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The Mercer County Park Commission has been working tirelessly since 2012 at Mercer Meadows to create what is now one of the largest contiguous grassland habitats in the region. To assess the success of its efforts, the Park Commission is looking to the local community to lend a hand in an annual Grassland Bird Survey. A volunteer training and information session will be held on Sunday, April 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Historic Hunt House.

In 2012, a 435-acre habitat restoration project was undertaken to improve the Mercer Meadows grasslands for native wildlife by planting native grasses and wildflowers. As most species of grassland bird populations are in decline, transforming Mercer Meadows into a large grassland habitat was essential to the area’s grassland breeding bird population and biodiversity. Breeding pairs of bobolinks, grasshopper sparrows, Eastern meadowlarks and American kestrels have since made Mercer Meadows their breeding grounds.

To evaluate the success of the project and influence future stewardship of Mercer Meadows, a yearly assessment of the breeding bird population in Mercer Meadows is vital. Become a citizen scientist and part of this important stewardship initiative by attending the Grassland Bird Survey volunteer training.

For more information and to register, please call 609-888-3218 or e-mail natureprograms@mercercounty.org.

For more information about future nature programs and other Mercer County Park Commission facilities, visit www.mercercountyparks.org.

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Mary Galioto
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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