Hammonton, N.J. - Visitors came from around the state to Stockton University's Kramer Hall in Hammonton, the Blueberry Capital of the World, to explore the Pinelands on nature
trails, in kayaks, through historical publications and by diving into environmental
topics from waste management to rare orchids.
Stockton Continuing Studies & Adult Education and the Pinelands Commission hosted the 7th annual Pinelands Summer Short Course on June 23.
Photo story by Susan Allen
|A rainy forecast, that turned out to be accurate, didn't stop participants from coming
out to learn and explore.
|Tom Kinsella, professor of Literature and director of the South Jersey Culture and History Center, works with students and the community to find and preserve stories from our past.
Students help to publish books and produce documentary films that take readers and
viewers back in time to visit historical South Jersey. Sometimes the stories come
from primary sources once hidden in basements and attics. A participant looks through
one of the books on display.
|Kinsella works closely with Heather Perez, of the Stockton Library's Special Collections, who he calls "the beating heart of the project." There are currently 107 collections
that contain diaries, oral histories, records, photographs, congressional records,
maps and other documents that describe farming communities, the Pine Barrens, Stockton
history, archaeology and natural history. Kinsella talked about some of the books
and brought a variety of the publications to share.
|A bus ride took participants down a dirt road, once a stagecoach road, to Goshen Pond
that connects to the Mullica River.
|After a paddling lesson on the beach, the kayakers launched into their nature tour.
|American white water lily pads and blooms covered the surface of the pond offering
sunbathing opportunities to turtles and frogs.
|Stockton alumna Allison Hartman, of Pinelands Adventures, talked about the flora and
fauna of the pond as paddlers observed it up close.
|About a dozen cedar waxwings fluttered through the foliage in search of berries. The
feasting birds allowed the kayakers to slowly float in for photo ops.
|The sun popped out of the clouds after a light rain prompted a chorus of carpenter
|A stealthy green heron lurks in the lilies with eyes honing in on an unsuspecting
frog. The hunting heron made another appearance at the end of the tour giving everyone
a second chance to observe its colorful plumage and sneaky mannerisms.
|Chinonye Uzowuru, of Willingboro, N.J., paddled a kayak for the first time in her
life and is excited to do it again. The IT intern for the Pinelands Commission was
most impressed by the green heron sighting, which even surprised the guides who hadn't
seen one in a long time.
View more images on Flickr.