Take a Virtual Tour of the Pinelands at LBI Library in Surf City Aug. 14

Aug 06, 2018
Photo by: Pat Johnson

The sights and sounds of the Pinelands region are brought to life by Joel Mott  in a program on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 10 a.m. at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library in Surf City. Mott is the education and program director for the New Jersey Pinelands Commission. In his interactive PowerPoint presentation, he will present a history of the Pinelands region and the various efforts undertaken to preserve plant and animal life in the area.

“It’s like a virtual walk in the woods,” he said.

The region covers approximately 1.1 million acres and spans portions of seven counties and all or part of 56 municipalities. It occupies 22 percent of New Jersey’s land area and is the largest body of open space on the Mid-Atlantic seaboard between Richmond, Va., and Boston.

Mott said Europeans first began to come to the Pinelands in numbers in the 17th century, particularly after the English seized New Jersey from the Dutch in 1664. Whaling and shipbuilding were two of the major early enterprises, but these were pursued mainly on the coastal periphery of the Pines. It was only in 1765, when the first furnaces were built to exploit the region’s bog iron deposits, that settlement in the interior of the Pinelands developed on any real scale.

“Soon after, glass production began, taking advantage of the high quality sands of the region, and other rural industries were founded,” he said. “As these faded in the mid-19th century, railroads began to be built, forever changing the pattern of settlements in the area. At this time also, the berry industry of the Pinelands had its beginnings, as did the development of resorts at the shore, both aided by the ready access provided by the railroads.”

He said there will be many images of native plants and wildlife, along with recorded sounds of tree frogs, toads and coyotes.

“The tree frogs don’t sound the way you usually think a frog would sound like,” he said.   

To register for the program, call the branch at 609-494-2480. E.E.

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