Flat Rock Brook Nature Center’s forest has experienced extensive habitat degradation caused by the overpopulation of deer feeding on native tree seedlings and saplings. Overgrazing deer prevent the forest from naturally regenerating. The shrub layer disappears, leaving a barren understory that is no longer able to function as habitat for wildlife. This problem, combined with the rapid spread of non-native plants, or invasive species, is compromising the overall health and biodiversity of our forest. This has become a serious threat to forests across the state of New Jersey.
Our Board of Trustees and staff began discussing deer management options several years ago. After careful research and consultation with authorities that weighed various solutions, it was decided that a deer exclosure would be the most effective resolution. Creating deer exclosures on the preserve offers the most sustainable and effective method for long-term forest health and regeneration. The fencing in of crucial habitat within our preserve will give the forest understory a chance to regenerate and rebound after years of extensive damage. Native plant communities will return, biodiversity will increase and viable wildlife habitat will become more readily available.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR WATER QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAM WATERSHED INSTITUTE GRANT
Much of the water flowing through Flat Rock Brook comes from runoff of rainfall and snow melt throughout the surrounding suburban developments. We are monitoring the following water characteristics to help people understand the impact they can have on aquatic ecosystems, to identify specific problems, and to work towards solutions of those problems. We regularly sample water from several locations along Flat Rock Brook, including both the northern and southern tributaries upstream from McFaddens Wetland, and in the stream at the picnic area along Jones Road.
One of Flat Rock Brook's most popular exhibits is our aviary where we house 6 birds of prey that are all unable to be released into the wild. Their home is now Flat Rock Brook, where our staff provides the care that they need. Our birds act as animal ambassadors and help us teach thousands of people each year about protecting and respecting wildlife. Help support our special birds! Various adoption levels allow our supporters to provide food, enrichment, and enclosure maintenance for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. Each level offers different benefits, such as a photo and certificate of adoption for your raptor or even a meet and greet! Choose your raptor today!
Visit Flat Rock Brook Adopt-a-Raptor to adopt and learn more.
Flat Rock Brook wants to recognize and extend a big "thanks" to our adopters!
Hero Level: Rosa & Isabella Diaz, Lisa Wisotsky
Champion Level: Jennifer Ghahari, Erin Hoogstrate, Jill Abbott
Caregiver Level: Lily & Beatric Gee & Esma Yetmez , Erin HoogstrateAmie Abu-Rustum,
Friend: Captain Andy's Adventure Hour, Stephanie Seymour, Corinne Hoexter