Over 500 boxes were built by volunteer groups this year. Staff planned to head out by boat and by foot last week to kick the conservation project off here at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. And this coming week, they'll be launching boats from the River Barge Marina in Carlstadt to Saw Mill Creek in Lyndhurst and Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus.
The boats are going out Monday, March 20 at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 21 at 11:45 a.m., and Wednesday, March 22 at 12 p.m. (the times are based on the tides). There's a visual element to the project, as the tree swallows usually rush towards the boxes as soon as the boats back off. Being out in the boats offers a nice informal tour of the area, with other wildlife and scenery that defines the region and the NJMC's conservation efforts readily visible. All of these dates are weather permitting.
The birds are popular among photographers and useful for their consumption of mosquito-like insects called midges.
The boxes were donated by volunteer groups including Pathways to Independence and the Girl Scouts of America.
For more information or to participate in this ongoing conservation project, contact NJMC Outreach Naturalist Gabrielle Bennett-Meany at (201) 460-4640.