A New Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center Opens April 16
From red foxes to the piping plover, thousands of migrating wildlife make their home at The Edwin B. Forsythe Natural Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is one of over 550 national wildlife refuges in the country and is comprised of over 47,000 acres of salt marsh, undeveloped beaches, and upland forest extending from Galloway Township to Toms River.
In their constant efforts to meeting habitat needs they have decided to open a new visitors center. To celebrate the center’s opening there will be a brief ceremony held at noon Saturday, April 16, and will be followed by opportunities to visit the center (800 Great Creek Rd. in Oceanville), shop at its Nature Store, and explore the wildlife trails. The new visitors center is at the entrance to the refuge’s breath-taking 8-mile wildlife drive, which showcases various wildlife exhibits.
In a recent media release, Forsythe Refuge manager Virginia Rettig says, “The drive provides a means for the public, which includes birders, photographers, interested area residents, or visitors from afar, to explore and appreciate the diversity of nature found along the Jersey shore. The new visitor information center will enhance the refuge’s mission in interpreting these natural lands and how they impact on and interact with our environment.”
The new facility features hurricane-proof construction, and is fitted with solar panels that provide radiant heat for the building which is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The refuge provides habitat for many species of migratory and resident birds and other wildlife. Birdwatchers from all over the world visit the site, especially during the spring and fall migratory seasons. “This area of New Jersey is a major part of the Atlantic Flyway,” says Deputy Refuge Manager Brian Braudis, in a media release, “and is a focal point for migrating birds. The refuge provides food sources and habitat necessary to the migrating birds and for other wildlife species.”
For more information call 625-1665 or go here. — Alexandra Freedman