Earth Day is less than a month away, on April 22nd. The Ocean County Parks Department is remembering the day a little early, on Sunday April 17th.
Mark your calendars, prepare to enjoy spring at the Jersey Shore and bring gloves. Join the Forked River Mountain Coalition and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance for the annual clean up of Forked River Mountain 2011.
The New Jersey Pinelands
The Forked River Mountain isn't a mountain by Rocky or Appalachian Mountian standards. But in the middle of New Jersey, where the Pinelands meet the Jersey Shore, the almost 200 foot sand and gravel hills looks like a mountian to us!
The Forked River Mountains are covered with a rare forest type known as pitch pine/scrub oak barrens, and form a ridgeline between the Cedar Creek and Forked River watersheds, with stately Atlantic white cedar, black gum and maple swamps.
The area provides vital habitat for many rare and threatened wildlife and plant species including Pine Barrens gentian and reedgrass, curly grass fern, Kniesekern’s beaked rush, New Jersey rush, bog asphodel, swamp pink, northern pine snake, timber rattlesnake and the Pine Barrens tree frog. Beaver, otter, mink, and gray fox can also be found throughout the area.
The New Jersey Conservation Foundation's 3,000-acre Forked River Mountain Preserve, which is managed jointly with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, is the centerpiece of 5,000 acres of preserved forest in the area. But most of this forest area is still vulnerable to abuse by illegal off-road vehicles and clandestine dumping.
To participate in the Forked River Mountian Clean Up on Earth Day, call Wells Mills County Park at (609)971-3085.