Walk on the Wild Side at New Jersey’s WILD Outdoor Expo

This free event celebrates New Jersey's natural resources and diverse outdoor heritage with activities for all.

New Jersey may be the most densely populated state in the country, but that does not take away from the unique habitats and the diverse species the Garden State has to offer.

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The Columbia Lake in Warren County. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: Nicholas A. Tonelli.

To foster environmental stewardship for people of all ages and to educate residents about the important conservation efforts happening right in their backyard, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Parks and Forestry and State Forestry Services has partnered with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey to host the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo.

“In a densely populated state like New Jersey, it’s easy to forget the incredible range of outdoor recreation activities and biodiversity that we have all around us,” says David Wheeler, director of Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. “For two days each September, the Wild Outdoor Expo brings that spectacular natural abundance to a single place where families and people of all ages can experience the wonder, the awe and the thrills of activities like kayaking, archery, fishing and seeing the stunning wildlife up close.”

The free two-day event, in its sixth year, includes everything from boating and safety exhibits, firewise demonstrations and historical re-enactments to kayak workshops, catch and release pools and exotic reptile displays. Attendees can learn turkey-calling, take an intro to bike-maitenance course or nature photography workshop.

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Wildlife biologist Stephanie Egger educates expo attendees about New Jersey’s box turtles at the 2014 expo.

New this year, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation will be hosting a “Build a Bat House” and “Make a Rain Barrel” workshop. The bat houses, built to provide safe roosting and maternity sites for bats, will become part of an Eagle Scout Service Project benefiting the foundation.

Food vendors will be onsite and attendees are welcome to bring their own food to enjoy in the picnic tent.

The event, to be held rain or shine, will run from 10am to 5pm on Sept. 12-13 at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township. Visit the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife to view the full schedule of events.

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