New Jersey Audubon’s Response to the COVID-19 Health Crisis

Updated: 9/10/2020

New Jersey Audubon is reopening our nature centers and retail shops on a limited, case by case basis.  Offices remain closed to the public. As always our highest priority remains to ensure the safety of all staff, volunteers and visitors. For the latest updates, please check our Centers page for the status of your local center.  All centers will have limited visitor capacity.  To enter visitors will be required to wear masks, sanitize their hands upon entry, maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet, and provide contact information in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Choose a center below

Updated: 7/27/2020

We are adopting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for the containment of infectious diseases, including:

  • Stay home if you are sick or have a sick family member.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask/cloth face cover when around other people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; dispose of the tissue promptly and clean your hands. If a tissue is not available use your elbow.
  • Maintain Social Distancing (6 feet of separation) from others.  Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects in common use areas or that have been handled by multiple people.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs and handrails and any shared equipment. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.

Updated on July 27th, 2020

NJ Audubon Facility Closures Extended Through September 7th

Trails at centers are open, facilities and buildings are closed.  Check our calendar for updated programming.

Updated on June 15th, 2020

NJ Audubon Closures Extended Through July 31st, 2020

Trails at centers are open, facilities and buildings are closed.  Check our calendar for new virtual programs

Updated on May 12th, 2020

NJ Audubon Closures Extended Through June 30th

Please do not leave any animals at our centers.  Buildings are closed and staff are working remotely until further notice due to COVID-19 closures.

It can be a tough call when you find a baby bird or animal.  Is it abandoned or injured?  What should you do about it?  If it is a baby…usually the best thing to do is to leave it alone; parents are most likely nearby and waiting for you to leave.  If it is injured, you need to determine if it is safe to capture and bring the animal to a certified wildlife rehabilitator.

Find a certified wildlife rehabilitator near you.

https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/rehab_list.pdf

Updated on April 2, 5pm, 2020

NJ Audubon Closures Extended Through May 31st

Open Trails and Guidelines for NJ Audubon Trails

The following centers have trails that are open to the public.  Buildings and facilities are closed.

Trails Open: Cape May Bird Observatory and Nature Center of Cape May in Cape May NJ, Lorrimer Nature Preserve in Franklin Lakes NJ,  Plainsboro Preserve in Plainsboro NJ and Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Bernardsville NJ.

Cape May Springwatch migration platform is closed to the public

Montclair Hawkwatch migration platform is closed to the public

We welcome you to our trails but we have a few rules:

  • First and foremost please stay home if you are feeling sick
  • Do not meet as a group, includes large families, no picnics or sports
  • Follow CDC guidelines of a 6 foot distance when you pass others along the trails, social distancing
  • No bikes
  • Please stay on the trails at all times (unless to pass others keeping 6 feet apart)
  • There are no restrooms available, please be prepared
  • Please take any and all trash away with you
  • No dogs at all please

Our trails are well maintained, many covered in wood-chips and vary from flat to hilly depending on sanctuary.  We welcome you to walk around them, explore and connect with nature.

Updated on March 24, 9am, 2020

NJ Audubon Closures Extended Through April 30th

As New Jersey Audubon continues to monitor the COVID-19 health crisis, we are evaluating our programs and mission-related activities with the safety of our members, staff, volunteers, and the general public our top priority. 

In keeping with CDC protocols and State of New Jersey directives, New Jersey Audubon offices, nature centers, and stores will remain closed through April 30, 2020.  All programs scheduled through April are postponed. 

Refunds will be issued for any cancelled activities, or if you are unable to reschedule or feel uncomfortable attending a scheduled program due to COVID-19 concerns.  I ask, however, for your consideration in waiving your refund as a donation to New Jersey Audubon. Program revenue supports New Jersey Audubon’s mission and your generosity today will help us continue our vital conservation work for tomorrow.  

For over 120 years, New Jersey Audubon has protected the wildlife and natural places that bring solace during challenging times.  Even as the “new normal” necessitates distancing each other from neighbors and friends, New Jersey Audubon’s mission seeks to bring us closer to nature, forging connections that nurture, heal, and inspire.

As the world collectively turns its focus toward wellness, I encourage you to walk through our New Jersey forests, listen to the whistling song of the Hermit Thrush, smell the fresh spring soil.  Take time to reconnect with nature and, if you can, take a moment to make a special contribution to New Jersey Audubon.  Your support will allow us to lean further into our mission at a time when preserving nature is more crucial than ever.

Wishing you good health and safe travels.

Sincerely,

Eric Stiles
President and CEO

Updated on March 19, 7pm, 2020

New Jersey Audubon’s Conservation Mission Is More Important Than Ever! 

In times of crisis, people turn to the natural world. Increasingly, studies show that exposure to nature can reduce stress, help us cope with pain, and improve our mood and general sense of well-being. During challenging times, whether it is on a trail or in our own backyards, we turn to nature for serenity, solace, and hope.

Even as we all follow the news intently, migratory birds return to fill every niche of New Jersey habitat, wildflowers poke through the forest understory, frogs peep and turtles pop through muddy marshes and swamps. New Jersey Audubon’s mission remains crucial, particularly in times of crisis. Nature is always open, and we encourage you to take time to unplug, unwind, and experience its healing qualities as we work to get through these challenging times.

Most of New Jersey Audubon’s trails are open. You are welcome to access open trails remembering to use social distancing recommendations. Please note, however, that facilities at all of our centers and sanctuaries are closed. Click here for the latest trail availability information and updates on our response to the coronavirus health crisis, as we continue to monitor this situation.

Currently, we are evaluating the upcoming Spring events and we will keep you posted. Again, please check our website for changes or updates to all upcoming events.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support. Your support is more important than ever as we lean into our mission – connecting people with nature, saving wildlife and restoring habitat in new ways.

Wishing you good health and safe travels.

Sincerely,

Eric Stiles
President and CEO

Updated on March 18, 6pm, 2020

Montclair Hawkwatch closed to the public due to Mills Reservation closing

Mills Reservation County Park has closed which was where our Montclair Spring Hawkwatch was located, therefore, there is no longer public access to the watch

Updated on March 17, 7pm, 2020

Plainsboro trails are closed, other center trails remain open

All center buildings and facilities are closed to the public but trails remain open at Cape May Bird Observatory locations in Cape May, Nature Center of Cape May in Cape May, Lorrimer Nature Preserve in Franklin Lakes and Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Bernardsville.  Plainsboro Preserve trails are closed.

Updated on March 16, 5pm, 2020

Postponement of all events/programs through March 31st

NJ Audubon continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and things are changing by the minute.  As always, the safety of our visitors, members, staff, and volunteers is our top priority.  Given recent communications from the State of New Jersey and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection we will be postponing all events, programs and field trips through March 31, 2020 and will continue to assess the situation as it evolves.

Center buildings are closed to the public but trails remain open as do our migration/hawk watches.

Updated on March 13, 3pm, 2020

Closing of NJ Audubon buildings to the public – Indoor (only) events postponed, outdoor events on schedule 

As New Jersey Audubon continues to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) health crisis, we are evaluating our programs and mission-related activities with the safety of our members, staff, volunteers, and the general public our top priority.

At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our offices, and nature centers to the public beginning 5:00 pm on Friday, March 13, through March 31, 2020.  Our Sanctuaries and Preserves including parking and trails remain open.

All indoor programs scheduled through March will be postponed.  Outdoor programs will take place as scheduled, while continuing to follow health and safety standards informed by the CDC protocols.  Refunds will be issued for any cancelled programs or events, or if you are unable to reschedule or feel uncomfortable attending a scheduled program due to COVID-19 concerns.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan as new recommendations and guidelines become available.

Please know that these changes are a proactive attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 for the health and well-being of our community. We will continue to assess the situation as it evolves and post regular updates on this page.

New Jersey Audubon’s mission remains crucial, particularly in times of crisis.  Nature is always open, and I encourage you to take time to unplug, unwind, and experience its healing qualities as we work to get through these challenging times.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Wishing you and your family good health and safe travels.

Eric Stiles
President and CEO

Please check our main calendar frequently for any reschedules or cancellations of events and programs

Updated on March 13, 11:30am, 2020

A message from our President and CEO, Eric Stiles

As the coronavirus continues to affect the United States and New Jersey, NJ Audubon is concerned about this virus and is actively monitoring the situation and taking appropriate actions and precautions, as needed.  Our priority during this health crisis is to ensure the safety of our staff, members, volunteers, and the public we serve by closely monitoring the latest developments and following the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

With a focus on safety and prevention, we are planning for different possible scenarios that might affect our employees, volunteers, program participants, and operations, making any necessary changes in our programming and mission related activities. 

As of this time, our centers, sanctuaries, and offices remain generally open for business unless there is a government-declared state of emergency that requires closure.  We are carefully evaluating our programs and special events, based on the most recent guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Health.  As always, we encourage you to take time to unplug, de-stress, and experience the healing effects of nature.

Please contact your local nature center, our headquarters office, or check our website for updates on specific events or programs.  In the meantime, New Jersey Audubon has implemented the following procedures and protocols: 

  • Refunds will be issued in the event of program cancellations, or if you don’t feel comfortable attending a program due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Staff members and program leaders have received recommendations on how to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infection through proper handwashing, avoiding hand shaking, and staying home when sick.
  • Staff and program leaders will communicate these practices to participants and ask that they not attend programs if they or any member of their household are sick or may have been exposed.
  • If you or any member of your household travel through, to or from any Level 1 to Level 3 countries or on any cruise ships, you must wait fourteen days and be free of any and all COVID-19 symptoms during this time before coming to a NJ Audubon center, event or program (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html).
  • Our nature centers and staff buildings receive regular cleanings with attention to frequently touched surfaces.

As the coronavirus health crisis is quickly changing, NJ Audubon will continue to monitor recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the New Jersey and local health departments, making regular updates to our response and protocols, as needed.  Please continue to check this website for information and updates.

Please know that our thoughts and hearts are with those affected by COVID-19.  We wish you the peace and serenity of nature during this time of uncertainty.

Sincerely,
Eric Stiles
President and CEO

Please check our main calendar frequently for any reschedules or cancellations of events and programs

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