An Integrated Approach to Conservation: Engaging in Stewardship, Education, and Citizen Science at Urban Oases in New Jersey
The goal of this project is to restore, stabilize and increase the quality of habitat for wildlife at Hawk Rise Sanctuary in Linden, New Jersey, through invasive species identification, removal, and monitoring and to increase habitat awareness through community-based education and participatory science. New Jersey Audubon staff has documented 119 species of birds at this site, evidence that despite its urban location it provides valuable habitat. Project leaders will restore 15 acres of forest through invasive species removal and vegetation protection (deer fencing), educating city residents and employees about habitat health, involving volunteers and school students in an invasive species rapid assessment program, and engaging citizen scientists and birders in monitoring bird populations. Using Hawk Rise Sanctuary as the focal area, they will also expand monitoring efforts to surrounding areas. Information and experience gained at Hawk Rise Sanctuary will inform future activities related to habitat health at other urban sites within the watershed. This project will be led by Dale Rosselet.