CU Reporter February/March 2004

Presentation by Joe Patt
Habitat Ecology 101
Thursday, March 18, 2004 – 6:00 pm-8:30 pm
Please note change in date and day!

Buckeye Butterfly
Buckeye Butterfly

The garden catalogs are in the mail and you are beginning to dream and scheme about this year’s garden. Why not stick in a few plants to help our native butterflies? Come learn about the basic ecological principles behind selecting plants that will attract and support butterflies, hummingbirds, and other native wildlife in your backyard. We’ll also discuss the kinds of flowers you can grow to help attract beneficial insects that reduce garden pests.

Monarch Larve
Monarch Larve

Joe Patt is an ecologist who studies native plant pollination, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation and teaches biology at Cumberland County College. Joe and his family are the resident caretakers of the Natural Lands Trust’s Harold Peek Preserve.

The Ospreys are Coming… The Ospreys are Coming
We will have a work party on Sunday, March 21, 10 am. Galetto’s home. This is a late date but the tide is uncooperative the prior weekend. We need some boats. If you have waders bring them, or the tallest boots you own. Remember to wear layers, hats and bring a dry change of clothes. Heavy duty cordless drills/ screw guns would be helpful. To volunteer please call Jane at 856-327-1161.

Winter Survey
On the 29th of January Clay Sutton and Jimmy Dowdell, ornithologists who conduct our raptor / water fowl survey, reported having an amazing day. They had a one-day record number of eagles for a single survey – 28 different birds! The survey also discovered a previously unknown eagle’s nest. Sadly,the count as of that day still had not uncovered a single kestrel. Kestrels appear to have taken a dramatic dive in NJ and have become the subject of concern.

Adult Osprey
Adult Osprey

The Raptor Festival’s advance activities and the main event were terrific. CU volunteers aided The Nature Conservancy in the Raptor Discovery Days at both the Mauricetown Fire Hall and the Bluffs Preserve. Tony Ficcaglia, Kathleen Meyer, Ed Pio, Leslie Ficcaglia, Pete Dunne, and Jane Galetto all assisted in coordination aspects. Over 400 students participated in the activities. The Festival had over 800 people who registered and an estimated 1000 participants overall. CU offered an osprey maturation slide show, displayed and distributed aerial photographs from our Celebrating Our Sense of Place program, and manned an information table. Workers included table captain Joanne Murphine, Gladis McGraw, Irene Bird, Fred Akers, Renee Scagnelli and Jane Morton Galetto.

Down Jersey Workshop
Cumberland County Improvement Authority hosted CU in a Down Jersey – Celebrating Our Sense of Place workshop on March 6th.. CU Educational Director Christine Raabe lead the workshop. Irene Bird and Jane G. assisted in facilitating the workshop. We were off to an icy start but once things got warmed up the day really gained momentum. An extremely diverse group of teachers, Girl Scout leaders, parks management, gifted and talented program supervisors, Americorp volunteers and others attended the day-long program. Ethan Aronoff reported that the husband of one of his colleagues was in attendance and couldn’t stop talking about the workshop. J. Galetto bumped into one of the participants a week later; this was a senior high biology teacher, who said he was already using the curriculum in his classroom! CCIA’s coordinator was Dennis DeMatte who attended and participated in the workshop. The entire CCIA’s staff was most helpful and the facility was terrific.

Maurice River BluffsBig News! The Maurice River Bluffs property is preserved!
The Nature Conservancy and Better Materials finalized the land sale. The ultimate preservation of this property represents many hours of tours, phone calls, negotiations, bargaining, studies, advocacy and the like. This is about 2.5 miles of riverfront bordered by high coastal bluffs which offer both figuratively and literally the eagle eyes’ view of the tidal Maurice River. In addition to TNC, Greenacres and NJ Fish and Wildlife deserve a big round of applause in bringing this story to a happy conclusion. Over the coming months TNC will be surveying the resources on this property.Arthur Schalick, Jr

Message from the President
We have made a practice of taking time in our annual message to eulogize members who have left a special mark on our community and who are now deceased. This past year we neglected to share with our membership the significant loss of one of our group. Arthur Schalick wasn’t your ordinary guy; he was extraordinary in so many ways. Born in Centerton, he resided in Vineland for 50 years and in Millville for 27. I will never forget the day I asked him, “How far are you cycling these days, Art?” and he replied with his age. To which I quizzed further, “So what are you up to these days?” “Eighty!” Whoa – that brought the house down! He told me that he had ridden from Mays Landing to Philadelphia in an event and he still needed to return to Millville. So of course he biked. He wasn’t your stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of rider; he really booked – in full lycra gear! This isn’t just the way he approached his health but also the health of our community. He served on Vineland City Council, the Newcomb Hospital Board, and on numerous committees at the Vineland YMCA. He was a senior partner in his accounting firm and his mind was as sharp as his pencil. Many folks don’t know of Art’s love of natural resources. He was very upset about the prospect of drilling in the Arctic and sent me letters and articles about the proposal. Our sympathies to his family; he will be greatly missed.


Citizens United 2004 Canoe/Seining events
Steve Eisenhauer will be running a number of canoe trips this year; the schedule is below. These trips are informative and enjoyable so don’t miss out!

All events start at noon. If you plan to attend please call 447-3425 by 5 PM on the preceding Thursday. Also if you need to cancel after reserving be sure to call ASAP because there is usually a waiting list.

May 1: Meet at Almond Road’s West Side Park in Vineland on the Maurice River

May 29: Meet at State’s public boat launch on Union Lake

June 26: Meet at the public boat launch on rte. 47 across from South Jersey Truck Center on the Manumuskin River

July 31: Meet at the Menantico Ponds Wildlife Management Area boat launch

August 28: Meet at the municipal boat launch near the public beach on Union Lake (an alternative for this is to meet at Cumberland Pond on Manumuskin River if the construction work is finished)

September 25: Meet at NLT’s Peek Preserve on rte. 47 across from Lilac Avenue for a paddle of the tidal Maurice River

October 30: Meet at the floating dock below Union Lake dam in Millville on the Maurice River


CU on the River!