22 High School Students From NY City Visited the Red Barn Preserve on July 17th
The last 30 days have been busy for the Gateway Museum. We held the Annual Garage Sale on June 15th and matched last years results as our friends of the museum donated many items that sold well on that Saturday.
At the Red Barn Preserve we held Volunteer Day on June 22nd. Over 20 volunteers came to the Farm to rake wood chips along the hiking trails, cut cattails next to the boardwalks , clean debris from the barn and paint bedrooms in the farm house.
July 4th featured the Morristown Parade. The museum was proud to enter a beautiful float covered with attractive artwork showing pictures of the Dr Morse Indian Root Pills exhibit that was installed this year in the museum. Other pictures captured the natural beauty of the Red Barn Preserve and its attractive hiking trails. George Coslar drove the float truck with World War II veteran Bob Shelato riding shotgun. Bob drew a standing ovation when he stepped out of the vehicle to be acknowledged by the crowd in front of the grandstand. Rich Bzura threw out candy from the back of the float.
On Saturday July 8th we kicked off the summer concert series with a solid performance from Northbound. Despite strong winds and rain at the time- over 75 people braved the elements to attend the event. On July 8th we sponsored the second concert with the Chipman Jazz All Stars.
Our third concert featured the Atkinson Family Band on July 15th.
Jake Tibbles- the Executive Director of the Thousand Island Land Trust was a guest speaker at the museum on July 17th. The Thousand Island Land Trust (TILT) has been a big supporter of the Gateway Museum. Much of the work done at the Red Barn Preserve was done after consulting TILT on how to create new hiking trails and build structures like the boardwalks. Jake's speech was entitled "Corridors and Conservation" and focused on the development of land between NY State's Adirondack State Park and Canada's Algonquin Park in Ontario. He entertained the crowd with true stories about Alice the Moose - and how this large animal traveled hundreds of miles from the Adirondack Park to the Algonquin Park.
Work continued at the Red Barn Preserve. The team installed colorful graphics signage on the kiosk that displayed the map of our current trails. A sign-in box was installed to capture the names and addresses of visitors. The farmhouse renovation team wired the kitchen, a plumber completed rough plumbing for the kitchen and two bathrooms, and painting continued in all the rooms.
Our blue heron rookery saw active adult birds feeding many young birds. The young birds have grown so large that it is hard to differentiate between the adults and the young. The birds will leave the Rookery in the next few weeks. If you want to have a last look at this years flock- now would be the time to visit the site.
We continue to be impressed by the large number of visitors to Preserve each day. Word has certainly gotten around about our trails and its connection to nature and wild life. We were honored on July 17th to have 22 high school seniors from New York City spend a day at the Farm with Dr Jessica Rogers to learn about the plants and conservation efforts Dr Rogers and her team have done at the site. Each student received "hands on" training in wetland management and learned to identify invasive plant species and ways to eradicate them. They were also given a chance fly drones over the Preserve.
We quietly planted a small garden this year at the farm. Our intentions were simply to grow a 500 pound pumpkin. The weather has not cooperated and the project has resulted in only two seeds ( out of twenty five planted) germinating and surviving the wet and cold weather. We have high hopes that the two plants will produce a couple of giant pumpkins.
The museum is always looking for volunteers. If you have some spare time- we have lots of projects to work on. Last month's Volunteer Day was a great example of people working outdoors on a sunny perfect day to improve our trails at the Preserve. If you would rather work inside on our exhibits we are putting together a team to build a Black Lake fishing exhibit that will be opened next summer. Stop by the museum and let us know what your interests are.
The Gateway Museum would also like to thank you for supporting us. We could not do what we do without volunteers and people that donate money to keep us going. The Morristown area is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. We are committed to making a difference.
Gateway Museum Trustee
July 18, 2019