Two other field trips I've enjoyed in the past week or two were a trip to Historic Smithville in Burlington County (not to be confused with Smitheville near the seashore which I also like but in a different way). My favorite thing was the percussion grove experience for children. Some musicians had hung a clothes line with refrigerator doors and trays and other kinds of metal lids and containers and the kids were banging them with drum sticks which made a sound like a wild and stormy wind chime. I loved it! But I also liked the tables on vegetarian eating, and on ecological sound practices for yards. In this day of water shortage and dying bea colonies, it is nice to think of sharing our space in a just and thoughtful way with our animal neighbors. I was so sad when a new neighbor cut down 7 healthy trees after moving in. Over the years, I've watched older neighbors cut their trees down so they didn't have to deal with leaves, but then the sun beats down on their houses making them hotter and the water isn't well absorbed by tree roots when we get torrential rain which causes flooding. My trees and shrubs have completely stopped the flooding and mud I used to have in the yard.
Also, I have a 'natural yard' by which I mean I don't have a traidition carpet style lawn. Grass grows and I have a wide variety of Jersey friendly shrubs such as hollies. One area at the back of my yard I have allowed to stay natural with wild roses and honeysuckle and it provides a safe place for various small animals which I delight in watching. When I pull into my gravel drive, I love to see my family of rabbits run across the grass to the fenceline with the border of harboring shrubs.
I also have a birdbath which is recommended in the pamphlet I found at the Earth Fest and I fill it when I water my flowering plants. I learned my less early on about invasive species such as English Ivy. I spent %6000 to have it rmeoved one summer from my back yard and it is always creeping back!
At Cold Springs, I attended a meeting with Batsto Citizens Committee volunteers who are working to expand the outreach possibilities for young people, to acquaint them with our colorful history in South Jersey and to help them learn to appreciate our resources to protect them for the future. I'm grateful to my Father for all the family trips he took us on when my brother, Joe, and I were growing up. Every Sunday we drove somewhere, often free places, and had a family picnic - thanks Mom. Sometimes we took longer trips to Gettysburg, Valley Forge and Niagara Falls. It is sad waste when people substitute amusement parks for cultural treasures that could engage children in a love of history. Another favorite trip was to Washington DC which I think is a far superior school trip for children than to amusement parks.
My point? Visit Cold Springs - Open Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. and Sun. now, and Sat. and Sun. at the edges of the summer season. AND visit Batsto, and historiSmithville! And ALWAYS take the boat ride with Capt. Dave on the Maurice River in Millville! Hope to see you there!
ps. I put the text in larger type because I'm having eye sight difficulties and you may be also!