Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jockey Hollow: Where National and Natural History Intersect

Hike and interpretive campfire event at Morristown National Historical Park to highlight the importance of landscape in the American story.

Fence at Jockey Hollow by Nataraj Metz
Have you ever wondered what our part of the country looked like two hundred years ago? Do you know why George Washington thought that the land in and around nearby Jockey Hollow was perfect for his Continental Army encampment in 1779?  How did all those soldiers change Jockey Hollow and the animals and plants that called it home?  How has the legacy of this historic site affected the natural world of today?  The Morristown National Historical Park and the Great Swamp Watershed Association have some answers to these questions, and they want to share them with you.

On Friday, September 21, these two organizations will team up to present Jockey Hollow Explorers, a guided hike and campfire event that will help you learn more about the intersection of natural and cultural history at this important Revolutionary War site. Start the evening at 7:00 p.m. with a guided tour of the park’s natural sights and sounds courtesy of the Great Swamp Watershed Association. As you walk, keep your eyes peeled for bats, fireflies, white-tailed deer, and other wildlife. Keep your ears open too as we call out to the all the resident owls! Along the way, we'll talk about the land around Jockey Hollow, how much it's changed since the 1700s, and what might be done to restore and preserve its original character. After this gentle hike through the woods, you'll join a National Park Service interpreter around a warm campfire for some storytelling and history lessons. Learn about the Continental Army Encampment of 1779—80, how soldiers lived on the land, and why the area around Wick Farm provided a good base of operations for spying on the British in New York City.

This event is suitable for people of all ages and skill levels, and families with children are encouraged to attend. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register immediately. Visit for information about what to bring and where to meet.

Register for this event online through the Great Swamp Watershed Association's website at, or call 973-538-3500 x22.  There is no registration fee; however, voluntary donations to the Great Swamp Watershed Association are gratefully accepted. There is no suggested donation amount for current GSWA members and their families. The suggested donations amounts$ for non-member adults is $10 per person; for non-member children (6 to 17 years), $5 per child; for non-member families (includes 4 people), $35 per family. There is no suggested donation amount for children 5 and under.

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