LINCROFT, NJ – Why do we need more park lands? Laura Szwak, Educational Directorof the N.J. Conservation Foundation, will describe the need to increase protection for New Jersey’s parklands and open spaces at 6 pm, September 23 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft.  Then Jackie Feinberg, national grassroots organizer for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, will explain why her group is fighting to preserve Southern Utah’s spectacular Redrock Canyon lands, public lands that are a national treasure although they are mostly unprotected.

They will be speaking at the joint membership meeting of the college’s Environmental Club, and members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club. The meeting is open to the public.

Szwak will discuss the systematic budget cuts against NJ’s parks that are financially starving them, efforts to promoting commercial “partnerships” that give corporations access to charging access and other fees in state parks, the slowdown in purchasing open space, the status of the Green Acres program, and the pressure from utilities to increase profits by building oil and gas pipelines and power lines in parklands rather than using commercially available land.

Feinberg, a field organizer for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, will explain why her group is fighting to preserve Southern Utah’s spectacular Redrock Canyon lands, public lands that are regarded as a national treasure although they are mostly unprotected.

The great open space advocate, John Muir, lobbied President Theodore Roosevelt to preserve Yosemite to protect nature -- the unique landscape, flora and fauna. Today park advocates have a greatly expanded view of their mission: Parks are critical in protecting the health and well-being of every living thing – plant and animal, including homo sapiens -- by helping to control land, air, and water pollution.

To get to Brookdale’s Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC) and parking lot 7, where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7.  As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf .