Township of Westfield, NJ

Somerset County Park System

Natural Lands

Natural Lands Stewardship Workshop

A joint workshop of the NJ Recreation and Park Association and the NJ Land Trust Network

Purpose of the workshop:  To share effective techniques and strategies among public and nonprofit land managers of natural lands.  
(.5 CEUs pending)

Date:  Wednesday, December 4, 2019                                                           
Place:  Duke Farms Visitors Center, 
1112 Dukes Parkway West, Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Registration: 8:30 - 9:00            
Workshops:  9:00 – 4:00                                                                               

Cost: $35/person (includes morning coffee service and lunch)           


9:00 – 9:15

Welcome & Introductions

9:15 – 10:15

New Research Informs Management of Natural Lands

Bats:  David Wheeler, Executive Director; Ethan Gilardi, biologist, Conserve Wildlife Foundation. The presenter will share findings from bat research to help managers protect this imperiled species. 
Turtles:  Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Director of Research and Conservation, Wetlands Institute
Dr. Ferguson will discuss her research on turtles and how her findings can inform managers how to best steward natural lands for turtles. 

10:15 – 10:30


10:30 – 11:15

Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ)

Gretchen Fowles, NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife; Betsy McShane, Natural Resources Conservation Service.  The presenters will discuss a new online tool (CHANJ) that identifies and encourages wildlife migrations.  This tool will be a helpful resource for management decisions and environmental education.

11:15 – 12:15

Return of the Natives--Replacing Invasive Plants with Native Species

Kelli Kovacevic, Morris County Park Commission; Ken Thoman, Monmouth County Park System; Jennifer Rogers, Mercer County Park Commission; Richard Lear, Middlesex County Dept. of Parks & Recreation.  The panel will discuss four mini-case studies on projects to restore native plants to replace invasive plants.

12:15 – 1:00


1:00 – 2:00

Using Soil Science to Manage Natural Lands

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil scientists (Rich Shaw & others)
NRCS scientists will demonstrate Web Soil Survey and show how land managers can use information from this online resource to manage natural lands. 

2:00 – 2:15


2:15 – 3:00

Natural Lands Stewardship Practices in a Changing Climate 

Michael Catania, Executive Director, Duke Farms
The presenter will share practices taking place on Duke Farm lands to restore ecosystems, reduce carbon footprint, sequester carbon, and conserve energy. 

3:00 – 3:45

Discussion about Managing Unauthorized Off-Road Vehicle Use

Jason Howell, Stewardship Coordinator, Pinelands Preservation Alliance; Emile DeVito, Manager of Science & Stewardship, NJ Conservation Foundation.  These two organizations have worked together to discourage unauthorized off-road vehicle use through natural areas.  They may not have all the answers, but they will share some of the techniques they have tried.  The audience will be invited to share challenges, frustrations and successes in managing this visitor use.   



Questions about the workshop?  Contact Kathleen (; 609-356-0480) or Laura (; 908-997-0720)  

Register Here  

Natural Lands Stewardship Workshop Final.pdf

New Jersey Recreation & Park Association |  1 Wheeler Way  Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: 609-356-0480 | Fax: 609-356-0475 | Email:

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