TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey’s great outdoor locales and activities will be featured Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 during the Department of Environmental Protection’s eighth annual WILD Outdoor Expo at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
“This annual celebration of New Jersey’s outdoor attractions and activities has become one of the Department’s most popular events,” said Commissioner Martin. “It provides individuals and families with a chance to connect with our state’s nature by providing a unique blend of conservation information, education and hands-on opportunities to learn outdoor skills and activities.”
The Expo will highlight the state’s natural resources and outdoor heritage with more than 100 environmental and conservation exhibits, demonstrations and seminars. The rain-or-shine event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission and parking at the Expo are free as are most activities.
One of the Expo’s highlights will be a giant mobile aquarium, which will show off a variety of New Jersey’s fish species. The tank will be loaded with warm water game fish from the state’s fish hatchery located in Hackettstown. Casting and fishing demonstrations as well as instructional tutorials for new anglers are planned.
Expo visitors can also sharpen their camping and backpacking skills, get an introduction to archery, learn about osprey platform building, hone their bird and tree identification skills, walk through a mobile reptile zoo, and view raptors up close. Other activities will include zip lining, stand up paddle boarding, nature photography, and outdoor learning on everything from fishing to kayaking, rock climbing, shooting sports and watching wildlife.
“The Expo provides a great opportunity for people of all ages to acquire new outdoor skills, while also learning about New Jersey’s bountiful natural resources” said Larry Herrighty, Director of the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. “It is truly a one-stop event for learning how to explore, experience and enjoy New Jersey's great outdoors."
The numerous exhibits, demonstrations and seminars scheduled during the Expo will focus on New Jersey’s air, water, soil, flora, fauna and history. Experts will be on hand to discuss topics ranging from hunting to bird watching to scuba diving and forestry stewardship in the state. There also will be a living history encampment and demonstrations of crafting dating back to the 1740s.
Many of the free activities and programs offered at the Expo can help fulfill Boy Scout and Girl Scout badge requirements. View a complete list of free scout badge activities as well as a complete list of Expo events at www.wildoutdoorexpo.com
The Expo will also feature an equipment flea market featuring outdoor recreation and other environmental-related products for purchase. Food will be available from a variety of food trucks and food vendors.
The WILD Expo is sponsored by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, State Forest Service, State Forest Fire Service and the State Parks Service, as well as the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and L.L. Bean. It is partly financed by a grant from the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation’s Trailblazer Adventure Program.
Directions to the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, located at 299 East Colliers Mill Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533 – can also be found at the Expo website.
For more information on New Jersey’s wildlife management areas, visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/wmas.htm
To learn more about New Jersey’s state parks and forests, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/