The Mercer County Park Commission and D&R Greenway Land Trust will celebrate River Days on Saturday, September 15, from 12 noon to 3pm. This free family-friendly event will take place at the Tulpehaking Nature Center with trail activities, arts and crafts, a raffle, and a neighborhood cookout on the back lawn of the nature center.
“This event kicks off efforts by Mercer County and the Park Commission to restore the wetlands in Roebling Park,” County Executive Brian M. Hughes said. “As part of that, we’re inviting the community to participate in activities that will help us monitor the wetlands restoration.”
With the guidance of naturalists, visitors can search for birds and aquatic insects that can be found in Roebling Park, learn about invasive plant species, and help remove them from the park. Pictures will be taken to document the wetland restoration progress.
The Tulpehaking Nature Center will host lunch from 12 noon to 3pm. Free hamburgers and hot dogs will be available to the first 100 visitors, and additional meals will be available for purchase. Families can enjoy weaving with reed grasses, examining marsh plants under a microscope and taking their picture with an air boat. There will even be a chance to win a bike or kayak by entering a free raffle.
“The Abbott Marshlands has one of the most diverse ecosystems in Mercer County and is an important part of our park system,” Park Commission Executive Director Aaron T. Watson said. “River Days will be an excellent way to provide an educational approach to the restoration, and provide insight on the natural functions of the marsh.”
Other activities will include the Guerrilla Haiku Movement, a national community art project. This new installation will be an exhibit by the people, expressing visitors’ personal stories and impressions about water through the simple poetic form of haiku.
“Our goal for this restoration project is for the community to be engaged as changes take place,” County Naturalist Jenn Rogers said. “Visitors will have their voices and personal stories of the aquatic environment reflected in this Guerrilla Haiku exhibit. In a way, this is their chance to leave their mark on the nature center.”
The Mercer County Park System encompasses more than 10,000 acres of parks, facilities and open space. The Park Commission aims to provide recreation for all ages and preserve open space for the conservation of natural, historic and scenic areas. Park Commission administrative offices are located at 197 Blackwell Ave. in Hopewell Township and are open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
The Tulpehaking Nature Center provides programs and exhibits that encourage visitors to explore the cultural, historic and natural resources of the Abbott Marshlands. Owned by the County of Mercer and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission, the Tulpehaking Nature Center is located at 157 Westcott Ave. in Hamilton and is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm and Sundays from 12 noon to 4pm. For more information about the nature center, programs and schedule of events, go to www.mercercountyparks.org.