CU Reporter March 2000

The Secret Life of Tuckahoe
Guest Speaker Joe Patt, Ph.D.
Meeting Wednesday, March 8, 2000 –
Wheaton Village Crafts Building, Millville 7:30 p.m.

Joseph Patt, Ph.D. is Director of Sciences & Stewardship at the Delaware Bayshores Office of The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey. Tuckahoe aka Arrow Arum, is a common freshwater tidal plant which is related to skunk cabbage and philodendrons. This species has an unusual relationship with a tiny fly which breeds exclusively in its flowers. The pollination process of the plant and the breeding of the fly are an interdependent relationship. Furthermore, this interaction seems to be promoted by a bizarre relationship between the fly and a parasitic rust fungus that infects only Tuckahoe. These types of mutualisms are common to tropical climates but unusual in our more temperate zone. Come hear Dr. Patt unravel the mystery of this three-way mutualism.

Allen Jackson’s Presentation was a Big Hit!
Speaking before a packed house at our January meeting, he created a great interest in attracting Purple Martins. Many members asked Allen to survey their properties for suitability for Martin house sites. We are exploring the possibility of building a Martin viewing platform somewhere in the watershed.

Urgent! Vineland Has A Great Opportunity. Please Write – Your Letters are Critical!
We ran this segment in our last CU Reporter. And thanks to all of you who have written. It is impossible to stress how important it is make your voice heard. We believe the window of opportunity is narrower all the time. Here’s the scoop:

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has made an offer to purchase the City of Vineland’s property bordering the Maurice River. This habitat abuts already protected TNC preserves. It’s really a win / win scenario for the City both from a public enjoyment and fiscal standpoint. We all know what a wonderful natural resource this area represents. Thankfully a decision to preserve it would also be financially prudent. In applying for a previous EDA grant the City estimated that it would cost over a million dollars just to develop the linear infrastructure for this site because of its remote location. Presently the City is debating whether to retain 144 acres of a 400+ acre tract, and donate the remainder. The officers and trustees of Citizens United encourage the City to make the wise choice and preserve the entire property. Acquisition of the complete parcel would ensure the environmental integrity of the existing greenway that runs from Malaga to Union Lake. Your support for preserving the tract is critical! Write to Mayor Campanella and City Council, City of Vineland, 640 E. Wood Street, Vineland, NJ 08360.

Osprey Nests Building Party was held January 16th
Another enjoyable time was had by all participants. Volunteers made 4 osprey platforms to be erected at PSE&G’s wetland restoration sites. A special thanks to all who participated: Janet & Otto Wolf, Allen Jackson, Kenny Pacitto, Sandy Cantoni, Eddie & Gregory DiPalma, Peter, Jane, Ashley & Amanda Galetto, and Tim Jacobsen.

Did Someone Say, “Let It Snow”? Teachers’ Workshops Succumb to Mother Nature
The first Down Jersey teachers’ workshop was held at Cape May Bird Observatory. The turnout was light. Of the 26 teachers that signed up about half were able to brave the weather. Many had to stay home with their children because of snow closures at schools. The evaluations from those who attended were glowing, and an enjoyable time was had by all present. Teachers in attendance estimated that they might introduce 7,000 students and 1,300 teachers to activities and the curriculum. Add this to the thousands that those in attendance at the unveiling estimated and it is mind boggling. The Wheaton Village Folklife Center had a great sign up but unfortunately weather has postponed this session.

Our intention in creating Down Jersey – Celebrating Our Sense of Place is to help instructors make a difference to the future of the New Jersey Bayshore Region. Our goal is clear, as clear as our Mission: to create stewards of our natural resources.

The revised workshop schedule is as follows:
If you wish to sign up for a workshop, or know a teacher who would, the following are the locations and dates. Presently, the packets are only available to people who worked on the project or come to the workshops.

Wednesday, February 9, 2000 – 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Salem County Historical Society, Salem

Friday, April 7, 2000 – 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cape May Bird Observatory, Goshen

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 – 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wheaton Village Down Jersey Folklife Center, Millville
Please send registrations along with a $15 check to CU, PO Box 474, Millville, NJ 08332, or if you have questions call 856-327-1161.

Mark those Calendars – Upcoming Meetings (revised dates)

Wednesday, March 8, 2000 — 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 10, 2000 — 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 12, 2000 — 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 13, 2000 — 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 8, 2000 — 7:30 p.m

Membership Brochures – Please Help Distribute
If you need CU brochures for distribution or recruitment just call Joanne Murphine (825-6018) or Belinda Dalton (692-5951). If you have a business and would like brochures for your customers we would be more than happy to provide them. Ideal locations are: marinas, restaurants, retail stores, luncheonettes, libraries, chambers of commerce and the like.

Don’t miss the ice on the river; it is impressive and noisy! Be sure to bundle up and bring your binoculars and sunglasses; eagles are very active. Waterfowl counts are down thus far but raptor activity is super.

CU on the River!