Township of Westfield, NJ

Somerset County Park System

Natural Lands Stewardship Workshop

  • 12/04/2019
  • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM (UTC-03:00)
  • Duke Farms Visitors Center, 1112 Dukes Parkway West, Hillsborough, NJ 08844



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

The workshop brings together public and nonprofit land managers of natural lands. This is the 6th annual workshop organized in partnership with the NJ Recreation and Parks 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)

Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Location: Duke Farms Orientation Center,1112 Dukes Parkway West, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 
Registration: 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM 
Workshops: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Cost: $35/person (includes morning coffee service and lunch)

Natural Lands Stewardship Workshop - Registration Flier


9:00 – 9:15 Welcome & Introductions

9:15 – 10:15 New Research Informs Management of Natural Lands
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 BREAK

10:30 – 11:15 Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) 
Gretchen Fowles, Brian Zarate, MacKenzie Hall, NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife; Betsy McShane, NRCS. Panelists will discuss CHANJ, a project to make NJ’s landscapes and roadways more permeable for terrestrial wildlife by identifying key areas and actions needed to achieve habitat connectivity. The CHANJ tools give land managers, transportation planners, conservation groups, and the public a way to visualize New Jersey's habitat connectivity and to catalyze actions and inform planning. Betsy will describe how NRCS is using the tools in their decision making.

11:15 – 12:15 Return of the Natives--Replacing Invasive Plants with Native Species
Kelli Kovacevic, Morris County Park Commission; Kevin Corrigan, Monmouth County Park System; Jennifer Rogers, Mercer County Park Commission. The panel will discuss mini-case studies on projects to restore native plants to replace invasive plants.

12:15 – 1:00 LUNCH

1:00 – 2:00 Using Soil Science to Manage Natural Lands
Richard Shaw, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) A state soil scientist 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 BREAK

2:15 – 3:00 Natural Lands Stewardship Practices in a Changing Climate
Jon Wagar, Deputy 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.

3:45—4:30 Questions/Discussion

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

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

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