Baldpate Nature Camp is a program of the Mercer County Park Commission. The camp is held at Baldpate Mountain in Titusville, and is open to children entering grades 1 through 6.
Baldpate Nature Camp is designed to enhance children’s natural affinity for the great outdoors. Hands-on nature explorations, science experiments, hikes through the forest, and unstructured nature play create the foundation for each camp week. Camp days are devoted to a specific nature topic and may include arthropods, forest ecology, birds and tracking. Campers will keep a nature journal to record their thoughts, explorations, and discoveries.
All campers will create a Baldpate Nature Guide t-shirt to bring home.
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE VISITS MERCER COUNTY SPECIAL SERVICES HIGH SCHOOL FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM
(HAMILTON) - New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today enjoyed pasta salad with Jersey Fresh broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini as well as pumpkin bars made with home-grown pumpkins at Mercer County Special Services High School in Hamilton during their Farm to School celebration.
The Department of Agriculture's Farm to School program helps connect schools with local farmers to increase school meals' nutritional value, combat obesity and support the state's agriculture industry.
"Programs like Mercer High School's benefit students greatly by incorporating more fresh produce into their diets and teaching them about where their food comes from and why it's important to have agriculture in New Jersey," said Secretary Fisher. "We encourage more schools to get involved in the Farm to School program."
Every day this week, Mercer High School featured Jersey Fresh in their menu items, all prepared by the students. They made and erected banners promoting Jersey Fresh and the whole school will participate in a tasting on Friday of the dishes made with local produce.
Secretary Fisher about to try zucchini parmesan made with Jersey Fresh zucchini, being served by Greg Pontier.
Gregory Pontier, a 30-year food service professional and ex-chef who has been with Mercer High School for 11 years, spearheaded the Farm to School activities. He was able to get 200 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables donated by local farmers and staff members for the program.
"During our Farm to School festivities, the students realized, perhaps for the first time, why we are called the Garden State," said Pontier, who coordinates the student-run restaurant, the Hard Hat Cafe, where the school's emotionally or physically handicapped students can access healthy fare. "The variety of products that came from nearby farms proved that all these products are real. They've found out that fruits and vegetables come from gardens and farms, as opposed to cans and the freezer, and they've found out that something they've never tried before can be really, really good."
Mercer High School serves autistic, multiply disabled and emotionally disabled students ages 12 to 21, to provide them with a comprehensive education that prepares them for the future and the working world. The Hard Hat Cafe is a learning opportunity for students who gain food preparation skills, as well as for student customers who are able to pay for their own meals and be served like they would at outside restaurants.
Legislation is pending to declare the last week in September of each year as Farm to School Week. The event would celebrate the abundance of Jersey Fresh farm products available in the fall through planning school meal menus using locally grown products, highlighting those items on the schools' weekly menu, and planning health and nutrition-oriented activities for students and staff.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture's Farm to School program, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/childadult/farm_to_school.html.
For Immediate Release: September 30, 2010
Contact: Lynne Richmond
Mercer Street Friends School-Age Child Care programs offer before- and after-school care in a safe, enriching environment at 6 elementary schools in Hamilton Township. The programs offer a familiar atmosphere and eliminate transportation problems for families. Children in our programs play under adult supervision, receive help with homework and enjoy a nutritious snack. Mercer Street Friends is the only provider of after-school care to the Special Services District schools of Mercer County.
For program information, call Barbara Schollenberger, manager of the School-Age Child Care program, at (609) 278-5511.
To volunteer, please call Phyllis Stoolmacher, volunteer coordinator, at (609) 406-0503.
For more information on schools, programs and hours of operation:
The following sites and programs are run by Mercer Street Friends:
Riding High Farm encourages special riders to overcome their physicaland cognitive challenges and recognize their potential through horseback riding.
Handicapped High Riders Club, Inc., located at Riding High Farm is a 10 ½ acre farm, indoor riding facility and stable, organized in 1979 as a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 corporation, dedicated to providing special needs riders with recreational and therapeutic instruction.
Riding High Farm is situated on 145 Route 526 on the border of western Mercer and eastern Monmouth County, midway between the City of Trenton and Township of Freehold in Central New Jersey.
We seek to enrich the lives of physically, cognitively and emotionally challenged persons through riding instructions that engage special needs individuals in a mainstream recreational and sport activity and by improving therapeutically through the modality of the horse both physical and cognitive functions.
Associated and Certified by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) we strive to maintain the highest standards of care, safety and instructional benefits for special needs riding. Increasingly reaching out and extending our programs, we provide individual hyppotherapy and group lessons to school districts that require physical education for special needs students.
Our goals include the integration of the able-bodied with the special needs by expanding our inclusive summer camp riding program for children and the recruitment and training of volunteer and community service workers to assist our professional staff to conduct riding lessons, maintain our horses and facilities and assist in fundraising.