The Peapack Brook is becoming better habitat for trout and other aquatic life, thanks to a tree planting project at the Rockabye Meadow Preserve – a cooperative effort between the borough Environmental Commission and local watershed watchdog Raritan Headwaters.
About 50 volunteers pitched in to plant 350 native New Jersey trees and shrubs over the course of three days in October. Raritan Headwaters and the Environmental Commission were joined by staff from the Peapack-Gladstone public works department, NJ Water Supply Authority, and local volunteers.
“Planting trees along our rivers and streams is one of the top ways we can have a direct impact in improving water quality,” said Dr. Kristi MacDonald, science director of Raritan Headwaters.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2
Location: Hunterdon County Educational Services
Time: 8:45am – 12:00pm
Cost: $10 per person, includes continental breakfast
::REGISTER:: by November 23!
Rutgers Professor Dr. Christopher Obropta is keynote speaker
How healthy is the water in local streams and underground aquifers, the source of drinking water in our homes?
Local residents are invited to find out at Raritan Headwaters’ annual “State of Our Watershed” conference, to be held from 8:45 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Hunterdon County Educational Services Commission’s Hoffmans Crossing Campus, 37 Hoffmans Crossing Road, Califon.
“Clean water is critically important to our wellbeing,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, RHA’s executive director. “We urge anyone interested in learning about the health of their drinking water, or water quality in local streams, to join us at the State of Our Watershed conference.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Obropta, a professor at Rutgers University, will present “Local Water Champions: Changing the World One Drop at a Time.” The talk will focus on the importance of “local champions,” passionate individuals who are helping their communities by identifying and implementing water protection projects and promoting green infrastructure initiatives. Read More »
On Sunday, November 5, Raritan Headwaters will continue its tradition of celebrating “Lanternenlaufen,” a historic European festival marking the end of the agricultural year and the beginning of the harvest, with two walks through the meadows of Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve.
“Nothing’s more fun than a parade of colorful lanterns on the first autumn night after the end of Daylight Savings Time,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, RHA’s executive director. “Festive music will play as we carry our lanterns through the meadows, and afterwards we’ll enjoy snacks around a bonfire.”
Can you imagine a day without water? Just one day? If you’re like most people, even going 24 hours without water is nearly unthinkable.
For starters, it would mean no morning shower, no coffee or tea, no brushing your teeth, no washing laundry or dishes, no flushing the toilet, no watering your plants or garden, no cooking most recipes. It would mean terrible thirst and the inability to perform strenuous physical work or exercise.
A day without water would bring most businesses and public services screeching to a halt. You can’t run a school or a hotel or a factory without water. Water is essential for agriculture, manufacturing, energy production, transportation and more.
Oct. 12 is “Imagine a Day Without Water” day, sponsored by the U.S. Water Alliance. The Alliance’s Value of Water campaign is meant to draw public attention to our reliance on clean, abundant water – and the critical infrastructure to bring it to our homes and businesses.
Nothing says autumn in the country more than colorful leaves, fresh apple cider, horse-drawn hayrides, bluegrass music, pumpkins and scarecrows.
Visitors to Raritan Headwaters’ 38th annual Old Fashioned Country Fair will enjoy a full day of fall activities, food and live music on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve.
“Country Fair is a great day of outdoor family fun, and it has been a tradition in the Somerset Hills since 1980,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, executive director of the Bedminster-based watershed watchdog. “We invite the community to come out for a fun day in the country that supports Raritan Headwaters’ mission of protecting clean water.”
Perennial favorite activities include wagon rides with a team of Clydesdale horses, a field maze, pumpkin painting, scarecrow dressing, beekeeper demonstrations, and appearances by the Raptor Trust and Tewksbury Foot Bassets. New this year will be a pumpkin sling for launching mini-pumpkins across a field.
Raritan Headwaters, the region’s watershed watchdog, and Columbia University will hold a free seminar on the health effects of arsenic in drinking water from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Hunterdon County Library at 314 Route 12.
Local government and health leaders are invited to attend the seminar, which is part of Raritan Headwaters’ ongoing “Watershed Tool for Local Leaders” series. Members of the public may also attend.
According to Dr. Kristi MacDonald, director of science for Raritan Headwaters, the seminar will focus on the importance of informing residents of the health risks of arsenic in drinking water and the need to regularly test and treat private wells.
“Hunterdon County is a hot spot for arsenic in well water,” said Dr. MacDonald. “Eighty percent of county residents get their drinking water from private wells, so it’s crucial that local leaders take an active role in promoting well testing.”
Public comment period now open
Raritan Headwaters is pleased to announce that it is applying for accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a national group that evaluates land conservation organizations to make sure they meet quality standards. A public comment period is now open and will run through Nov. 6.
“We’re seeking accreditation because it’s the right thing to do – for our members, our donors and local citizens who look to us to stand up for clean water and the lands that protect it,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, executive director of the Bedminster-based nonprofit.
We’re bidding a fond farewell to Carmela Buono, our 2016-17 Watershed Ambassador, who spent the past year traveling around the Raritan Headwaters region to raise public awareness of watershed issues and how human actions affect water quality.
“This past year I learned that when you empower people with the knowledge and science about the ecology of a watershed, the passion to protect and act will follow,” said Carmela, who is heading off to Binghamton University to pursue a master’s degree in biology and ecology.
Carmela came to us through the New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program, a community-oriented AmeriCorps environmental program coordinated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Good news for Raritan Headwaters’ water quality and education programs! We just received a $2,500 grant from the Investors Foundation, which will support a variety of initiatives to safeguard clean water in our rivers, our streams and our homes.
“We’re very grateful to the Investors Foundation for supporting clean water in central New Jersey,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, RHA’s executive director. “This grant supports our water quality monitoring programs, along with public education, advocacy and other community outreach activities. It helps us get more families and children involved in protecting our water resources.”
RHA increasing outdoor education for urban youth
Urban children attending the LifeCamp in Pottersville are getting hands-on lessons in river ecology this summer, thanks to a grant to Raritan Headwaters from The North Face’s 2017 Explore Fund.
Raritan Headwaters, the region’s watershed watchdog, was awarded $8,000 to provide nature education to campers, using the Black River as an outdoor classroom. Campers are between the ages of 6 and 13, and come from the greater Newark public school system and the city’s charter schools.
“Our mission is to protect water – rivers, streams and drinking water – and I can think of no better way than teaching the next generation about the importance of caring for the environment,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, executive director of Bedminster-based Raritan Headwaters. “We’re extremely grateful to the Explore Fund for supporting our important work and we’re excited to be part of a national movement to inspire and engage people in outdoor exploration.”