Birding and nature fest at fairgrounds

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:43

    Augusta — The sixth annual Sussex County Birding and Nature Festival will be held on June 11 and 12 at The Conservatory at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, in Augusta. All field trips seeking flying creatures will take off from The Conservatory. These trips will run all day Saturday and Sunday morning with leaders to point out interesting species found along the trail. Each field trip runs for a half day. Trip leaders are experts in their fields and the trips will highlight many of New Jersey’s public state and federal lands. For those who prefer shorter a introduction to nature, there will be impromptu nature walks highlighting trails close to the fairgrounds. Also on Saturday, the Farm Fun building will have nature-oriented kid activities. On Sunday afternoon, to top off the festival, there will be a special luncheon keynote speaker, wildlife artist Carol Decker. Her talk, “From the Heart to the Canvas,” will be a summary of how she transforms her ideas into artwork that wants to fly or run off the canvas. Pre-registration at is required for this event. The cost is $32. The festival will also host a Green Marketplace for people to visit all weekend to learn about Ecotourism and Agritourism and check out ideas that will help keep Sussex County. Although it will be the tail end of the spring bird migration, trip leaders hope to find some good nesting species in forests and grasslands. With the warmth of upcoming summer, the butterflies and dragonflies should be abundant. One of the festival’s partners, The Nature Conservancy (, will be leading a canoe trip to their Mashipacong Bog Preserve during the festival. Other festival partners include the NJ Audubon Society ( the Sussex County Fairgrounds ( and the Sussex County Board of Agriculture ( Registration for fieldtrips can be done online or at the fairgrounds on the day of the event. Visit to register and for details on fieldtrip fees.