TRENTON — New Jersey’s great outdoor venues and experiences will be featured this weekend, Sept. 14 and 15, at the Department of Environmental Protection’s fourth annual New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo, which celebrates the state’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.
The Expo will be held rain or shine at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township. It will include a variety of classes, lessons, demonstrations and exhibits on a host of outdoor activities. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
A host of environmental and conservation exhibits, demonstrations and seminars are planned. Participants of all ages can try a wide variety of activities at the Expo or just take in some outdoors learning on everything from fishing, kayaking and camping to rock climbing, wildlife watching or shooting sports.
A complete listing of events, and directions to the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, can be found at : www.wildoutdoorexpo.com
“The goal of the Expo is to connect our residents with the natural world through a blend of conservation information, education and hands-on opportunities to learn outdoor skills and activities,’’ said Dave Chanda, Director of the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The WILD Outdoor Expo is a one-stop information, demonstration and participatory event for outdoor adventure activities.
Participants can learn about off-road bicycling, participate in turkey calling, get an introduction to archery, do some trap shooting, sharpen camping skills, take in a hunting dog retrieval demonstration, get a close-up look at some raptors, or participate in nature photography workshops. There will also be plenty of hands-on fun for families including honey bee shows, an inflatable soil tunnel, WILD crafts, and demonstrations on birds of prey and snakes of New Jersey.
A centerpiece of the Expo is the “Bass Tub,” which shows off the great fishing opportunities in New Jersey. This giant mobile fishing tank holds thousands of gallons of water and will be loaded with monster trout and warm water game fish from the Pequest and Hackettstown State Fish Hatcheries.
More than 100 different conservation, environmental and recreation exhibits, demonstrations and seminars are planned about the state’s air, water, soil, flora and fauna, and history. Numerous experts will be available to provide information on an array of topics from hunting to bird watching to scuba diving and forestry stewardship in New Jersey. There will be a historic encampment and re-enactment of crafting dating to the 1740s.
The Expo also features an outdoor supply flea market for getting or resupplying the gear needed for outdoor recreation. Food will be available from vendors, or bring your own if you prefer.
The Expo is sponsored by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Parks and Forestry, and Green Acres Program, as well as the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. It is partly financed by a grant from the USSAF Trailblazer Adventure Program. Admission and parking are free. Most activities are free, except for a few that are offered for a modest fee.
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