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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Overpeck Wildlife Preserve, Leonia, NJ, USA

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Overpeck Wildlife Preserve, Leonia, NJ, USA
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Registered: May 2008
City/Town/Province: Newark
Posts: 1
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Project Location: Leonia, NJ USA
Student: Damon (7th grader)

Photo Essay: The 7th and 4th graders at our school participated in a cleanup at the Overpeck Preserve in Leonia, NJ as part of our Community Service Day activities. This Preserve is actually a rehabilitated landfill that is now a very rare habitat in New Jersey. The area includes non-tidal wetlands, swamps, and streams that makes it desirable for raptors. It is home to white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits and many red foxes.

Our cleanup consisted of using clippers to collect trash. We also used shovels and garbage bags to pick up everything from beer bottles to shower curtains to car parts. Even though it was pretty warm day and may allergy sufferers were a little uncomfortable, we worked very hard and rotated jobs frequently so that everyone had a chance to experience all parts of the cleanup. Once our bags were full, we tied them up and left them on the trail for collection. I estimated that we had 40 bags filled with trash.

We were told to be on the lookout for animals because of the ticks they carry. We also learned of the special way to remove a tick if it landed on your skin. We spotted many bird types, a beaver, a fox and several goose eggs. We noticed a decaying fish head and concluded that the rest of the fish may have been eaten by wildlife in the area.

Seeing these animals made us realize why this work was so important. We observed trash drifting along the Overpeck creek and it made us feel like we had a mission. After all, this area used to be a landfill where hundreds of trucks dumped their wastes daily. Like so many places in this world, this kind of pollution ruins nature and in unhealthy for us all. We felt that we needed to clean as much as we could so that the wildlife would have a clean, natural habitat. We left at the end of the day knowing that we helped to make the Overpeck Preserve a better place, both for wildlife in the area and ourselves.
Date: May 28, 2008 Views: 4944 File size: 29.5kb, 154.5kb : 640 x 480
Hours Volunteered: 172
Volunteers: 80
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 9 to 13
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 48
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 25
Native Trees Planted: 1
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