Beautiful Spring May Day Festival at NJ Audubon’s Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary a True Family Event

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Mother’s Day, Earth Day and J.J. Audubon’s Birthday were all celebrated by more than 500 visitors in one big MAY DAY Family Festival at New Jersey Audubon’s Bernardsville Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, May 7th!

The center holds around 100 programs annually on their 276 acres of woodland, field and floodplain

Partygoers relaxed while enjoying live outdoor performances by Eco-Man and the talented musicians of NJ Folk Project as the kids got their faces painted and were busy as bees building NJA’s new S.A.V.E. birdhouses “Made with Jersey Grown Wood,” and creating nature crafts under the Children’s Tent – with special assistance by High School Students from Newark Museum’s Science Explorers Program.

Very special guest speakers were also on hand - including every Jersey birder’s favorite expert and author, Cape May Bird Observatory Director Pete Dunne, who shared stories of the birth of the World Series of Birding; Giselle Smisko of Avian Wildlife Center enlightened families about the threats to New Jersey’s Chimney Swift population, and how they can be helped. History buffs were treated to a fascinating Hike through History with Gordon T. Ward – enjoying nature while learning about the critical role the Sanctuary grounds played in the American Revolution. Other celebrity visits included drop-ins by the Sanctuary’s giant Pileated Woodpecker mascot, accompanied by none other than National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick himself!

Kids bold enough to turn over cool forest leaves and rocks revealed salamanders and other Sanctuary residents along the Nature Treasure Hunt and with Gylla McGregor for Radio Telemetry Wildlife Tracking Safaris. For Moms who weren’t easily grossed-out, Rizzo’s Reptiles was on hand with a wild posse of snakes, reptiles and amphibians – and even a baby alligator!

Nature united with art as gorgeous wildlife photography was presented in the Isobel Wayrick Wildlife Gallery by Ms. Wayrick herself – while a reception for the Young Audubon Children’s Art Show featured the works of talented 4th Graders from area schools.

Don’t worry if you missed this year’s May Day event – there are plenty of activities the family can enjoy at the center year round. The center holds around 100 programs annually on their 276 acres of woodland, field and floodplain. Field trips, events, programs/lectures, school and scout programs are just a few of the offerings. Drop by to hike the trails at the Sanctuary. Trails range in length from 0.3 miles to 1.3 miles and are open from dawn to dusk. Access to the trails is free for all.

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary’s free trails, Environmental Education Center, and Nature Store and Gift Shop are located at 11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, 07924 and open Tuesday - Saturday, 9-5; Sunday, 12-5 and closed Mondays and Holidays. For more information about NJ Audubon’s Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, visit or call 908 766-5787.


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Mike Anderson
NJ Audubon
(908) 766-5787
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