CU Reporter July 2000

Next Meeting: Wednesday September 13, 2000
Wheaton Village Crafts Building, Millville, NJ 7:30 p.m.

Rich Bizub of Pinelands Preservation Alliance
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDARS FOR SEPTEMBER 13th, at 7:30 p.m, when Rich Bizub of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance will present a slideshow on the”Pinelands of New Jersey.”
The presentation will include a slide show on the history, plants, wildlife, natural resources, and culture of the Pines, and an in-depth discussion on why it is so important to protect and preserve this magnificent tract of land. Because much of the watershed of the Maurice lies within the Pinelands, Rich can provide us with a unique look at a different aspect of the area we have committed ourselves to conserving. He will discuss current and future threats to the region and offer us an opportunity to learn more about some of the forces acting on the Pines and the ways in which PPA addresses them. This is an exciting chance to find out about the Pinelands and see what another grassroots organization is doing. Mark your calendars; we want to have a good turnout for Rich!

Vineland City Council Agrees to Sell 420 Acres to The Nature Conservancy
Citizens United has had a long history of trying to preserve the Maurice River Greenway from Malaga and Willow Grove Lake to Union Lake. In 1988 we testified before the NJ Legislature for preservation of Willow Grove Lake. The Nature Conservancy purchased property around and south of the Lake along the western shore of the Maurice River from the E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. Adjacent to this existing preserve, on the eastern shore, is a City-of-Vineland-owned parcel commonly referred to as the Weymouth Road property. The City planned to develop a portion of this 420-acre tract for industry. In 1996 we asked that the City of Vineland develop an alternate site instead of the Weymouth Road tract due to its importance as habitat and contiguous greenway. The City Administration endorsed this proposal and had EDA funds switched to a different site. Over the past year the City and TNC have discussed the opportunity for the City to sell the Weymouth parcel to TNC. For a number of months CU stepped up its advocacy for exercising this preservation option. City Council chambers became a hub for CU members and sympathizers. At the May 23rd Council meeting it was expected that a first reading of the ordinance would take place, and about 70 people attended. Much to everyone’s disappointment the ordinance was tabled. On June 12th, when the ordinance supporting preservation was finally introduced, 150-170 supporters showed up to voice their support. The outgoing administration held a hearing and the favorable ordinance finally passed 3-2 on June 27. By this time the audience had grown to nearly 200 people, overwhelmingly supporters of preservation. Outgoing City Council President of Bob Olivio led the initiative, Councilmen Pantalione and Franzoi endorsed the position, and Mayor Campanella signed the ordinance. Since his installment as Mayor, Perry Barse has assured people that the sale will proceed. Thank you, Mayor Barse.

The phone tree which was instituted did a fantastic job of getting the word out. Special thanks go to captains and speakers for the CU cause, including Sue Fenili, Steve Field and the Vineland Environmental Commission, Karol Armstrong, Gloria Maestas and the Vineland Nature Club, Ken & June Pacitto, Joannne Murphine, Larry & Suzy Merighi, Dick Conner, Tony Ficcaglia, Tricia Dufford and the Artists, Todd Heck, Hartley Tucker, Berwyn Kirby and all the many other people who helped out. We are sure to have missed some captains or those that created their own phone trees, so please forgive our oversight – everyone did a super job!

Allen Jackson banding 1000th Purple Martin
Allen Jackson banding 1000th Purple Martin

WOW! Allen Jackson bands his 1000th Purple Martin
On July 16, CU member Allen Jackson banded his 1000th purple martin of the season. This is an extraordinary effort on his part. We plan to post a documentation of this event on our web site – select Fieldwork and then Martins. Allen is also an active member of the Pennsylvania-based Purple Martin Conservation Association. He manages four martin colonies, volunteers as a purple martin mentor, and bands young martins at more than 20 sites in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties. A recent speaker at one of our regular meetings, Allen is available to provide technical assistance regarding managing purple martins and can be contacted at (856) 327-4861 or by emailing him at: Citizens United also encourages interested people to log on to the PMCA’s web site ( which provides a multitude of services and products relating to purple martins.

Osprey Report
We banded 47 chicks this year. While we did not get new nests on the Maurice, the poles that we made for PSE&G at the mouth of the river and bayshore are being used. It is assumed that the Maurice River colony is providing pairs to these nests. The University of Minnesota is keeping the travels of the Maurice River bird current. For those who couldn’t get to the site from their server, it opens nicely using Netscape Navigator. This location can also be accessed from the CU Web site at

Happy Birthday to Us
Our web site is up and running. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. Also if you or your business have a web site, please link to us at; we would welcome your visitors making a side excursion to our site. By the way, if you thought we were referring to CU’s birthday, the organization will be 21 this year! If some brave soul would like to volunteer to organize a celebration, please call 327-1161. We are long overdue for a banquet of some sort. Thus far this doesn’t seem like any member’s forte.

Check out New Jersey Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program web reports from the Arctic. The program’s biologists are searching the Arctic for the shorebirds that feasted on horseshoe crab eggs along the Delaware Bayshore in the spring and presently are nesting in the tundra. Their reports are fascinating.

If you are on the internet please send an e-mail to and ask to be added to our River Hotline. We will put you on our list of names to receive special mailings. We plan to use this hotline for special updates. This was very effective for notifying Vineland members that City Council was voting on the proposal to sell its Weymouth Rd. property to The Nature Conservancy.

Bayday 2000 
Special thanks to Bayday volunteers Joanne Murphine, Ethan Aronoff, Mary Barbose, Tricia Dufford, Ashley Galetto and the entire Bayshore Discovery Project Team for giving their time. The event was well-attended and the weather was magnificent.

Marsh scape by Pat Witt
© Marsh scape by Pat Witt, one of the artists featured in CU/NJN’s upcoming production.

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.

Movie with NJN 
The NJN / CU production about Bayshore artists is progressing very well. All the artists and their works have been video taped at least once. We expect the work to be broadcast in the spring of 2001 – more updates to follow.

CU on the River!