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With the 2015 seasons under way, over 450 children will attend nature camp programs this summer at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association’s new Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science & Education.

As the first year of programs being held in the new facilities on the Watershed Reserve, camps will make use of the science laboratory, expandable classrooms, geographic information systems technology and the interactive exhibits about sustainability and natural history.

Plus, nature camp brings convenient surprises for parents entering the beautiful Gorrie Hall as well. After letting the kids off for programs, many parents stick around to take advantage of the free coffee and WiFi. The touch screen monitors, microscopes, and new Kate Gorrie Butterfly House offer a plenty of activity in the mornings during nature camp.

The new Watershed Academy also got off to an exciting start with a full class of twelve students. The pilot program, developed for high school students entering grades 10-12, features an adventure into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) principled sustainability education.  Students are working on a stormwater management project, brainstorming green infrastructure design, and will have the opportunity to build their own rain garden system at the end of the week.  Over the course of this week, campers and students will meet expert guest speakers and take a trip for a water quality field study.

Visitors are encouraged to stop in and see the nature shop, the resident wildlife, and try the sustainability audio tour for a look at the many features of the new Watershed Center.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is a not-for-profit organization that protects the 265-square-mile region drained by the Stony Brook and Millstone River, spanning 25 towns and five counties. Founded in 1949, the Watershed Association is central New Jersey’s first environmental group. We protect clean water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, science and education.

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Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.

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