justinpowell's blog

NJ Adds 222 Acres to Kittatinny State Park; 260 Acres Preserved in Total

This week, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection announced that a scenic 260-acre former dairy farm located in southern Sussex County will be permanently preserved. The land is a partially forested tract filled with fields, rolling hills and views of the surrounding landscape. 222 acres of the property will be added to Kittatinny Valley State Park.

National Park Fee-Free Days for 2014

The National Park Service has announced that America’s 401 national parks will offer free admission on nine days in 2014, including several holidays. Normally, there are entrance fees at 133 national parks, ranging from $3 to $25. The entrance fee waiver does not cover fees for services like concessions, camping, boat launches, transportation, etc.

The 2014 Fee-Free Days are:

  • January 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15-17: Presidents Day weekend
  • April 19-20: National Park Week’s opening weekend

Turtle Back Zoo Celebrates the Holidays with Elf on the Shelf

This holiday season, the Turtle Back Zoo Facebook page will be featuring daily “appearances” of the “Elf on the Shelf” – the popular seasonal toy figurine. Between December 1 and December 24, a photo of the Elf in a unique Turtle Back Zoo location will be posted on the Zoo’s Facebook page.

Zookeepers will take photos of the Elf either in an exhibit, on the grounds or with an animal. Parents and their children can check the page daily to see where the elf is and to get a reminder to move their own elf to a new location at home.

National Parks Closed Due to Federal Government Shutdown

Last night, the United States Congress chose to engage in partisan politics rather than pass a clean appropriations bill. The Federal Government has been shut down this morning as a result. All 401 sites managed by the National Park Service are closed as a result of the government shutdown. Visitors staying in a campground or in-park hotel now have 48 hours to leave.

NJDEP’s Free 2013 Wild Outdoor Expo Being Held September 14th and 15th

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey families can learn more about the outdoors at the fourth annual New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo, the Department of Environmental Protection-sponsored celebration of the state's natural resources and outdoor heritage. The Expo will be held rain or shine from 10am to 5pm the weekend of Sept. 14 and 15 at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township.

National Parks are Major Economic Engines for Local Communities

WASHINGTON D.C. – Not only are National Parks natural treasures that provide recreation for millions of visitors, but they are also important economic engines for local communities. According to a peer-reviewed report released last month by the National Park Service, visitors generated $30.1 billion in economic activity and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide in 2011.

Turtle Back Zoo Welcomes Snow Leopard for Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day, New Jersey's Turtle Back Zoo officially welcomed their newest resident. Chameli, a nine-month-old female snow leopard, joins the male snow leopard, Gala, who currently lives at the zoo. She joins Gala in the Amazing Asia exhibit and initially the two will rotate hours in the exhibit.

Pinnacles Designated a National Park

WASHINGTON – On January 10, 2013, President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that designates the former Pinnacles National Monument as Pinnacles National Park. Pinnacles is the 59th national park in the United States and the 9th within the state of California. It was established as a national monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt and serves as home to the recovery of endangered California Condors.

National Park Fee-Free Days for 2013

Approximately one quarter of the U.S. National Parks charge an entrance fee. Each year, the National Park Service designates certain days when the entrance fees are waived. Other park fees still typically apply during these days. Fee-free days sometimes also coincide with special programs at the parks and are a great way for families to enjoy our National Parks.

For 2013, the National Park Fee-Free Days are:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Weekend - January 19-21, 2013
  • National Park Week - April 22-26, 2013
  • First Day of Summer - June 21, 2013

Third Annual WILD Outdoor Expo Sept. 15-16

The NJDEP's third annual NJ Wild Outdoor Expo will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 15-16, 2012 at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area.

Families can discover new ways to enjoy New Jersey's great outdoors and will have an opportunity to try a broad spectrum of outdoor activities such as hiking, geocaching, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing and camping skills. There will also be demonstrations of sporting and tracking dogs, turkey calling and crafts.