both a classroom session and a local field trip. Interested volunteers should contact Kelley Curran, GSWA’s Director of Water Quality Programs, at 973-538-3500 or

***To register or for additional information please visit our website at

Friday, February 11, 2011

Calling All Volunteers!

Come out and join GSWA on Saturday April 9th, 9:30 a.m- noon to tackle pollution and clean up Loantaka Brook as part of National River Cleanup 2011.

Presented by American Rivers, National River Cleanup raises public awareness of the magnitude of trash accumulating in our nation's waterways. GSWA will again be supporting this program with our annual spring cleaning of Loantaka Brook, the most polluted stream in our watershed because of its proximity to major roadways and the heavy use of Loantaka Reservation for outdoor recreation.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kelley Curran, Director of Water Quality Programs at 973-538-3500 x 16 or

Friday, January 28, 2011

Loantaka Watershed Grant Announced

The NJ DEP has granted $300,000 to GSWA to implement agricultural pollution control projects to reduce pathogens and nutrient loadings in the Loantaka Watershed.

"Funded through federal Clean Water Act grants, the projects are designed to reduce the nonpoint source pollution to restore and protect water quality in priority watersheds. Nonpoint source pollution results from animal waste, fertilizers, motor vehicle fluids, litter and other pollutants that are washed into local waterways by stormwater runoff." (Daily Record)

We are very eager to begin work on this project and hope you will continue to follow our blog for project updates!

For the Daily Record's full article please click here:

Friday, January 7, 2011

WET Workshop

Workshops for Educators: Project WET Workshop with Additional Great Swamp Focus

Saturday, March 26, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at GSWA Headquarters, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Morristown

This hands-on, action-packed workshop is an interdisciplinary, supplemental water education program for K-12 formal and non-formal educators. Workshop participants will learn by doing, experiencing activities they can use to teach all kinds of water concepts — from the water cycle to water properties, aquatic ecosystems and water pollution prevention.

For additional information please contact or call 973-538-3500

Workshop is $15 and includes breakfast. Six professional development credits conferred. To learn more and register online, visit