Sourland Conservancy Calendar of upcoming events.

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Upcoming Events!


Mushroom Walk

August 17, 10am-12pm, Hunterdon County Sourland Mountain Preserve

If you’re having trouble telling the difference between Hen of the Woods and Chanterelles, this is the foray for you! Experience the wonder of wild mushrooms with a local expert Nina Burghardt of the New Jersey Mycological Association.

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Sourland Spectacular

The Sourland Conservancy will hold its eighth annual Sourland Spectacular bicycle rally on Saturday, September 7, 2019.

The event will offer challenging routes for serious cyclists, as well as a shorter alternatives for more casual bikers.  Routes of 26 to 63 miles are planned, all of which include climbing, as the Sourland Mountain is beautiful, but not flat.  The routes begin and end at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road in Skillman.

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Train Station Seminar Series

Green Amendment

Speaker: Maya K. van Rossum

September 18, 2019 at 7pm

Description: Veteran environmentalist and original petitioner and leader of the Green Amendment movement, Maya van Rossum will discuss her new book, “The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment,” followed by Q&A and signing. Come out and meet Maya, pick up a copy of the book, and learn about the future of environmental advocacy!

Speaker bio: Maya K. van Rossum is the Delaware Riverkeeper and original petitioner and founder of the Green Amendments For the Generations movement. She is the leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, who works throughout the four states of the Delaware River watershed (NY, NJ, PA & DE) and at the national level using advocacy, science and litigation. van Rossum, who is skilled as an author, environmental attorney, strategist, community organizer, facilitator, coalition builder and manager, has led DRN for over 23 years. Maya was appointed to NJ Governor Murphy’s transition committee on environment and energy, was named One Of The “10 Most Influential People of 2015” When It Comes to Energy Issues by SNL Energy, and has testified, by invitation, twice before U.S. Congressional committees. She has also served as director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Temple’s Beasley School of Law since 2002 when she founded the clinic. She is the author of a book titled, The Green Amendment, Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment, which was selected as the 2018 Living Now Evergreen Awards GOLD Winner in the Nature Conservation category. She is currently seeking to inspire and secure constitutional protection for environmental rights across the nation.

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Train Station Seminar Series

Hiking the Sourlands and Beyond

Speaker: Pricilla Estes

Date and Time: September 26, 2019 at 7pm

Description: The Story of a Hiking Book: Hiking New Jersey for Health, Inspiration and Motivation: Hiking New Jersey for Health, Inspiration, and Motivation. New Jersey is an urban hiker’s paradise. From the Sourlands to the Highlands, the Delaware Bayshore to the Palisades, the New Jersey peninsula is a beautiful state of glorious contrasts. The Garden State’s forests, mountains, pine barrens, and shores also inspire and motivate in ways that might surprise. Learn Priscilla’s story of writing a hiking book and how hiking, especially in the nation’s most densely populated state, can change the way you think and feel about life, nature, and yourself.

Speaker bio: Priscilla Estes, author of the new book, “AMC’s Best Day Hikes in New Jersey,,” will speak about the process of writing a book about hikes, why hike in NJ and the Sourlands, highlights of her book and hiking tips. Talk will be followed by a book sale and signing. Priscilla Estes is a former medical editor and insurance executive. She now writes, hikes and helps others become better writers and hikers through yogic techniques, meditation, and sound (gong) healing.


Train Station Seminar Series

Bobcats in the Sourlands

Speaker: Tyler Christensen

Date and Time: October 3, 2019 at 7:00pm

Description: Bobcats are the only naturally-occurring wild feline in New Jersey, and are endangered in the state. Rare, intelligent, and highly elusive, bobcats are notoriously difficult to photograph in the wild. In order to capture up-close images these charismatic cats, Tyler Christensen has turned studio-quality camera equipment into motion-activated “camera traps” that can be deployed into the field for weeks at a time. The resulting images will be used to tell stories of tracking, photography, natural history, and conservation of New Jersey’s endangered wild cats.

Speaker Bio: Tyler Christensen is an ecologist and wildlife photographer from New Jersey, and in recent years has spent much of his spare time photographing the state’s bobcats. Tyler conducts research and monitoring of rare wildlife through his company, Piedmont Ecological Services. He is a founding member and director of the nonprofit Wild Bird Research Group, coordinating ornithological research projects from New Jersey to Costa Rica; a Land Steward for Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space; and a board member of the Washington Crossing Audubon Society.

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Train Station Seminar Series

Introduction to jersey birds

Speaker: Kathy Easton

Date and Time: October 10, 2019 at 7pm

Description: A lively interactive discussion about our beautiful backyard birds will include recorded bird songs. Listen and learn fascinating natural history facts, habits, and basic ID about your avian neighbors. New Jersey is one of the premier places to bird in the country! Find out why.

Speaker Bio: Kathy Easton, a longtime local birder, has been involved in non-formal environmental education for over twenty years, leading bird walks and presenting nature programs in central New Jersey since 1997. In 2009 she started About Birds LLC, a one-woman business offering "bird walks & talks" to individuals and small groups of all ages. This endeavor has allowed her the opportunity to connect people with nature in and out of the classroom.

Current volunteer activities include Chair of the Cranbury Township Shade Tree Commission, Associate Naturalist for New Jersey Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve, annual volunteer for New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Fall Festival, and Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County.


Train Station Seminar Series

SSAAM Update

Speaker: John Buck, Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills

Date and Time: October 17, 2019 at 7pm

Description: Authors Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills (“If These Stones Could Talk”) will discuss African American history in the Sourland region as well as updates on the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum on Hollow Road. Presented by John and Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills.

Speaker Bios:

Beverly Mills is a retiree as the Director for the Workforce Development Board in Mercer County, New Jersey.  Beverly is a founder of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum and a member on the Advisory Board and a thirty-five year Trustee of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association.   

For many years Beverly, along with fellow trustees of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association, has presented at various schools, community groups and historic sites.  She has also partnered with the William Trent House, 1804 Consultants, the Grounds For Sculpture and the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the States of New Jersey to host a series of symposiums created to explore African American history in New Jersey, how to interpret African American history at historic sites and museums and how to present and discuss difficult topics in African American history.  Along with her colleague, Elaine Buck, Beverly was instrumental in forming a partnership, named the Sankofa Collaborative; an initiative created to ensure that material and resources that relate to African American history is accessible statewide to a broader and more diverse audience.  Partners in the Sankofa Collaborative include the William Trent House, Grounds For Sculpture, New Jersey Historical Society and 1804 Consultants.

Sharon Elaine Buck, who prefers to be called Elaine, is a founder the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum and a member on the Advisory Board.  Elaine is also a thirty year Trustee of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association which is a historic cemetery for people of African descent located in the Sourland Mountains in Hopewell, New Jersey. 

For many years Elaine, along with fellow trustees of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association, has presented at various schools, historic sites and community groups. In her capacity as a researcher and speaker, Elaine has partnered with the William Trent House, 1804 Consultants, the Grounds For Sculpture and the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the State of New Jersey to host a series of symposiums designed to explore African American history in New Jersey, how to interpret African American history at historic sites and museums as well as how to present and discuss difficult topics in African American history.  From this partnership with the William Trent House, Grounds For Sculpture, New Jersey Historical Society and 1804 Consultants, a collaboration, named the Sankofa Collaborative, was created to ensure that material and resources relating to African American history will be readily accessible statewide to a broader and more diverse audience.

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Train Station Seminar Series

Butterfly Gardening

Speaker: Mary Anne Borge

Date and Time: October 24, 2019 at 7pm

Description: What are the best plants to attract butterflies to your garden? Can you have a butterfly garden if you have shade? What other conditions do butterflies need to thrive? Learn the secrets to a successful butterfly garden.

Speaker Bio: Mary Anne Borge is a naturalist, writer, photographer, and educator. She is the Associate Editor for Butterfly Gardenermagazine, a publication of the North American Butterfly Association; an instructor and naturalist at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, Pennsylvania; a Pennsylvania Master Naturalist, and the team leader for Lambertville Goes Wild ( Her photographs have been featured in numerous publications. She shares her love of nature through her writing and photography at

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Train Station Seminar Series

The Lost World of the Rock Road: Cultural Landscapes of the Rock Hopper Preserve (West Amwell).

Speaker: Dr. Ian Burrow

Date and Time: November 7, 2019 at 7pm

Description: Now the home of Pileated Woodpeckers, frogs, and much other wildlife, Rock Hopper has in the past been a thriving human community.  Quarries, a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright shop, sawmills and several farmsteads once lay along the now-abandoned Rock Road.  Massive stone walls, abandoned cartways and unusual settings of stones add an element of mystery to this beautiful preserve.  This presentation will trace the history of this landscape, and offer some comparisons with the Cedar Ridge Preserve (Hopewell Township), which was researched last year.

Speaker bio: Ian Burrow has been an archaeological and cultural resource management professional since 1975, first in England and, since 1988, in the United States. In 2015 he founded BurrowIntoHistory, LLC, a company whose mission is to improve the preservation, management and public enjoyment of historic cultural resources in the United States and beyond. 

Dr. Burrow was the 2015 recipient of the New Jersey Historical Commission’s Richard J. Hughes Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Knowledge and Preservation of New Jersey History.


Train Station Seminar Series

Local Climate Change

Speaker: Dr. Michael Aucott

Date and Time: November 14, 2019 at 7pm

Description: Environmental Scientist, Mike Aucott, will explain the basics of climate science, and bring us up-to-date on the predicted impacts of climate change on NJ. He will discuss the technologies and political developments that are starting to point to solutions.

Speaker bio: Mike Aucott holds a Ph.D. in environmental science from Rutgers University. He has been tracking developments in climate change science since the early 1990s, when, as a research scientist with NJ Department of Environmental Protection he helped develop the first statewide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Train Station Seminar Series


Speaker: William Zipse

Date and Time: November 21, 2019 at 7pm

Description: New Jersey may be a small state in close proximity to major metropolitan areas, however it is still nearly 40% forested! “Conditions and Trends of New Jersey’s Forests” outlines the current state of our forests looking at data collected through time by the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program in partnership with the NJ Forest Service as well as data from a variety of other sources and gives a window into what the state’s forests might look like in the future.

Speaker Bio: Bill Zipse has been at the New Jersey Forest Service (NJFS) since 2000, where he started out as a field forester.  He is currently a supervising forester with the state, where he also serves as the state’s forest planner and the state’s representative to the USDA Forest Service’s, Forest Inventory and Analysis Program.  He has an A.A.S. in Pre-professional Forestry from Paul Smith’s College, a B.S. in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, and a graduate certificate in Data Mining from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.