Appreciating nature and wildlife

Cedar Run refuge hosts some special September events

Special to The Sun: Erin Rounds, director of education at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, with Phoebe Muffay, Cedar Run’s non-releasable Wildlife Ambassador Striped Skunk.

September is a busy month for Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge.

Autumn with the Animals takes place on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m., and a 5K trail run is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30, at 9 a.m.

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“That one is going to be so much fun; it’s very family oriented,” said Tracey Bloodworth, Cedar Run’s director of development and communications, of Autumn with the Animals. The event will include wildlife programs, canoeing, games, crafts and outdoor enclosure tours.

“That’s a really great opportunity for the public to learn a little about New Jersey native wildlife, and we’ll have our education team walking around with some of our wildlife ambassadors that are not able to be released back into the wild,” Bloodworth explained.

“The public can really learn about the importance of these animals, and the importance of the habitats that they live in and why they should be protected.”

The nonprofit’s 10th annual Trails, Tails & Ales 5K Trail Fun Run will feature five breweries, food before the race, and a meet and greet with one of Cedar Run’s residents. Participants can run or walk, and the first two racers to cross the finish line will get prizes.

Pre-registration will end on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at midnight, and day-of-race registration will be open from 8 to 9 a.m. No professional timer will be present for the event, and participants must register by Tuesday, Sept. 5, to guarantee their event T-shirts.

Special to The Sun: Cedar Run educator Keith Clayton and red-tailed hawk and wildlife resident Aldora at a previous Autumn with the Animals.

“For all of our fundraisers and all of our activities and special events, proceeds go back to the organization to further expand our mission and help thousands of wild animals, whether they’re injured or orphans or New Jersey native wildlife,” Bloodworth noted.

According to Cedar Run’s site, its overall mission is to serve as a community resource to protect and enhance healthy ecosystems. The organization is dedicated to the preservation of state wildlife and habitats through education, conservation and rehabilitation.

Each year Cedar Run educates 30,000 students through field trips, school assemblies and other programs and operates a nature center for visitors to learn about wildlife. It treats and rehabilitates more than 6,300 wild animals annually, a number that continues to grow, and provides year-round care for nearly 60 wild animals who can’t be released after rehabilitation.

Among Cedar Run’s offerings are Refuge on Wheels; Girl and Boy Scout programs; summer camps; and field trip adventures, and it recently held its biggest event of the year, the 2023 Wine and Wildlife fundraiser.

“It’s a good way to experience the refuge in a different way, whether you’re new to Cedar Run or new to the area,” Bloodworth said of the nonprofit’s activities. “It’s also a really great way to visit where we do have some of our wildlife out and you can meet and greet with some of (them), as well as our educators beyond some of our programming.”

“It’s a good way for the public to experience Cedar Run, but it’s also a really great way to connect with other like-minded individuals as well.”

For more information on Autumn with the Animals and the 5K, visit

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