Behind-the-Scenes Look at new Turtle Back Zoo Aquarium

On Thursday evening, I was invited to the Turtle Back Zoo for a special blogger event to get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo's new aquarium. Zoo Director Dr. Jeremy Goodman kicked off the evening by providing an overview of the construction project and the forthcoming exhibit. He then took groups on tours of the new facility and the zoo's animal hospital.

The aquarium is located within the building that had formerly been the monkey house. The monkeys themselves have been relocated to the South American exhibit. There are 5 tanks within the facility, including a main 900 gallon tank that is modeled after a coral reef. The tanks will offer a range of exhibits, such as a clown fish tank, a sea horse tank and a venomous fish tank. The building was retrofitted with an extensive pump and climate system to keep the water in each tank within a precise range of temperatures.

Outbound Family founder Justin Powell interviewed for Backcountry Radio podcast

I was interviewed this week by Dave Pidgeon at Compass Points Media for their Backcountry Radio podcast. The topic was about hiking with kids and how your outdoor adventures change once your family includes little ones. Dave's a great guy and the interview was a fun time!

Check it out:

Winner of Garmin GPS Announced

Outbound Family is pleased to announce that Chris D. in Long Valley NJ is the winner of the Garmin GPS in last month's contest! Chris mentioned that he would likely use the GPS for geocaching.

Congratulations, Chris!

Rosie Emery: Kids Entertainer with a Green Message


The popularity of children's music has grown considerably in recent years. Entertainers like Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes made successful careers out of getting kids to sing and dance along to catchy music. Established adult stars like Lisa Loeb have also gotten in on the act of producing kids music. The popularity of kids music has also been enhanced by television shows like Jack's Big Music Show and DVDs like Elmopalooza that feature music geared toward kids.

Among this trend, an entertainer with a green message has emerged. Rosie Emery's career has spanned over 20 years of creating kids music and edutainment programs that help children learn about the environment around them.

Review: MyNature Tree Guide iPhone app


Rating 4.5 out of 5

I recently tested MyNature Tree Guide, the second iOS app from MyNature Inc. Version 1.0 of the Tree Guide was released in June and is overall a great first version with room for refinement.

Outbound Family is now on Facebook

Outbound Family has launched a new Facebook page. Our mission is to provide a valuable resource to families who enjoy the outdoors together and being able to reach families through the premier social networking community is an important component to achieving our mission.

Please drop by our Facebook page and 'like' us!

Review: Chimani: Acadia iPhone App


Rating: 5 out of 5

Chimani LLC recently released their first travel app for the iPhone. Chimani: Acadia is a very detailed travel guide covering Acadia National Park in Maine. The guide provides both written and audio descriptions of many of Acadia's features, trails and activities. In short, I believe that Chimani: Acadia is the standard against which other travel apps should be compared.

11 Westchester County NY Hotels Offer Spring & Summer “Fit and Active” Packages

The Westchester Hotel Association and Westchester County Tourism announced this month that 11 area hotels have joined forces to promote the county and its parks system as a major tourism destination this spring and summer. As part of a "Fit and Active" package, the hotels will offer visitors attractive rates and arrange for a full outdoor recreational itinerary for people or all ages that includes activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, golf and tennis.

Documentary about Schiff Nature Preserve

Late last year, a short documentary was produced that details the history and achievements of the Schiff Natural Lands Trust and the Schiff Nature Preserve. Before visiting Schiff, please check out this informative video and our destination profile of Schiff Nature Preserve!

New York Begins Closing State Parks

Due to the dire state of the New York state budget, the state has had to cut expenditures across the board in all areas of the government. Understandably, but nonetheless regrettably, this has impacted the State Park System. In February of this year the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) today put forward a recommended list of closures and service reductions in order to achieve its 2010-11 agency savings target. Park closures begin tomorrow and the future of closed parks remains uncertain.