Journeys & Conversations Nature Club

Journeys & Conversations Nature Club

What is a Naturalist?

 “A naturalist is someone who studies the patterns of nature.  Naturalists seek to observe the interconnected relationships between plants, birds, trees & ecology so we can understand the past, present & future of our local and global environments.”

What will we discuss and learn?

Journeys & Conversations will be an offering where we will meet once a week (socially distanced) on Wednesday evenings  at 7PM to discuss a topic relating to the environment and our relationship to nature.  We will start with a reading selection and discuss parts of the reading, the issues and ideas presented within. 

Cedar Run will also present lectures and discussions with biologists, authors and people who work in relationship to the topic being explored.  Whenever possible we will present meet and greets with our resident education ambassador animals and our education staff.  

How is it structured?

  • Meetings will take places at Cedar Run unless otherwise noted. Any online meetings will take place through Google Meet.
  • Sign-ups will take place through Cedar Run’s Website (see below). Club fees are $35 per month (*reduced rates for members and Cedar Run volunteers) or $10/meeting – full session sign-ups preferred. Don’t miss out on anything!
  • Reading suggestions will be linked through, Amazon Smile and local libraries.  
  • Articles and essays will be linked online or provided via email whenever possible.
  • Videos of the lectures will be archived online for later viewing.

August Meetings

Meeting Dates: July 8, 22 and 29 at 7PM; July 19th at 9:30AM

Our July Journeys and Conversations Nature Club topic will be all about the ecology of the Pine Barrens!

July 8th – We begin the monthly meetings with a lecture on fire ecology in the Pine Barrens from Ryan Rebozo, the Director of Conservation Science at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.  The meeting will take place on July 8th, sign up now for this meeting or for the whole month!  We will be taking a socially distanced botany field trip on our property mid-month, discussing restoration ecology and restoration projects within the state and coming together at the end of the month to discuss everything we’ve learned and how we can apply these lessons to better understanding our land and how we can help preserve and protect it.  There will be limited spots for some of these events, so sign up quickly!

July 19thSession full!! Botany Field Trip at 10am with local Pine Barrens botanists Terry Schmidt and Mark Szutarski. We’ll be meeting outside our Nature Center between 9:30 and 9:45am so that we can start our walk promptly at 10am. Our walk will encompass some of our trails and move from upland habitats to low/wetlands habitat. We’ll take a look at the common plants found in the Pine Barrens and hopefully find some less common ones. On our way we will discuss how everything works together to create the unique habitats of the Pine Barrens. **Space is limited to 8 participants, so sign up early to secure your spot.  If you’re a monthly member you are automatically enrolled and your spot held – if you can’t make it please let know so that we can open up a spot for someone else. Dress to be outside, masks and social distancing required and don’t forget the bug spray and sunscreen!

July 22nd – Webinar: Restoration Ecology Projects in NJ – An online discussion with Bill Young. An experienced field scientist, Young has more than 35 years and many acres in wetland banking, mitigation, monitoring and permitting. His project portfolio includes more than 45 coastal salt marsh and freshwater wetland projects as well as upland habitat projects. Most recently, his work has centered on multiple restoration projects in Jamaica Bay, including the Yellow Bar Hassock project. Bill has also restored many landfills and Brownfields to wildlife habitat.

Young’s experience ranges from the design of wastewater treatment wetlands to restoration of Superfund sites. It encompasses the monitoring of the endangered piping plover on critical dune restoration projects, post-Sandy. Bill is just as comfortable in construction as he is in consulting. In fact, he is perhaps most at home out in the field running crews.

Young is certified as a professional wetland scientist (PWS) by the Society of Wetland Scientists, a Landscape Architect in NY and FL, and has full Army Corps of Engineers training in Construction Quality Management and 40 hour HAZWOPER certification as well. He just recently earned the Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) granted by the Society of Ecological Restoration.

Bill is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania where he has taught Ecology in the Graduate School of Design for the past 14 years. Bill has also taught at City College of New York and Temple University

July 29th – Join us in our outdoor pavilion for a screening of the film “Wilder than Wild” followed by a discussion with Thomas Gerber Section Warden for the NJ Division of Forestry, Forest Fire Service.

“We are experiencing now the fires of the future.” – CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott. Four years in the making, Wilder than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future is an award-winning one-hour documentary that reveals how fire suppression and climate change have exposed Western forests to large, high severity wildfires, while greenhouse gases released from these fires contribute to global warming. “We are losing forests at a rate which is causing them to be a contributor to the problem of global warming,” says Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. This vicious cycle affects us all with extreme weather and more wildfires, some of which endanger highly populated wildland-urban areas. Landscapes that store water and carbon, produce oxygen, and feed and shelter a diversity of wildlife are also at risk. According to fire historian Stephen Pyne, “Forests should be renewable, but with climate change and all the other problems that are going with it, we could see a large-scale conversion of forest – the equivalent of clearing it.” Highlighting these issues with personal experience, filmmaker Kevin White takes us on a journey from the Rim Fire of 2013, which burned 257,000 acres in the central Sierra, to the wildfires of 2017 and 2018, which were among the deadliest and most destructive in U.S.history. Along the way, we learn how prescribed fires can reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, we see a California tribe renew their tradition of cultural fire, and we meet stakeholder groups working with scientists and resource managers to build consensus on how to restore and manage the lands we love and depend on.

The Peregrine by J.A.Baker

Purchase Book Here

Book can be purchased by the seller of your choice, but if you use Cedar Run receives a portion of the sale.

Part 1: June 3rd at 7PM

  • For our first meeting of our new club “Journeys and Conversations” we will introduce our reading material – The Peregrine by J.A.Baker.  It is not necessary that you have read or acquired the book just yet as we will be discussing the general topic of Peregrine falcons and who J.A.Baker was.  

Part 2: June 10th and 7PM

  • Discussion will include the first part of the book Chapters Peregrine through November.

Part 3: June 17th at 7PM

  • Discussion about Peregrine Falcon conservation within the state of NJ and local efforts to track and observe breeding pairs. GUEST SPEAKER: Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Part 4: June 24th at 7PM

  • Discussion will include the second part of the book chapters December through April.
  • Meet and greet with Artemis, Cedar Run’s resident Peregrine Falcon.
  • J.A.Baker: his life and impact on environmentalism past and present. 

Journeys & Conversations Payment

$ 35.00
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Donation Total: $35.00