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The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association held an event this past Saturday to thank the many individuals who volunteer for the organization.  More than 300 Watershed volunteers contributed a total of 6,200 hours of service in 2015.

Attendees at the event included individuals who volunteer at the new Watershed Center welcome desk, monitor waterways for pollution, care for the Center’s live animal exhibits, and maintain the hiking trails on the Watershed Reserve.  Also recognized were volunteer naturalists, nature camp counselors in training, and special events volunteers.

Members of the Watershed’s StreamWatch volunteer water monitoring program were among the longest serving volunteers recognized at the event.  Jim Gambino of Pennington and Glorianne and Toni Robbi of East Amwell were recognized for 20 years of service to the StreamWatch program. Ted Chase (Franklin), Gwen Farley (Skillman), Steve Johnson (Pennington), and Rona Webster (Lawrenceville) were honored for 10 years of volunteering with the water monitoring group.

In addition several volunteers were recognized for outstanding generosity to the Watershed Center including Kyra Padula, Pat Ferraro, Diane Seessel, and Mary Joan Gaynor for contributing between 156 and 187 hours of volunteer time each.

In keeping with the theme of service, trays of extra food were packaged by the volunteers and donated to the Rescue Mission of Trenton at the conclusion of the brunch.  Attendees were invited to stay for the first annual Holiday Open House in the new Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education.

The community event held a variety of family friendly activities including games, sustainability tours, and nature hikes.  Live classical piano pieces were performed by Aaron Newitt, and refreshments were available to enjoy while experiencing the wildlife exhibits, interactive displays, maps, and microscopes.

The Watershed Holiday Nature Shop was opened for visitors and remains open to the public during the week Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 10am-4pm.

Complete with decorated trees, lights, and the holiday shop, the building will be a festive and cozy afternoon stop for the winter holidays this season.  Free coffee, tea, and Wifi is available during all open building hours from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 10am-4pm.  The surrounding Watershed Reserve provides over 10 miles of hiking trails across 930 acres and is open daily from dawn to dusk.

The Watershed Center is located on 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington, NJ 08534.  To find the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association online, visit www.thewatershed.org or call 609-737-3735.  The Watershed Association is a tax-exempt non-profit that works to protect and restore clean water and natural environment in central New Jersey through conservation, advocacy, science and education.

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