Weekend Raritan River Event Schools Residents On Stone Skipping 101

A view of the Lower Raritan River, where various access points will host a number of estuary-related activities and events in the coming months.

A view of the Lower Raritan River, where various access points will host a number of estuary-related activities and events in the coming months. (Photo courtesy of MCIA)

PISCATAWAY – It’s been a topic of literary narratives, a pastime of yesteryears and more recently, the focal activity for dedicated clubs and national competitions.

But this Saturday, local residents can try their hand at stone skipping during the first of several “Days of Fun on our Raritan River: Things to do learn and share on our river front” events.

In partnership with Piscataway Township, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority presents “Stone Skipping 101,” a coaching exercise that’s expected to be one of the occasion’s bigger lures.

“We will identify the proper type of stone to use, the correct grip position and other basic elements of the toss,” said Senior Project Manager of the MCIA’s Economic Development Department Denise Nickel.

Instrumental in obtaining the New York/ New Jersey Harbor Estuary grant funding that’s making Saturday’s instruction possible, Nickel’s overall objective is to highlight the Lower Raritan’s many access points and increase public awareness on general estuary use and care through a series of community events.

Upon word of the grant’s award in October, the MCIA reached out to the eligible Middlesex County municipalities that line the Lower Raritan River’s banks, including Highland Park, Piscataway, Edison, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Sayreville and South Amboy.

These municipalities were given their choice of activities central to the waterway – a list that included stone skipping, in addition to a river art program, estuary bird watching and even a stream critter identification tour.

“The initial goal of our program is to first get people to the river’s edge, so that they can become familiar with it,” Nickel said. “People don’t necessarily think of the river as public space, but it is. That’s the very reason we need residents to become more educated on current issues impacting the river, as well as measures they can take to see to its care. More generally, by creating greater interest in the river we hope to develop greater demand for recreation-oriented businesses, new open spaces and redevelopment.”

If stone skipping lessons aren’t peaking locals’ interests, there’s a range of other activities to choose from Saturday as Piscataway’s Annual D.A.R.E. Picnic will also be on site and underway, offering helicopter and fatal vision goggle demos, bike stunts, M.C. Blue the recycling robot, a disc jockey, horse and pony rides, games, face painting and more.

The event kicks off at noon and runs until 4 p.m. with stone skipping instruction starting at 1 p.m.

For more information on the upcoming events at neighboring Lower Raritan municipalities, interested parties can contact Nickel at the 609-655-5141 or by emailing dn@mciauth.com.

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