The Gloucester County Nature Club will start its new season Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Holy Nativity Lutheran Church at the corner of Woodbury-Glassboro Rd. and Mantua Ave., Wenonah.
The program for September will be “Where Have All the Quail Gone? The Importance of Young Forests as Wildlife Habitat,” presented by Anthony Petrongolo of the New Jersey Forestry Association.
When the earliest European explorers sailed up the Delaware River, they described a land brimming with a variety of habitats and wildlife, from old growth forest to savannas and everything in between.Young forest species such as the white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit, ruffed grouse and bobwhite quail were found in great abundance.
Over time, as land was cleared for agriculture, many forms of young forest wildlife thrived in southern New Jersey. Areas that were developed and paved over lost all but a few very adaptable species. Eventually, many of our forests grew back to maturity (New Jersey today is 45 percent forested) to the point that young forests have become the weak link.
Species that are associated with young forest habitats, like the bobwhite quail, are declining with them. Sometime in the last 20 years, the familiar summertime call of “bobwhite” disappeared from Gloucester County for the first time in probably the last 10,000 years.
The club has also scheduled the Full Moon Drum Circle field trip at Scotland Run Park, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.
Join the Gloucester County Nature Club for a fun-filled evening of percussion. Come out and enjoy Scotland Run Park after dark.
The club has secured permission to use the park after dark and will enjoy a gibbous moon over the field. You don’t need to be a drummer or even a musician to participate.
Guests will set up in a circle in a natural area not far from the parking lot. This event will include guided activities as well as time for improvisation and exploration of sound during the evening. Visitors will take a short walk across the road and to the field in order to get away from road noise and lights.
It is recommended that you bring a camp style or folding chair and a drum if you have one. Different of styles drums and other percussion instruments will be provided for participants to borrow. This activity is designed as fun for novices and families, although all are welcome. You may want a flashlight to help navigate the area after it gets dark, but the club intends to drum in the moonlight, so a flashlight and drums are optional.
Field trip information can be found on their Meetup website: www.meetup.com/Gloucester-County-Nature-Club.
Meetings are scheduled for the second Thursday of the month, September through June, and are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.gcnatureclub.org.