FOPOS Hosts Princeton YMCA Outdoor Living Skills Camp

The Friends of Princeton Open Space hosted 36 kids from the Princeton YMCA Outdoor Living Skills Camp on Tuesday, July 18 from 10:00-2:00.  During their time here, the campers learned about, and practiced, Leave No Trace, the set of guidelines for all hikers, campers, etc.

 FOPOS Natural Resource Manager, Jeff Geist, and two summer interns, Anna Korn & Katrina O'Donnell, guided the group around the property.  During their 2 mile hike, the kids learned about tree identification, how to identify edible plants (they all loved wineberries), and the guides helped them with bird and other animal identification.  We rounded out the hike with butterfly and other bug collecting at the Tusculum Meadow.  

The group then enjoyed lunch at Pettoranello Gardens, followed by a brief lesson on outdoor first aid.  Finally, the group all created key chains to remind them of the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace. 

TIAA EarthShare NJ Corporate Green Challenge

On April 7,2017, TIAA Financial Services of Princeton, NJ participated in EarthShare's Corporate Green Challenge.  A large group of volunteers came out to the Mountain Lakes Preserve to assist in the construction of a deer fence.  The area was previously clear-cut in order to stage equipment for the restoration of the Mountain Lakes dam.  After the restoration was completed in 2012, the area was planted with native trees and shrubs. A deer fence was installed to prevent harsh deer browse on the newly planted natives.  After many years, the fence was in need of replacement.  That is where TIAA came in. 

A Day in the Mud

It was an interesting change from what has become a frequent pastime of building boardwalks everywhere.  A hardcore group of volunteers including Chris Coucill, Van Williams, Richard Meyer, Bob Shull, Clark Lennon and Ted Thomas finally got to work on a bridge at Roger's Refuge, which had slipped its footings and floated away. 

Before. 

Before. 

Successfully flipped. 

Successfully flipped. 

Fortunately, it was also able to float back, with a little urging.  After quite a bit of dragging, prying, lifting and flipping, it was back in place and ready to face the next flood.  During the project, the group suffered 3 casualties: Clark, Van and Bob (pictured), in that order, slipped on a very slippery slope, and later had to be helped to their feet.

Man down!

Man down!

A good days work. 

A good days work. 

How to Get Lumber Up a Hill

In a massive logistics operation reminiscent of D-Day, the FOPOS trail crew recruited a small army and provided it with the necessary equipment (work gloves, water, bug spray) in order to move the vast quantity of materials needed for building infrastructure uphill and into position for the coming Woodfield Campaign.  The temperature was around 95 degrees, the army was primarily 9th grade girls (9) and boys (3) from PDS.

The crew.

The crew.

The materials were 80 2x10x8 foot planks and 120 4x4x2 foot cross ties needed for the planned construction of 320 feet of new boardwalk to accompany the 220 feet installed last summer.  Although this project was not officially part of the work covered by last year's ANJEC grant, we were persuaded by this year's floods that many more feet of boardwalk were needed.

The materials to be moved.

The materials to be moved.

Hitching a ride and taking a break.