State commission to hold Weekend in the Pines in March


The Stockton Maple Project is one of the featured presentations at this year’s Pinelands Short Course, which is presented by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission. It will be held Saturday, March 11. PHOTO COURTESY OF STOCKTON UNIVERSITY

Spend a “Weekend in the Pines” to learn about the beauty of the vast Pinelands National Reserve next month at Stockton University.

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The weekend kicks off Saturday, March 11 with the 34th annual Pinelands Short Course. The daylong event will feature 28 presentations, including 21 new programs on the region’s unique history, ecology, culture and music.

“Stockton University is thrilled that there are so many new educational programs at this year’s Pinelands Short Course,” said Leamor Kahanov, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“We are especially excited about the presentation featuring our thriving Stockton Maple Project.”

This year’s Short Course presentations include Turtles of the Pinelands, with live turtles; Orchids of the Pinelands and Why the Smithsonian is Interested; Lichens: A Beginner’s Look; and the Stockton Maple Project: A New England Tradition Comes to South Jersey.”

The first day will also include presentations on raptors, with live creatures, a Stockton campus birding walk and musical performances by Jackson Pines and Valerie Vaughn.

The Short Course is presented by the state Pinelands Commission and runs from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. To register, go to:

The Pines celebration continues Sunday, March 12 with the “Lines on the Pines,” an annual Pine Barrens tribute that has taken place since 2005. More than 80 vendors will showcase their art, books and crafts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Stockton’s Campus Center.

Special hands-on displays, crafts and activities for children will also be available as visitors learn about the Pine Barrens. “Lines on the Pines” is free and open to the public. For more information, go to

The U.S. Congress created the Pinelands National Reserve (PNR) through the passage of the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978. The reserve is the first in the nation, according to the Pinelands Commission.

The PNR encompasses about 1.1 million acres and spans portions of seven counties – Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean – and all or part of 56 municipalities. The reserve occupies 22% of the state’s land area and is the largest body of open space on the Mid-Atlantic seaboard between Richmond and Boston.

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