The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County announces the creation of its new environmental action group, Seeds before Creeds. The group was created to allow Bergen Society members and friends of the Society an opportunity to engage in hands-on environmental restoration work. The group will be led by Interim Leader Curt Collier, who is a national director for a nonprofit focused on environmental restoration. Curt has over two decades of experience leading groups in habitat rehabilitation and organizes groups across the nation performing such work.
Each month a variety of programs will be offered, from hands-on environmental restoration projects, to hikes and outings, as well as Platform addresses on environmental or climate-change issues. These activities are open to all, and families are encouraged to attend.
The first activity will be held at Phil Rizzutto park in Elizabeth on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 3 to 5 pm. Curt will lead the team in performing a rapid environmental assessment of the park, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ida. Participants will perform a mini “bioblitz” to note which species have been most impacted, look for wildlife signs in the urban park, and document changes to the stream banks. Collaborating with Groundwork Elizabeth, a local nonprofit, the group also will be tackling the overgrowth of Oriental Bittersweet, an invasive plant that is choking the park’s flora and delaying its restoration. There will be projects for all ages to participate in, and gloves and tools will be available for volunteers.
The group will be meeting at the large free parking lot within the park at 2:45 pm to 3 pm. A public restroom is available at the site. The first hour will be spent on the rapid environmental assessment, and birders, plant enthusiasts, professional and amateur naturalists, and youth are invited to participate in the assessment. This will be followed by one hour of invasive species removal, and all skills levels are welcome to attend.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 25
Time: 3 to 5 pm (arrive by 2:45, please)
What to bring: Water bottles, gloves (if you have them), binoculars, plant and animal identification books, etc. Snacks will be provided.
Where: Phil Rizzuto Park. Set your navigation to 597 Morris Ave, Elizabeth, NJ. The park is about 38 minutes from the Bergen Society’s meetinghouse. Call Curt Collier at 914-648-0009 if you need additional driving information.
Please RSVP to [email protected] if you plan to attend the event or for more information.
Those interested in additional events and activities should email Curt to let him know. Future trips include invasive ecology at Morristown National Park, a family drumming circle at Paterson Great Falls National Historic Site, visitor-amenity construction at Sandy Hook National Seashore, and other opportunities for volunteering. Please bring a friend!