mcps backyard birding

mcps backyard birdingPHOTO: Head over to the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell, for  Backyard Birding.


LINCROFT — From nature walks to blacksmith demonstrations, the Monmouth County Park System fills March with family-friendly fun. Here’s what’s planned for the month:

The Casual Birder  

Thursday, March 2 at  9 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir in Howell – Meet in front of the Visitor Center’s bait shop.
Thursday, March 16 at 9 a.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft – Meet in the Marlu Lake parking lot.

Join a Park System Naturalist for a laid-back morning bird walk.  We’ll meander for about an hour and see what birds we can find. No need to be an expert at identifying birds to enjoy this walk. A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow if needed. Open to ages 8 and up. FREE!


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Surprise Story Time

Saturday, March 4 from 11-11:45 a.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown

Join us for a reading from a nature or garden-related book. If the weather is nice, look for the clue at the Horticultural Center’s entrance that leads to the secret spot. If it’s rainy or cold, we’ll be inside. Recommended for ages 4-7. FREE!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Saturday & Sunday, March 4 & 5 at 11:30 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell
Enjoy a reading of “Horton Hatches the Egg” and a craft in honor of the author’s birthday. FREE!

Open Ceramics

Sunday, March 5 from 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Lincroft

Choose from a large selection of bisque fired pottery pieces to glaze and make your own. Children age 12 and under are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per hour plus price of bisque ware; cash or check only. Pieces will be fired in about a week.

Seashore Scientist

Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch

Explore different aspects of oceanography through interactive discussions and hands-on experiments. FREE!     

Roving Naturalist  

Saturday, March 11 at 9 a.m.
Big Brook Park, Marlboro
Saturday, March 25 at 9 a.m. 
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen

Join our Roving Naturalist for a walk. We’ll discuss seasonal points of interest, search for signs of wildlife, and identify a bird or two. This is a 1.5-2 hour program, but feel free to join in or drop out at any point. Dress for the weather as light rain and snow are not deterrents. FREE! 

E. Murray Todd Half-Marathon 

Sunday, March 12 – 8:30 a.m. start
Brookdale Community College, Lincroft

The 13.1-mile course takes runners through the residential sections of Lincroft, Holmdel and Colts Neck. Race-day registration accepted starting at 7 a.m.

Backyard Birding

Sunday, March 12 at 10:30 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell
Discover how putting up feeders and creating a welcoming environment can attract birds to your yard. We’ll also talk about identifying common feeder birds and using these observations to help pick out other species you may encounter in the field. FREE!     

Blacksmith Demonstration

Sunday, March 12 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
See what the blacksmith is making in his workshop. FREE!    

Nature Lecture Series: Whales of the Jersey Shore        

Thursday, March 23 from 7-8 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth

Learn about the many species of whales that can be found in our coastal waters during this talk led by a Park System Naturalist.  We will also discuss threats to these magnificent mammals and ways to help save the whales. FREE!  

Open Shoot Archery

Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft

All equipment is provided, no outside equipment permitted, during this open shoot designed for experienced archers. Open to ages 10 and up (under 18 with adult). Cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.

Cookstove Demonstration

Saturday, March 25 from 12:30-3 p.m. 
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Watch the farm staff fire up the cookstove and prepare a dish as it would have been done in the 1890s. FREE!

Wood Turtles

Saturday & Sunday, March 25 & 26 at 1 p.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell
Meet a wood turtle and learn about these fascinating creatures. FREE!    

To learn more about these Park System activities, please visit or call the Park System at 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...