Register Now for Pinelands Short Course on March 10

Feb 14, 2018
File Photo by: Pat Johnson

The 29th annual Pinelands Short Course, set for March 10, will feature a record 41 programs that explore the region’s unique history, ecology, culture and music. Registration is open now for the day-long event, held at Stockton University in Galloway Township. Participants are encouraged to register early to help ensure they receive their first course selections.

“This year’s Pinelands Short Course is our most ambitious yet,” said Nancy Wittenberg, executive director of the Pinelands Commission. “The event continues to grow in popularity, and we want to build on our success by offering more programs than ever before. Our main goal has always been to educate and inspire people to learn more about the Pinelands.”

New courses include: the remarkable recovery of the state’s bald eagle population, carnivorous Pinelands plants, mammal skull identification, primitive survival skills, the hidden world of glowing organisms in the Pinelands, the recent archaeological excavation of Cedar Bridge Tavern, citizen-driven mosquito control, coastal flooding and the impact on Pinelands estuaries, native landscaping, and pioneering cranberry and blueberry research at Whitesbog Village.

Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson, meanwhile, will present a workshop on the politics behind the passage of the Pinelands Protection Act. Johnson has written numerous books, including Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, which was the basis for the HBO drama series “Boardwalk Empire.”

The Short Course will also offer three new field trips: a day-long birding and nature walk at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, a new van trip to see and discuss the pygmy pine plains, and a van tour about life along the Wading River in the 1800s.

Three tours that take place at Stockton include bird identification, Stockton’s Forest Management Plan, and biodiversity hotspots on the university campus.

A number of popular presentations from the past are also scheduled, including the Jersey  Devil and origins of New Jersey, Pinelands weather and climate variability, the lure of the Pinelands, birds in New Jersey, Pinelands frogs and toads, and historical changes in the Pinelands.

This year’s event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., will also feature live music by Denizen Pine and The  Pitch Pines. Pinelands-themed food, coffee  and other refreshments will be available for purchase at Stockton’s Campus Center.

“Stockton’s location in the Pinelands National Reserve is a daily reminder of our role as stewards of the environment,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman remarked. “We are pleased to host the Pinelands Short Course and to have members of our environmental studies faculty share their expertise about this unique New Jersey resource.”

The Pinelands Short Course is registered with the New Jersey Department of Education, and professional development credits are available to teachers who attend.

The cost is $50, or $45 for students and seniors.

The Short Course brochure and registration form includes complete, detailed descriptions of every program. To request the brochure and registration form, call 609-894-7300, extension 125. The form is also available online at To register online, visit —J.K.-H.

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