2022 Workshops

Plenary:

Jeffrey Vasser, Director - NJ Division of Travel & Tourism

Dorothy Guzzo, Director - NJ State Historic Trust

Tom Drake, Publisher - Skylands Magazine

Facilitator: James Kern, Warren County Commissioner

Track 1 - Places to Visit

Destinations

Andrea Proctor (Waterloo Village Historic Site)

David Helmer (Morris County Park Commission)

Dr. Michael Horne (Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge)

Facilitator: John Donahue

 

Learn from some of the best on what it takes to manage a major national refuge, county park system or state historic site, why these sites successfully draw visitors and hear our panelists share some stories about the places they manage.  

Industrial Archeology as Destinations

Elliot Ruga  (New Jersey Highlands Coalition)

Joe Macasek (Canal Society of New Jersey)

Facilitator: Elliott Ruga (New Jersey Highlands Coalition)

 

Throughout northwestern New Jersey, hidden in the underbrush of a ubiquitous second growth forest, wrapped in encircling vines and half buried in the forest soils are ruins that reveal evidence of our early entrance to the industrial age. Mines, furnaces and foundries, mills, factories, railroads, a canal, once stood in what are now mature canopied forests. What efforts are now underway in northwestern NJ to unearth the most emblematic of these structures as historic resources, to develop and interpret them to connect us with our industrial past? And how can we leverage these restorations as tourist destinations, to preserve our history and to enhance local economies?

A Day in the Country: Fostering a Time-honored Tradition
Jake Mantegna (Last Frontier Angler)

Jane Heeckt (Musconetcong Watershed Association)

Paul Muir (Clinton Red Mill Museum Village)

 

Spending time in the country is already tradition for many New Jersey residents and visitors, promising wholesome--and affordable--fun for everyone.  By leveraging local cultural resources, maintaining rural character, and protecting the beautiful rivers and streams that weave through the local landscape, our region’s communities can make A Day in the Country an experience that more than rivals Going Down the Shore no matter what the season.

Is creation of the Delaware River National Park & Lenape Preserve in the future?

John Donahue (Three Rivers Environmental Consulting)


Why is such designation needed?  What form would it take?  What could its impact on Northwest New Jersey look like? 

Track 2 - Things to Do

Hiking and Paddling in Northwest New Jersey

Jeremy Travers (PEACE NJ)

Zachary Cole (New York New Jersey Trail Conference)
Facilitator: Zac Cole (New York New Jersey Trail Conference)

 

The New Jersey Highlands are a premier destination for outdoor recreation on the water and on

the trail. Join Jeremy Travers and Zachary Cole to learn how and where to enjoy our spectacular

outdoor spaces, the basics of Leave No Trace and tips on being prepared for your visit to the

Highlands. In this workshop we will also explore the relationship between outdoor recreation,

sustainable economic development and conservation using the Highlands Trail as an example.

 

New Jersey at the Crossroads of Migration

Dale Rosselet (New Jersey Audubon)

Facilitator: Alexa Fantacone (New Jersey Audubon)

Northwest New Jersey is revered for its lush forests, scenic views, and historic places, but one of the
best ways to pass the time in this beautiful region of the state is BIRDING! Join Dale Rosselet, New Jersey
Audubon’s Vice President of Education, birder and nature tour leader to learn about why New Jersey has
so many bird species, participate in a virtual bird trip to several northwestern New Jersey’s premier
birding locations and be introduced to some of the amazing species that you might see throughout the
seasons.

 

Dwight Hiscano Photography Workshop

Dwight Hiscano (Dwight Hiscano Photography)

Facilitator: Donna Compton

 

Dwight’s Phototalk will feature his award-winning landscape photographs with an emphasis on the rivers and lakes of Northwestern New Jersey, and the role of landscape photography in conservation. We’ll also cover equipment, light, composition and subject matter while exploring the difference between boring snapshots and fine art photography. Find out how to make the best use of any equipment, from an iPhone to a full-frame DSLR, and learn how composition can turn a snapshot into a work of art. All levels welcome!

Track 3 - Places to Learn

Expanding Access to Nature 
Michael Muckle (New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg)

Renata Barnes (Outdoor Equity Alliance)

Facilitator: Kristine Rogers (Wallkill River Watershed Management Group)

 

Learn how the Outdoor Equity Alliance’s efforts in Mercer County inspire people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, and income levels to develop an appreciation and love for the outdoors.  OEA’s work will serve as a case example of the strategies necessary to broaden use of Northwestern NJ’s trails, parks, and preserved open space among a wider constituency of recreational users.  Workshop participants will also hear from NJ Youth Corps of Phillipsburg’s Director and Delaware River Climate Corps members who will discuss how the organization is helping to expand access to the outdoors through service, learning opportunities and stewardship partnerships with local government agencies and environmental non-profits. 

Northwestern NJ Destinations for Outdoor Learning 

Kerry Kirk Pflugh (Friends of the New Jersey School of Conservation)

Kyle Richter (Lake Hopatcong Foundation)

Facilitator: Kristine Rogers (Wallkill River Watershed Management Group)

 

Learn about two of northwestern New Jersey’s hidden gems for outdoor educational and recreational fun: Lake Hopatcong and the New Jersey School of Conservation in Stokes State Forest.  Presenters from the Lake Hopatcong Foundation and the Friends of the New Jersey School of Conservation will describe programming being offered by staff and trained volunteers that the whole family can participate in. 

Northern NJ Recreational Centers and Camps  

Jessica Shandor (Winter4Kids)

Lauren Theis (Raritan Headwaters Association)

Facilitator: Kristine Rogers (Wallkill River Watershed Management Group)

Participants will hear from two organizations that are working to provide fun and educational programs for youth and adults alike!  The Director of Education at the Raritan Headwaters Association will speak about the day camp opportunities and educational programming being offered in Bedminster while the Relationship Director at Winter4Kids will provide an overview of the winter and summer camp activities offered at the National Winter Activity Center in Vernon, NJ throughout the year. 

Track 4 - The Business of Tourism and Recreation

Places to Visit and Stay, and How to Invest in and Run Them

Laurie Rapisardi (Hackettstown Business Improvement District)

Ricardo Alvarado (Everitt House Bed and Breakfast)

Facilitator: Dr. Alan Hunt (Musconetcong Watershed Association)

 

Bustling shops, charming historic districts, and bucolic scenery make Northwestern New Jersey a premier destination for those planning long weekends or attending special events.  Supporting the tourism and local economy of these small towns, bed and breakfasts add a personal and memorable touch to any trip.  But how do entrepreneurs run successful B&Bs?  And how can local Chambers of Commerce or Business Improvement Districts support small business owners?  Learn how towns and business owners can work together to invest in the local hospitality industry and what hurdles these entrepreneurs face.

 

Angling and Hunting in New Jersey

Ed Haversang (Native Fish Coalition)

Emily Baldauff (Trout Unlimited)

George Cassa (Shannon’s Fly & Tackle Shop, Califon, New Jersey)

Facilitator: Ryan Jiorle (Musconetcong Watershed Association)

 

Angling and hunting mean business in Northwest New Jersey.  What does that look like and what are the opportunities and challenges brought by these activities to the economy of this region? The rivers and streams in the New Jersey Highlands are known for trout fishing.  Throughout the spring and fall, you will not have to look far to find an angler wading in the babbling current of the Musconetcong, Paulins Kill, or Pequest Rivers.  So, why do some still find this sport unattainable for them?  A local business owner shares the non-regulatory influences on freshwater fishing and how structural, cultural, and economic factors shape fishing in New Jersey.

You Can Have It All: A Vibrant Economy AND Protected Natural Resources!

Ben Spinelli (New Jersey Highlands Council)

Facilitator: Carole Ann Dicton (New Jersey Highlands Council)

Both the New Jersey Highlands Act and the Highlands Regional Master Plan emphasize the importance of a vibrant and thriving economy to the overall health of the region. The recently released Highlands Economic Sustainability Plan provides municipalities and counties with critical insights about which industries demonstrate the greatest economic potential, where industry growth is best suited, and outlines an implementation plan for securing a sustainable economic future for the Highlands.  Learn more about the Plan and how you can use it to maximize economic potential and protect natural resources in your community.

 

Ecotourism and Supporting Local Economies in Northwestern New Jersey

Craig Schlosser (Morris County Economic Development Corporation)

Kelly Brozyna (New Jersey Small Business Development Center)

Facilitator: Samantha Rutledge (Tourism Manager, Morris County Economic Development Corporation)

 

The vast, rolling hills of Northwestern New Jersey provide beautiful backdrops for car trips, hiking, and other outdoor recreation.  Recently, farm and business owners have marketed superior farm-to-table offerings to a new generation looking for sustainable entertainment.  The Morris County Economic Development Corporation will share the positive impact that the ecotourism industry can help support the local economy.

A Day in the Country: Fostering a Time-Honored Tradition

Jake Mantegna (Last Frontier Angler)

Jane Heeckt (Musconetcong Watershed Association)

Paul Muir (The Red Mill Museum Village, Clinton)

Spending time in the country is already tradition for many New Jersey residents and visitors, promising wholesome--and affordable--fun for everyone. By leveraging local cultural resources, maintaining rural character, and protecting the beautiful rivers and streams that weave through the local landscape, our region’s communities can make A Day in the Country an experience that more than rivals Going Down the Shore no matter what the season.