CU Reporter Annual Message 2011

January 12, 2011 – 6:30 p.m.
(Our normal schedule is the second Wednesday of odd-numbered months)
George Luciano Center, Cumberland County College

Presentation By
Pete Dunne – New Jersey Audubon

Summer Readings and Reminicences

Bayshore SummerWe are starting the year off with a bang, bringing in the big guns so to speak – none other than the talented author and speaker Pete Dunne. Pete has authored many books on our avian friends and their not so feathered fanciers – birdwatchers. His newest book should pull at the heart-strings of many of our local denizens, for its focus is on our NJ Delaware Bayshore. His presentations are not to be missed: witty, smart and full of well … Pete. Pete will be on hand after the presentation for book sales and signing of his most recent publication: Bayshore Summer – Finding Eden in a Most Unlikely Place.

Peter is Vice President of the New Jersey Audubon Society and director of the Cape May Bird Observatory.

Annual Message from CU President-

Hopefully you have been reading the newsletters and keeping abreast of all the good work we have been doing: kids’ programs, radio spots, advocacy, fundraising, producing publications, our incredible website and its constant additions.

So now might be the time to offer something, well, simply different. I like to talk about dead trees and how important they are to replenishing the forest, providing nesting opportunities and lots of other ecological benefits. But my Great Uncle Richard Dorer used to like to listen to them speak. Or at least one might presume so, by the title of his book The Ghost Tree Speaks. Growing up, my grandmother used to tell me about her brother Dick (that would be Richard Dorer in case you’re not following.) She would relate that he was the father of the United States wetlands movement and that he was a great conservationist. At the time I was in third grade and just working on spelling “conservation.” Even at that impressionable age I knew my grandmother had a gift for hyperbole.

Back to Uncle Dick. The Ghost Tree Speaks is essentially the reminiscences of a burned tree whose massive charred remains stand in a barren Minnesota wilderness. The tree bears witness through a series of narrative poems to that which it has seen, primarily the indifference of man to the obligations of stewardship. In the end, the burnt remains will fall to the earth and replenish the soil, paving the way for a new forest. It was my uncle’s hope that people would appreciate the newly-grown forest. The final verses read as follows:

The Ghost Tree Speaks

When everlasting Time has cast away
Our mighty moorings, weakened by decay,
And with a deep, reverberating sound
Each, in his turn, goes thundering to the ground,
The remnants of the strength we once possessed
Will flow in to the Earth’s life-giving breast
And so enrich her, that she may restore
Abundant life to clothe the forest’s floor,
From which far nobler monarchs may arise
To flaunt their needled summits to the skies.
Be wise, oh man, and guard the priceless trees,
For treasures, unsurpassed, will come from these.

HollyI can still hear my grandmother recite my uncle’s poems with her flare for the dramatic. Today it is not uncommon to hear my uncle’s poem, The Man Who Plants a Tree, read at Arbor Day celebrations across the country.

It turns out it was not until my adult life that I discovered the one thing my Grandmother had not exaggerated: her brother’s massive stature in both his physical presence and his contributions to the conservation community. In fact, according to the Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, he was the founder of wetlands protection in the US. Today his remains lie in the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest in Minnesota’s White River Valley. Uncle Dick was a decorated veteran of WWI, joined the Minnesota Department of Conservation in 1938 and led a crusade to replace the forests that were turned into fields during the late 1800’s. Eventually he became the Commissioner of Conservation. The farming practices were such that the topsoils ran into the creeks and the landscape was plagued by floods. Minnesota planted 45,000 acres of this 1,016,204 tract in an effort to convert erosion prone slopes to wildlife management area. The forest boundaries are the entire million acres but only 45,000 are state owned. The remainder is owned by private individuals and community groups and governed by easements. It covers seven counties.

Okay, I’m feeling a tad dwarfed here by my Uncle’s accomplishments and I guess you might be wondering where this is going. I think I may be, too.

Why in heaven’s name after 24 years of effort are we having such a hard time preserving 1350 acres of forest in Millville? At this point I might be waiting for some tree to tell me how this is all going to turn out. Is there not one person with the necessary power who strives for the greatness to preserve the Holly Farm and its connections to the larger forest complex? Perhaps some questions are even too big for a tree to answer. Wait, I hear the forest calling now. Got to go.


Jane Morton Galetto




Ethan Aronoff President, Jane Galetto
Sue Fenili Treasurer, Anthony Klock
Leslie Ficcaglia Assistant Treasurer, Irene Bird
Richard Jones Recording Secretary, Diane Amico
Berwyn Kirby Corresponding Secretary, Karen Johnson
Sue Leopold
Mary Ann Russell

MEETING DATES for 2011 -George Luciano Center, Cumberland County College; please mark your calendars!

January 12, 2011
March 9, 2011
May 11, 2011
July 13, 2011
September 14, 2011
November 9, 2011

MEETING WEATHER ADVISORY– During the winter months our regularly scheduled meetings will be canceled if Millville Public Schools have issued a foul weather closure. If weather has gotten nasty late in the day please exercise good judgment. Should you have any further questions feel free to call Jane at 856-327-1161. Have a safe winter.

CU Updates:

Bald EagleEagle Festival—This annual event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb 5, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. with a 7 a.m. Sunrise Walk at Turkey Point led by CU Trustee Karen Johnson. Four staffed viewing sites will be open throughout the day, walks with NLT Steve Eisenhauer and Brian Johnson begin at 10 and 1:00, and at 5 p.m. the day finishes up with the well-attended Owl Watch led by Don Freiday. The indoor portion of the festival is held at the Mauricetown Firehall. Visitors will have a chance to see displays and merchandise from many different organizations and vendors. Crabcake and fried oyster sandwiches, along with other goodies, will be on sale throughout the day. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Presentations include “Digiscoping: Wildlife Photography Through a Telescope”; “Bald Eagles – Life After Federal De-Listing,” by Kathy Clark, NJ Endangered Species; “Birding Fieldcraft: Clothing, Gear, & Tips for Better Birding,” by Don Freiday, NJ Audubon; “Birds and Birding at Cape May: The Cumberland Edition,” by Clay and Pat Sutton; and “Cumberland Summer – The Flip Side of Winter,” by Pete Dunne, NJ Audubon. CU needs volunteers to represent us at our table, and also skilled birding docents to assist at viewing sites. Volunteers at the table typically help out for 2 to 3 hours, giving them plenty of time to enjoy the remainder of the festival. And don’t forget the CU Chili Dinner, held immediately after the Owl Watch! To volunteer, contact Renee at

Chili guyChili Bowl – Feb 5, 6:30 p.m. Our annual fun-raiser! Follow a chilly day of birding with a bowl (or two or three) of chili and some good spirits! Join us after the Eagle Festival at 6:30, at the Mauricetown Firehall. Tickets are $25. The last two years sold out, so we highly recommend getting those tickets early. We are hopeful that Mother Nature cooperates this year! Our Chili Bowls feature approximately 25 chilis, including the standards that we all know and love, and varieties that range from vegan to elk and more, along with numerous appetizers, cornbreads, salad dressings, and desserts. The auction is always full of cool things and is lively and fun-filled. Chefs are needed–chili, appetizers, cornbread, and brownies/cookies; as well as kitchen and setup/cleanup help. We receive everything from fine art to re-gifted or duplicate Christmas gifts. Auction items are also needed, as well as sponsorships. Or perhaps you are able to offer an experience-oriented excursion? Previously such excursions have included eagle and osprey banding, trips to botanic gardens, history and pine barrens plant tours and other biological and cultural outings.

If interested in tickets, or in volunteering, contact Renee at 856 305 3238 or If you’d like to donate an auction item or a sponsorship, contact Jane at 856 327-1161 or

Good Search: Here’s a really neat way to make every gift count this holiday season. More than 1,600 top stores including Amazon, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Apple, LL Bean, and more will donate a percentage of virtually every sale to Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc.

Just go to, designate Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River as the cause you support and then click over to your favorite store. You pay nothing extra – and you can even save money as GoodShop lists thousands of money-saving coupons and free shipping offers.

Website Offerings: Our website continues to grow! Look for new additions to our site to include audio radio spots, a new and improved links page, as well as a digital library featuring several books readable and fully searchable from your browser.

Volunteer Opportunities and Experiences

Winter WalkWinter Walks—Join us on Millville’s Maurice River Recreational Trail to experience the wonder of the area during the winter on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. for a three-week series, from January 4th – January 18th! Meet at Waltman Park on Brandriff Ave.

Helonias bullata - Swamp PinkRaptor Discovery Days— Feb. 3-4 RDD will take place this year, though its format maychange. We anticipate that we will be needing volunteers to assist outdoors with hikes, birding, and general crowd control. Since funding for RDD was lost, CU will be covering the cost of bussing the students. Contact Renee if you would like to help or if you are able to make a donation defray the cost of bussing the students.

Adopt a swamp pink population– Monitoring begins in late March-late April. If you are interested in this program, contact Renee. Volunteer training at Shaws Mill on Apr 2, 10 a.m.

CU Exotic Travel Adventure Series– CU is hosting a fabulous two-week adventure to Costa Rica. Nowhere in the world is it easier to be at one with nature than Costa Rica. Imagine blinking at the fluttering brilliance of a fist-sized blue morpho butterfly… stumbling upon a three-toed sloth… spotting a resplendent quetzal gliding through the trees. With twelve different life Frog giftzones housing more than 5% of the Earth’s plant and animal species, Costa Rica is a natural treasure. This is also a great opportunity to get CU members, friends and family together for an amazing travel experience.

Early bird price (by December 31st) $2585 including taxes and airfair. After Dec. 31st, price goes up to $2835.00 Mark your Calendars: October 26 to November 7, 2011 – (Optional 3 day extension in Tortuguero National Park, additional cost of $645.) For more Contact Sue Leopold, Trip Leader, at 609 319-5773. Tap into the travel link to learn about this incredible tour:


Meeting Dates for 2011

Second Wednesdays of the odd numbered months 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Cumberland County College, Luciano Center

January 12, 2011
March 9, 2011
May 11, 2011
July 13, 2011
September 14, 2011
November 9, 2011

January 4, 2011 9 a.m. Birding and Botany Breakfast Walk
January 11, 2011 9 a.m.Birding and Botany Breakfast Walk
January 12, 2011 6:30 p.m. Bimonthly Wednesday meeting, Cumberland County College, Luciano Center
January 18, 2011 9 a.m.Birding and Botany Breakfast Walk

February 5, 2011 Eagle Festival and Chili Bowl

March 9, 2011 6:30 p.m. Bimonthly Wednesday Meeting, Cumberland County College, Luciano Center

April 2, 2011 9 a.m. Adopt a swamp pink training
April 19, 2011 9 a.m. Birding and Botany Breakfast Walk
April 26, 2011 9 a.m. Birding and Botany Breakfast Walk

May 3, 2011 9 a.m. Birding and Botany Breakfast Walk
May 7, 2011, 9 a.m.Birding with Laurie Pettigrew, Matt’s Landing/Heislerville WMA
May 11, 2011 6:30 p.m. Bimonthly Wednesday meeting, Cumberland County College, Luciano Center
May 13, 2011 5:30 p.m. New Members Orientation
May 13, 2011 7 p.m. Frog Slog

June 4, 2011 10 a.m. Philadelphia Botanical Field Trip, Elk Lake Cumberland County
June 11, 2011 Bay Day
June 18, 2011 9 a.m.Nature Bike Trip
June 26, 2011 BYOB Paddle, location TBA
June 28, 2011 7 a.m.Birding and Botany Walk

July 5, 2011 7 a.m. Birding and Botany Walk
July 12, 2011 7 a.m. Birding and Botany Walk
July – Date TBD – Millville Riverfest
July 13, 2011 6:30 p.m. Bimonthly Wednesday meeting, Cumberland County College, Luciano Center
July 23, 2011 10 a.m. Philadelphia Botanical Field Trip, Cape May County

August 6, 2011 BYOB Paddle, location TBA
August 12, 13 2011 Purple Martin festival

September 3, 2011 Lake Audrey Day
September 14, 2011  6:30 p.m. Bimonthly Wednesday meeting, Cumberland County College, Luciano Center
September 24, 2011 Cape May Point State Park Butterfly Walk September 27, 2011 9 a.m.Birding and Botany Breakfast Walk

October 4, 2011 9 a.m. Birding and Botany Walk
October 8,  2011 Recollections Campfire. Location TBA
October 11, 2011 9 a.m. Breakfast Walk
October 15, 2011 6:30 p.m. Ah Why Knot Awards Dinner

November 9, 2011  6:30 p.m. Annual meeting, Cumberland County College, Luciano Center

CU on the River!