Upcoming Raritan River Activities Roll Into Highland Park

Canada geese, pictured strolling along the Raritan River here, will be one of the animals featured in an upcoming Wildlife Olympics event. (MCIA photo)

Canada geese, pictured strolling along the Raritan River here, will be one of the animals featured in an upcoming Wildlife Olympics event. (MCIA photo)

HIGHLAND PARK – Hopping, flying, flapping and walking will all be major sources of entertainment for Raritan River visitors in the weeks to come.

These are just a few of the activities featured in two upcoming Highland Park events, a Historical Walk and Talk Wednesday and a Wildlife Olympics Nov. 17.

Poised to draw the public near the borough’s shoreline, the Walk and Talk will combine a short and scenic tour with an in-depth look at the Raritan River’s role in the American Revolutionary War.

Sponsored by the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, the Crossroads of the American Revolution, the Highland Park Environmental Commission and the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, the presentation will be led by Douglas Aumack, a knowledgeable assistant curator with the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

Later in the month, the Wildlife Olympics will pit children’s physical prowess against that of some of the Raritan’s inhabitants – more specifically, the Eastern cottontail rabbit, Canada geese, the great blue heron and more.

“It’s fun and it’s free – those are two really good reasons to attend,” said Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante, a MCIA liaison. “Another great incentive is that children will gain a better understanding and appreciation for the world around them.”

The Wildlife Olympics, co-sponsored by the MCIA and Sustainable Highland Park, is best suited for 4-to-10-year-old children, who are accompanied by an adult.

Both of the aforementioned activities fall under the MCIA’s programming, Days of Fun on our Raritan River: Things to Do, Share and Learn on our Riverfront.

The primary Days of Fun mission is to promote estuary use, care and awareness by hosting activities central to the Raritan River and in communities that line its banks, to include Highland Park, Piscataway, Edison, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, East Brunswick, Sayreville, South Amboy and New Brunswick.

“Beyond these activities, we are also sending additional resources to each municipality, including DVDs and municipal stream and surface water uses maps,” said Denise Nickel, a MCIA Economic Development senior project manager. “This will only better our chances of advancing this public awareness campaign.”

The Walk and Talk will begin Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Highland Park Senior/Youth Center, 220 South Sixth Ave.

The Nov. 17 Wildlife Olympics, held at Highland Park’s Environmental Education Center, 25 River Road, will kick-off at 9:30 a.m. and continue accepting participants through 11:30 a.m.

For more information on these events, contact Nickel at 609-409-5002 or by email at dn@mciauth.com.

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