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Fall Programs & Events 2020

The Watershed Institute has fall offerings of safe, in-person outdoor programs for families. Our hands-on activities are guided by our Watershed educators and are geared for all ages, including preschool, school age, teens, and adults.

Discover night wildlife, hike along the Watershed Reserve, splash in the Stony Brook, hear campfire tales, be bedazzled by the night sky.

Oct. 23: In-person Activity 7 -8:30 p.m.

Night Hike – Oct. 23

Hike the trails on the Watershed Reserve at night. Guided by a Watershed Educator, use your senses to explore the world around you that transforms once the sun sets!
Ages 8 and up. Dress for the weather of the day. Bring a flashlight. Adult attendance required. 

Register Here!

 

Oct. 24: In-person Activity 9 - 10 p.m.

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding – Oct. 24

Learn about Northern Saw-whet Owls with Tyler Christensen, an ornithologist with the Wild Bird Research Group who has done research at the Watershed Reserve for years. He will discuss this tiny predator, what researchers have learned and efforts to conserve their habitat before leading the group on an outing. Ages 8+. Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Oct. 24: In-person Activity 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Discovering the Stony Brook – Oct. 24

Hike to the Stony Brook with Watershed educators, Jeff Hoagland and Pat Heaney. Explore the creatures in and around the stream with dip nets, holding containers, and ID charts. Ages 5 and up. Dress for the weather of the day; must wear closed-toed shoes with a sturdy sole. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required. 

Register Here

Oct. 25: In-person Activity 1 - 3:30 p.m.

Treasure Hunt Geocaching – Oct. 25

Join us for a treasure hunt using satellites! Learn how to use a GPS and compass to find hidden caches. Bring your thinking caps, as this will be a multi-cache experience with clues and puzzles! Dress for the weather of the day; must wear closed-toed shoes with a sturdy sole. Participants will be hiking. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required. 

Register Here

Nov. 1: In-person Activity 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding – Nov. 1

Learn about Northern Saw-whet Owls with Tyler Christensen, an ornithologist with the Wild Bird Research Group who has done research at the Watershed Reserve for years. He will discuss this tiny predator, what researchers have learned and efforts to conserve their habitat before leading the group on an outing. Ages 8+. Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Nov. 1 - In-person Activity 8 - 9 p.m.

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding – Nov. 1

Learn about Northern Saw-whet Owls with Tyler Christensen, an ornithologist with the Wild Bird Research Group who has done research at the Watershed Reserve for years. He will discuss this tiny predator, what researchers have learned and efforts to conserve their habitat before leading the group on an outing. Ages 8+. Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Nov. 5: In-person Activity Various start times

Fall Family Camp – Nov. 5

The Watershed Educators have prepared some awesome outside activities for your family to enjoy together during the two-day NJEA Teacher’s Convention.

Join us for one session or more to explore all of our fun morning and afternoon activities:

-SURVIVAL- Families will build a shelter to weather a storm, spend time learning basic survival skills, and explore some survival scenarios.

-HIKE IT OUT- We will trek to some of our favorite faraway spots on the reserve, like the Hobbit Tree or Big Boulder.

-ANIMAL DETECTIVES- Become a wildlife sleuth and search for clues to the animals that inhabit the reserve. We’ll look at tracks, scat, bones, and other animal artifacts to learn some ID skills. You’ll get a close up look at some of our animal ambassadors.

Dress for the weather of the day. Safe, social distancing, masks, and adult attendance required. 

Register Here

Nov. 6: In-person Activity Various start times

Fall Family Camp – Nov. 6

The Watershed Educators have prepared some awesome outside activities for your family to enjoy together during the two-day NJEA Teacher’s Convention.

Join us for one session or more to explore all of our fun morning and afternoon activities:

-SURVIVAL- Families will build a shelter to weather a storm, spend time learning basic survival skills, and explore some survival scenarios.

-HIKE IT OUT- We will trek to some of our favorite faraway spots on the reserve, like the Hobbit Tree or Big Boulder.

-ANIMAL DETECTIVES- Become a wildlife sleuth and search for clues to the animals that inhabit the reserve. We’ll look at tracks, scat, bones, and other animal artifacts to learn some ID skills. You’ll get a close up look at some of our animal ambassadors.

Dress for the weather of the day. Safe, social distancing, masks, and adult attendance required. 

Register Here

Nov. 6: In-person Activity Staggered start times beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Night Sky: Nov. 6

Hike out to the big meadow to view the magnificent night sky. Watershed Educators will share stories of the constellations, pointing them out in the sky, while participants recline on blankets for better viewing.

Ages 8 and up. Dress for the weather of the day. Bring a water bottle, blanket to lay on, a flashlight, and binoculars. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required.

Register Here

Nov. 7: In-person Activity 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Watercolor Painting at the Pond – Nov. 7

Come and explore the beauty of Wargo Pond on the Watershed Reserve through watercolors! Here you will learn how to use simple watercolor paints and create art from what you observe. This event includes a hike around the pond with a Watershed Educator, and a watercolor painting session of the scenery. Painting materials will be provided.

Masks must be worn at all times. Dress for the weather of the day. The event takes place at Wargo Pond located at 261 Wargo Road, Pennington, NJ. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required. 

Register Here

Nov. 8: In-person Activity 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Family Fall Color Hike – Nov. 8

The autumn season is winding down, but there is still some fall color left to discover. We’ll take a hike on the reserve, look for some of the changes taking place, and see how the flora and fauna are preparing for winter. Ages 6 and up. Dress for the weather of the day and please bring a water bottle. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required. 

Register Here

Nov. 13: In-person Activity Staggered start times from 2 - 5 p.m.

H20 Quest: The Millstone Mystery – Nov. 13

Can you help the miller, the baker and her friends solve this puzzle?

With map in hand, you’ll make your way around the Watershed Reserve in search of clues to help solve a mystery. This program is a part treasure hunt, part nature hike and plenty of imaginative fun. Meet the miller, the baker, and a host of characters as you try to solve the puzzle of The Millstone Mystery. Each family or group will remain together, practicing social distancing. Masks and adult attendance required.

Register Here

Nov. 14: In-person Activity Staggered start times from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

H20 Quest: The Millstone Mystery – Nov. 14

Can you help the miller, the baker, and her friends solve this puzzle?

With map in hand, you’ll make your way around the Watershed Reserve in search of clues to help solve a mystery. This program is a part treasure hunt, part nature hike and plenty of imaginative fun. Meet the miller, the baker, and a host of characters as you try to solve the puzzle of The Millstone Mystery. Each family or group will remain together, practicing social distancing. Masks and adult attendance required.

Register Here

Nov. 21: In-person Activity 6:15 - 7:15 p.m.

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding – Nov. 21

Learn about Northern Saw-whet Owls with Tyler Christensen, an ornithologist with the Wild Bird Research Group who has done research at the Watershed Reserve for years. He will discuss this tiny predator, what researchers have learned and efforts to conserve their habitat before leading the group on an outing. Ages 8+. Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Nov. 21: In-person Activity 7:45 - 8:45 p.m.

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding – Nov. 21

Learn about Northern Saw-whet Owls with Tyler Christensen, an ornithologist with the Wild Bird Research Group who has done research at the Watershed Reserve for years. He will discuss this tiny predator, what researchers have learned and efforts to conserve their habitat before leading the group on an outing. Ages 8+. Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Oct. 27: Virtual 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Halloween Party – Oct. 27

Join us for this fun program in which we celebrate Halloween! We’ll learn about pumpkins, nighttime critters, and more. Our weekly preschool classes include crafts, outdoor exploration, and interactive games. This live session will enable children to learn, share their ideas, and interact with us and each other. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Register Here!

Nov. 3: Virtual 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Skeletons – Nov. 3

Join us to learn about human and animal skeletons and discover why we have bones. Our weekly preschool classes include crafts, outdoor exploration, and interactive games. This live session will enable children to learn, share their ideas, and interact with us and each other.  Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Nov. 10: Virtual 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Star Gazers: Nov. 10

Learn about our solar system, constellations, and the different shapes that we can find in the night sky. Our weekly preschool classes include crafts, outdoor exploration, and interactive games. This live session will enable children to learn, share their ideas, and interact with us and each other. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Ages 3-5. Discount available for members.  

Register Here

Nov. 12 - In-person Activity 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Turkey Trot – Nov. 12

Join a Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky in person at the Watershed Reserve for a Thursday outdoors preschool program. Let’s take a closer look at turkeys! What do they eat, how do they communicate, and where do they live? Together we will check out turkey tracks, play turkey games, create a turkey craft, and explore the trails. Dress appropriately for the day’s weather. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Register Here!

Nov. 17: Virtual 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Fall Harvest – Nov. 17

Let’s talk about farming! This program is about how farmers grow and harvest crops. Our weekly preschool classes include crafts, outdoor exploration, and interactive games. This live session will enable children to learn, share their ideas, and interact with us and each other. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Discount available for members.

Register Here

Oct. 21: Virtual Event 7 - 8:15 p.m.

Voices from the Wild – Oct. 21

Enjoy this unique and relaxed reading group exploring the wide and varied terrain of nature writing. Each month readers are invited to read a specific book or collection of prose or poetry. Reading Oct. 21 – Gathering Moss by Robin Kimmerer. These remote discussions are offered free of charge, but those wishing to donate to support this program may do so during the registration process for this event.


Register Here!

Oct. 22: Virtual 6 - 7:15 p.m.

Field Sketching at Home – Animals in Motion – Oct. 22

We will learn about techniques for drawing animals in motion while out in the field, which can be a challenge! We’ll practice doing quick gestural sketches and talk about how to focus on characteristics that will help you to identify an animal or retain important information about its behavior.

Register Here!

Oct. 29 & Nov. 5 - Virtual/Live at Home 6 - 7 p.m.

Nature Journaling – Oct. 29 & Nov. 5

Through sketching and writing in a nature journal, we can develop our observation skills, contribute to citizen science, and record memorable moments from time spent outdoors. The first part of this program will focus on organizing your field journal, learning from the journaling process, and developing writing and sketching techniques. We’ll return the following week to share our findings.

Register Here!

Nov. 15: In-person Activity 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Breath & Relax Mindfulness Walk – Nov. 15

Take time for yourself. Reconnect with your breathing and the natural world on this relaxing trail walk on the Watershed Reserve. Watershed Educator Pat Heaney will lead us as we explore techniques to help you release tension and remember the joy of spending time outdoors. Adults. Masks must be worn at all times. Dress for the weather of the day. Bring a water bottle.

Register Here

Nov. 18: Virtual Event 7 - 8:15 p.m.

Voices from the Wild – Nov. 18

Enjoy this unique and relaxed reading group exploring the wide and varied terrain of nature writing. Each month readers are invited to read a specific book or collection of prose or poetry.  Reading Nov. 18 – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. These remote discussions are offered free of charge, but those wishing to donate to support this program may do so during the registration process for this event.


Register Here!

Oct. 27: In-person Activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Fall Colors – Oct. 27

Brrrr, the trees are changing colors and it’s chilly outside! Join us on a nature walk to visit the Hobbit Tree and learn about how trees and plants prepare for winter. Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Nov. 3: In-person Activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

People & Plants – Nov. 3

Discover your role in the plant community through fun and interactive games and activities. Learn about ways that you can make a difference and live more sustainably. We’ll wrap up our plant semester with a campfire and marshmallows.

Register Here!

Oct. 27: In-person Activity 3:30 - 5 p.m.

* Fall Colors – Oct. 27

Brrr, the trees are changing colors and it’s chilly outside! Join us on a nature walk to visit the Hobbit Tree and learn about how plants prepare for winter. Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Nov. 3: In-person Activity 3:30 - 5 p.m.

*People & Plants – Nov. 3

Discover your role in the plant community through fun and interactive games and activities. Learn about ways that you can make a difference and live more sustainably. We’ll wrap up our plant semester with a campfire and marshmallows.

Register Here!

 

Oct. 30: In-person Activity Staggered start times from 6 - 8:30 p.m.

Origins of Halloween

Join us on a journey through the woods on a crisp autumn night. You will follow your trail guide at a safe distance with a limited number of other families. Along the way, you will meet the characters in an Irish Folktale who share the origins of Halloween. While other Halloween programs are designed to frighten, our goal is to educate, enchant, and have fun! Adult attendance required.

Register Here!

Monday, Nov. 2 & Wednesday Nov. 5 – Friday, Nov. 6: Virtual Various morning and afternoon sessions

Watershed Conference – Early November

The Watershed Institute’s 4th Annual Watershed Conference, which takes place online in the first week of November, will focus on climate change and it’s impact on water.

Ben Strauss, the CEO and Chief Scientist of Climate Central, will be the conference’s keynote speaker. He will share the oldest stories in history to illustrate what climate change means for humanity. Water quality can be directly impacted by climate change in a number of ways, most notably increased polluted stormwater runoff and warmer stream temperatures. Expert speakers will discuss the regional impacts, sea-level rise, environmental justice, and more.

The Annual Watershed Conference is an educational and networking event that gives people an opportunity to advance knowledge and communications on the health of watersheds in our state.

Learn More & Register Here!

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