MIDDLETOWN, NJ – From slithering snakes to hopping frogs, the Monmouth County Park System’s Reptile House, located in Huber Woods Park, 25 Brown’s Dock Road, Middletown, is once again teeming with life. Reopening on Monday, December 9, after extensive renovations, the Reptile House invites visitors to see native reptiles and amphibians and learn about their role in our environment.
“The Huber Woods Park Reptile House has been a popular attraction for visitors since the 1990s,” said Freeholder and Park System Liaison Lillian G. Burry. “With the new renovation, the reptile exhibits will offer nature lovers of all ages an enriching educational experience.”
Originally built in 1927 as a garage to the Hans Huber House (now the Huber Woods Environmental Center), the Reptile House was cramped and outdated. Its renovation included repairing the building’s exterior and redesigning its interior. The exterior repairs left the original design features intact while the inside of the building was given an open floor plan with new and larger live animal exhibits, improved work areas behind the exhibits, and better circulation for visitors.
Park System staff is excited that the renovation is complete and pleased with the results. As Senior Park Naturalist Sam Skinner stated, “We’re extremely ecstatic to reopen and welcome visitors. The space looks so different and works well for visitors to come see our inhabitants.” He went on to say, “If our critters could talk, they’d say how nice it is to be in a more natural environment.”
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One of the best features of the renovation is the new animal habitats. Working with a firm that specializes in them, the Park System installed ones that feature environmental controls, lighting and scenery. These habitats are accompanied by lively graphics and signs that provide information on the animals and their environments. Visitors to the Reptile House can see and learn about a Natural Corn Snake (an endangered species), Northern Pine Snake (a threatened species in the state), Eastern King Snake, Northern Diamondback Terrapins, Spotted Turtles, Fowlers Toads, and Gray Tree Frogs among other creatures.
The Reptile House is open daily, year round. Winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the warmer months, hours are extended to 5 p.m. on weekends. No matter what time of year, visitors should also be sure to stop into the Huber Woods Environmental Center and explore its exhibits and displays. These facilities are just two of the many ways the Park System encourages visitors to connect to the natural world around them. The Park System also offers numerous nature programs at various locations throughout the year as well as the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center in Howell.
For more information about the Reptile House, the Environmental Centers, Huber Woods Park, or the Monmouth County Park System, please visit www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312. 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.