Educational Programs

Coast Garter Snake on the Forest FloorVirtual Nature Lessons

Gloucester County Parks and Recreation is offering virtual lessons on various nature topics. The virtual lessons will feature slide shows with narrations by Dr. Daniel Duran, Gloucester County Park Naturalist. Presentations last 30 to 60 minutes (flexible) with time for questions and answers. Park educators can present in Google Classroom or Zoom to offer live instruction.

Topics

What Do Insects Do

When you think of insects, what do you think of?  Did you know that well over 99% of insects are not pests, but are actually beneficial!  This program will explore the many fascinating aspects of insects and how important they are to our very survival!  

Amazing Snakes

This program will educate participants about the amazing and beautiful world of snakes, with a focus on the two dozen species found right here in New Jersey.  We'll cut through the many myths and misconceptions that surround snakes.

Wildlife of the Deserts

This program will explore some of the most beautiful places on Earth - deserts!  Come learn about the incredible wildlife that lives in the deserts.  See beautiful blooming cacti and alien-looking beetles.  Dr. Duran will showcase many pictures he's taken in the National Parks of the American Southwest.  

Contact Us

Educators interested in scheduling a virtual session can email Dan Duran or email Kim Miller.

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Adult Naturalist Program

Are you interested in learning more about our local wildlife and how you can help conserve biodiversity in your own yard? If so, join Rowan Professor and Park Naturalist, Dr. Daniel Duran for the Adult Naturalist Program at Scotland Run Park this fall. Programs are from 9:30am - 11:30am every 2nd and 4th Thursday in September and October. Each session will include a presentation inside the newly renovated Nature Center, as well as outdoor exploration (weather permitting). Pre-registration is required. Call 856-251-6710 to register.

September 9 - Insect Migration

Every year eastern monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles between Mexico and the United States and Canada. The average butterfly can travel upwards of 100 miles a day. The longest observed single day flight for an individual was 265 miles; quite a feat for an insect that only has a four-inch wing span! If you’re curious as to why and how this species and many lesser-known insect species travel across entire continents each year, this lesson will cover the topic in detail.

September 23 - Mushrooms and Fungi

When people think of nature, they often think about animals and plants.  In this week’s Adult Naturalist Program, we’ll learn about the fascinating world of fungi, especially mushrooms. Few people realize just how important mushrooms, molds, and other fungi are for life to continue on earth. These unsung heroes provide important ecosystem services and many are quite beautiful. We’ll focus on species that can be seen in our area, especially Scotland Run Park.

October 14 - Late Season Pollinator Plants

There is an abundance of flowers that bloom in the spring and summer that are both stunning to look at and essential for native pollinators. There are plenty more flowers that are just as beautiful and important that bloom in the fall, and we don’t think they get enough love or attention. If you’d like to know what plants you can use to spruce up your garden from September to November, or how you can help out your local pollinators, come and see us for this lesson.

October 28 - Salamanders and Frogs

Did you know the eastern United States is a global hotspot for amphibian biodiversity? You do now, and you can learn many other things about local amphibians in our final lecture. This lesson will cover a range of topics including identification of local frogs and salamanders, how frog species are imperiled by an invasive fungus, and more.