by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development

The Wetlands Institute is a place of education, research and conservation, where people from all walks of life come to learn about the surrounding salt marshes. Over the past few months, The Wetlands Institute has been working to update and enhance weathered signage that was originally part of the National Park Service’s New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail. Realized from an Environmental Education Intern project, this summer, nine new plant identification signs were installed to replace the original aging and/or missing signage. These new signs blend in seamlessly, in both appearance and content, with existing educational signage in Marion’s Gardens, on the elevated walkway and on the dock overlooking the tidal channel. In total, this suite of signage, creates a holistic self-guided learning experience that covers native plants, functions and values of the salt marsh, and commonly seen salt marsh plants and animals.

Visitors to the trail will also notice a restoration of The Bev Henry Marsh Trail Rubbing, a legacy trail offering children the opportunity to answer questions, while creating a crayon rubbing of a Northern Diamondback Terrapin. It was created in memory of Bev Henry, who for over 30 years led hundreds of preschoolers on their first adventure on the salt marsh trail. In the final stages for this project, the Salt Marsh Trail Guide markers are receiving a much needed aesthetic revitalization, along with our guided phone tour signage.

Whatever your preference for self-guided learning about the salt marsh ecosystem, we have an opportunity for you, so come check us out. You can even take a virtual Salt Marsh Safari Tour as part of our Virtual Wetlands Experience.