October Volunteer Training Sessions, 10/15 & 10/21

Friends of Princeton Open Space will be hosting two volunteer workshops in October.  


Sunday, October 15, 1:00-4:00 pm

Saturday, October 21, 1:00-4:00 pm

This three-our invasive species workshops includes an indoor presentation including a Q&A session, followed by an outdoor field identification session and a brief demonstration on control techniques. Learn about the underlying causes and effects of the invasive species problem, how to identify Princeton's common and newly emerging invasive species, and how to use the NJ Strike Team's phone app for reporting invasive species. We hope that you'll leave the workshop with the skills needed to contribute to reducing the invasive species problem.

If you are interested in attending either session, please register on Eventbrite

The links are below. 

October 15,  October 21

Fall Photography Workshop and Walk at the Mountain Lakes Preserve

Sunday, October 15 from 8AM to 9:30AM
$20 per person
Register at Eventbrite:

Friends of Princeton Open Space invites you to join us at the first workshop in our ongoing series entitled Capturing the Colors of Nature: Observing, Analyzing, Recording, and Extracting Color from the Natural World.

Join nature photographer Linda Park on a walking tour of the Mountain Lakes Preserve. This 90-minute walk and workshop will explore natural light photography and the secrets for capturing the beauty of nature in fall. The workshop will begin at the Mountain Lakes House where Linda will show some of her fall photographs of the Preserve as examples of how to use natural light, frame a photograph, and find the right vantage point. She will then guide us on a photography walk around the lake — stopping to discuss different viewpoints and how to see the photo before you take the shot. Linda will show us some of her favorite secret photo spots and provide a handout of other prime fall photo spots in the Preserve.

The workshop will wrap up at the Mountain Lakes House where Linda will lead a discussion on optimal times of the day and year for photographing the Mountain Lakes Preserve. And she will answer questions and ideas that result from the walk.

Participants are encouraged to bring a camera or iPhone to take shots on the walk. Sturdy footwear and rain gear (if needed) are required as we will be walking off the trail in some spots.
LINDA PARK is a Princeton-based nature and landscape photographer. A Rutgers Master Gardener, Linda's work combines her passion for gardening and photography. You can see her work at lindaparkphotography.com.

Fall Peak at Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

Fall Peak at Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

Mountain Lakes is now a Monarch Waystation

The Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve is now a certified Monarch Waystation, sponsored by Monarch Watch.  Monarch Watch is a non-profit organization started by the University of Kansas, Department of Entomology.  On their website you can view a map of certified Monarch Waystations, report a tagged monarch butterfly, and read up on monarch conservation. 

These butterflies are endangered due to lack of habitat and pesticide usage.  Monarchs only lay eggs on milkweed plants, as it is the only plants the caterpillars can eat.  Tusculum Meadow and the J. Seward Johnson, Sr. Trail, bordering Coventry Farm, starting on Great Road, are both fantastic monarch habitats and contain lots of milkweed and nectar providing plants.  Mountain Lakes is proud to be a certified stop for monarchs on their incredible migration south to Mexico for the winter. 

For more information on monarch butteflies and how to help their conservation efforts, visit Monarch Watch and The Xerces Society. 

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Friends of Princeton Open Space Receives Franklin Parker Grant

Friends of Princeton Open Space (“FOPOS”) is pleased to announce that it has recently received its third Franklin Parker Excellence Grant, through a grant program administered by New Jersey Conservation Foundation.  Previous grants were used for projects in the 400-acre Mountain Lakes Open Space Area that surrounds FOPOS’s headquarters at Mountain Lakes House, and included installing native plants, constructing deer exclosures to protect native trees, shrubs and plants, and removing invasive species.

This year’s grant will be used to purchase resources to teach children from local schools and summer camps the importance and wonder of the natural world.  The children will be able to use equipment such as microscopes, insect nets and water quality testing kits to study plants and animals in our parks, and will also be given supplies for activities to do at home.

Since receiving the grant in June, FOPOS has already hosted 36 children from the Princeton YMCA Outdoor Living Skills camp.  FOPOS Natural Resources Manager Jeff Geist, along with summer interns Anna Korn and Katrina O’Donnell, gave the children a guided hike, pointed out edible wild berries, identified trees and wildlife, and taught basic outdoor first-aid.  FOPOS hopes to partner with many other school and camp groups to continue its environmental education work with the new equipment.