ON THE GREEN: PARK IT HERE FOR FUN IN SUN

Canoeing on Thompson Park’s Marlu Lake is just one of the diversions available in the great outdoors of the Greater Red Bank Green in the late-summer days to come.  

Paddle a canoe across a picturesque lake… drop a kayak on the clear, calm waters of a scenic waterway…  get an up-close (maybe even hands-on) look at some colorful local wildlife life… and do it all in “stay-cation” style, as the folks at the Monmouth County Park System offer plenty of reasons to keep it hyper-local here in the pre-Labor Day interlude.

These and other activities are on tap in the days to come in those public places that make life in these parts a recreational pleasure — and they begin today at a site that represents the outer limits of what we call the Greater Red Bank Green. Read More »

ON THE GREEN: SEINE, CLIMB OR KAYAK

It’s Climb Time in Lincroft again as the Monmouth County Park System moves that portable mountain to the grounds of Thompson Park for another free instructional session.  

A chance to take a “drop in” kayak tour of a scenic waterway… a hands-on, close up look at local marine life… and an opportunity to climb a mountain face in Monmouth County.

They’re all on tap in the coming week around those public places that make life on the Greater Red Bank Green a recreational pleasure — and brought to you by the people of the Monmouth County Park System.

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MIDDLETOWN: BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE

Can a butterfly delicately flapping its wings somewhere on Earth set off a chain of world-shaking events half a planet away? If so, it stands to reason that anyone who ignores an opportunity to do some butterfly spotting at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown is potentially passing up some truly epic levels of excitement.

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LINCROFT: RENT A CANOE AND EXPLORE MARLU

Tucked away in Lincroft’s Thompson Park, mere minutes from the sidewalk-surfing shoppertunities of the downtown Red Bank busy district, sits Marlu Lake — a reservoir of 20-plus acres, and a site noted for its freshwater fishing, as well as for its field-and-stream hiking scenery, plus wildlife-watching views of turtles and other local fauna.

Several times each summer, the flagship facility of the Monmouth County Park System invites the public to enjoy a paddling excursion on the lake by offering canoe rentals on designated weekends. It’s a recreational opportunity that returns to the greater Red Bank Green this Saturday and Sunday.

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LINCROFT: A SPECIAL RIDE ON THE SUNNYSIDE

Although it plays a prominent role in the lives of many area residents, the Sunnyside Equestrian Center has to be ranked among the “best kept secrets” of the greater Red Bank Green.

But this Saturday morning,  the general public is invited to come out to 628 Middletown-Lincroft Road for a free special event in which some special riders showcase their skills on the trails (and, in the process, make the Monmouth County Park System facility ready for its close-up).

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LINCROFT: ART AND MUSIC FEST IS A BIG TENT

Live artist demos are just some of the attractions at Thompson Park during Saturday’s Creative Arts and Music Festival.

While it doesn’t really qualify as a “best kept secret,” the annual Creative Arts and Music Festival in Lincroft does keep a bit of a low profile, relative to such  parking-lot-packers as last weekend’s Red Bank International Beer Wine and Food Fest.

But if your idea of a mid-spring’s afternoon is to enjoy a comfortably paced introduction to some of the Greater Red Bank Green’s  most inspired purveyors of sight and sound — mixed with ample breathing room, free admission, and plenty of free parking — then Saturday’s daylong happening at Thompson Park could be just the pre-season appetizer you’re looking for.

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MIDDLETOWN: FOR EARTH DAY, VISIT A PARK

A “Roving Naturalist” guided tour of Tatum Park’s hiking trails is among the activities scheduled at county parks throughout Middletown Township for Earth Day.

Saturday, April 22 marks the annual observance of Earth Day, and with our not-so-gently-used home planet in need of more TLC than at any time in its history, the Monmouth County Park System is offering several ways to raise awareness of local earth-friendly programs at its sites in Middletown Township.

In addition, Saturday marks the annual return of two popular events at neighboring facilities on Middletown’s Red Hill Road — both of them enhancing the Earth Day experience, and all of it designed to better acquaint local residents with several genuine public jewels of the Greater Red Bank Green.

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LINCROFT: MOCO PARKS SEEKS GREEN THUMBS

On Wednesday, April 5, the Monmouth County Park System hosts a Gardening and Pruning Workshop for prospective volunteers in the Visitor Center at Thompson Park. Offered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the workshop is open to ages 14 and up and is the perfect preparation for participating in the Park System’s Drop-In Volunteer Days. To reserve space and get more info on this and additional gardening workshops in Monmouth County, call Tracy Shiffman, Coordinator of Volunteers at (732)842-4000 ext. 4283.

MIDDLETOWN: PARK DOCENTS NEEDED

The Visitor Center at Lincroft’s Thompson Park is the setting of a special training session for County Park System volunteers, on March 26.

Press release from Monmouth County Park System

The surroundings include some of the most fascinating natural and historical treasures in the greater Red Bank area — and the experience is great for anyone who enjoys interacting with people, as well as helping to promote the many public assets that make Monmouth County a special place to call home.

On the morning of Sunday, March 26, the Monmouth County Park System invites volunteers ages 18 and up to a special training session at its headquarters inside the Visitor Center at Thompson Park, Lincroft. Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the session will outline the responsibilities of seasonal docent/ receptionist openings at six local parks and activity centers.

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LINCROFT: A WINTERFEST OF SEASON’S BEST

winterfest thompson pkWhen life gives you winter, make Winterfest, the third annual edition of which returns to Lincroft’s Thompson Park Saturday afternoon.

First of all, there’s little to no chance of any snowy stuff (or really much precip of any kind) in the forecast for this coming Saturday. But even if the season of bare trees and bundled-up people makes itself felt exclusively through the expected chill factor, there’s still plenty to celebrate over at Lincroft’s Thompson Park, where the third annual Winterfest event takes center stage Saturday.

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ON THE GREEN: ART SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

thompson-pk-creative-artsThe annual Student/Instructor show and sale returns to Lincroft’s Thompson Park Saturday and Sunday. Below, one of the “artistically tagged fish” up for auction at Little Silver’s Gallery Jupiter, in a Thursday evening event.

21b9f239-955f-44d9-bc4f-76ee7e31e21cIn visual art news on the Greater Red Bank Green, a couple of openings, and a gift gallery, liven up the coming weekend.

The fish are jumping (and getting a crucial jump on the weekend) in Little Silver this Thursday evening, December 1, when Gallery Jupiter (31 Church Street) invites the public to a silent auction of “a school of artistically tagged fish.” Each one-of-a-kind item is offered as a unique gifting idea, and a portion of the proceeds will be dedicated to the Sandy Hook-based nonprofit American Littoral Society and its ongoing conservational/ educational programs in defense of our regional coastline. Wine and refreshments will be served during the Thursday evening event, going on between the hours of 5 to 8 p.m. — while art lovers have plenty more opportunities to hook that elusive Perfect Gift, by reading on.

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LINCROFT: A FINE DAY IN THOMPSON PARK

scarecrow-thompson-parkThe annual scarecrow contest and pumpkin painting are just two of the family-friendly fall fun activities on tap this Sunday as the annual Thompson Park Day festival lights up the Lincroft headquarters of the Monmouth County Park System. 

thompson-park-dayThe all-too-brief Local Summer may be morphing into warm and fuzzy memories by this point, but as long as the daylight-savings sun continues to shine, the waterways and wooded paths of the Greater Red Bank Green continue to find ways to tempt residents away from the sedentary pleasures of TV sports and other great-indoors diversions.

As evidence, we offer up this Saturday’s Classic Boat Show on the Navesink (see story here) — and on Sunday, the annual return of Thompson Park Day.

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ON THE GREEN: PADDLE, SKIM, RUNBIKESWIM

rb paddle day 091414 12All ages and skill levels are invited to take it to the river on Saturday, when Paddle the Navesink Day returns to the Red Bank waterfront, above, while Skimbash brings top Skim USA Pro/Am Tour action to Sea Bright. (Photo above by John T. Ward; below by Peter Lindner)

skimbashThe beach-badge booths are boarded up; the “Bennys Go Home” banners lovingly folded with the care befitting a precious family heirloom. But on the ocean beaches and waterways of the Greater Red Bank Green, it’s still very much Local Summer; a busy interlude of family-friendly festivals, recreational opportunities and other welcome rituals.

The weekend ahead sees the reappearance of three such signifiers of Local Summer living — including the September edition of SkimBash in Sea Bright, and the annual Iron Girl Women’s Triathlon on Sandy Hook.

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ON THE GREEN: FUN UNDER THE SUN & STARS

rb movies park 072616 2Outdoor movie screenings and canoe rentals highlight a week of outdoor offerings in local parks.

Thompson Park canoePay no attention to those displays of back-to-school supplies, and put aside all thoughts of pre-season football, post-season baseball, and campaign-season roller derby. Yes, the summer of 2016 is still a thing (even at the Rio Olympics, where technically it’s winter), and the parks, beaches and portable stages of the Greater Red Bank Green still offer a plethora of open-air entertainments and recreational options in the coming days and nights — almost all of them free of charge.

It begins tonight, as Shore Flicks returns to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens with an 8:15 p.m. screening of a truly golden oldie, 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Bring a canned food donation with those folding chairs and beach towels, pick up some cooling seasonal treats from Gracie and the Dudes, and enjoy Dorothy and the Dudes as they once again undertake the screen’s most memorable road trip. Follow Shore Flicks on Facebook or Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on weather-related cancellations or other schedule changes (including a recently added batch of fishy features at Sea Bright’s Municipal Beach) — then take it around the bend for more fun beneath the sun and stars.

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ON THE GREEN: SUMMER PARK ACTIVITIES

rb rgp yoga 091615 3Yoga, Pilates and zumba share a Wednesday night rotation schedule in Riverside Gardens Park. Below, vocalist Layonne Holmes joins the New Standard for a free concert there Thursday night. 
Layonne Holmes New Standard

Whether you’re on stay-cation — or simply navigating your way through daily life here in on the Greater Red Bank Green — there’s no denying that July offers a fairly awesome menu of open-air entertainments and recreational options. We’ve got a rundown of outdoor events — mostly free of charge — designed to entice you out of the house in the coming midsummer nights and days.

It all starts tonight, July 12, as Shore Flicks returns to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens with an 8:15 p.m. screening of the gleefully anarchic animation “Minions.” Bring a canned food donation with those folding chairs and beach towels, and enjoy some ice cream from the newly opened Gracie and the Dudes stand in the park. Take it to our redbankgreen roundup for details on the entire summer screening schedule and weather-related updates. Then take it around the bend for more fun and adventure beneath the summer sun and stars.

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LINCROFT: PARK IT HERE, FOR MUSIC ‘N ART

BlueTrainLive musical performances by acts including Peter V and Blues Train (above), plus displays of art by Grace Modla (below) and others, are on the bill this Saturday and Sunday, during the Creative Arts and Music Festival at Thompson Park.

Grace ModlaIt doesn’t tend to get the sort of advance press accorded parking-lot-packing events like Red Bank’s Riverfest and recent Beer Wine and Food Fest — but if you’re on the lookout for a casual, comfortable mid-spring weekend’s event in a setting that offers plenty of breathing room, free parking, free admission and a chance to join in the arty fun, you’d do well to check out the Creative Arts and Music Festival, the 2016 edition of which sets up at Thompson Park for a two-day stay, beginning at 11 a.m. this Saturday, April 30.

A presentation of the folks at the Monmouth County Park System, the rain-or-shine event spotlights the sights and sounds of some of the county’s most creatively oriented citizens, including an indoor stroll-through expo of some 20 visual artists and crafters. Also included: a slate of 14 musical acts on two stages (and in a variety of styles), with a schedule inside the park’s Theater Barn programmed by the nonprofit organization Musicians on a Mission.

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LINCROFT: 4-H HOSTS YOUNG ANIMAL EXPO

4HKids are invited to pet baby animals, play games and make crafts during a Young Animal Expo at Thompson Park on Saturday, May 7. Presented by The Monmouth County 4-H Association’s Livestock Club and the Monmouth County Park System, the free event runs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The County 4-H and the Park System have also announced the dates for the 2016 Monmouth County Fair, with this year’s event scheduled for July 27 – 31. 

LINCROFT: HERE COMES SUMMER 2016

Mon Co Parks directoryPress release from Monmouth County Park System

This summer, go on Butterfly Walks, play Zombie Laser Tag, and enjoy an Ice Cream Sundae and Boat Tour with the Monmouth County Park System. Other upcoming offerings include an Evening Watercolor Workshop, Summer Solstice Paddle, and Graveyard of Ships Kayak Tour.

Check out the Park System’s summer issue of its Program Directory for these and other upcoming arts & crafts, nature, recreation and sports programs.  Available in most county parks on Friday, April 29, the Summer 2016 Program Directory lists all Park System special events and programs offered during June, July and August at local sites including Thompson Park and Sunnyside Equestrian Center (Lincroft), Bayshore Waterfront Park (Port Monmouth), Tatum Park and Deep Cut Gardens (Middletown).

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MIDDLETOWN: GARDEN AMBASSADORS WANTED

Press release from Monmouth County Park System

Deep Cut rose gardenDo you enjoy interacting with visitors and spending time in a beautiful setting? Then become a Garden Ambassador at Deep Cut Gardens. Located at 152 Red Hill Road in Middletown, Deep Cut Gardens is the Monmouth County Park System’s picturesque site dedicated to the home gardener, with 54 acres of gardens and greenhouses, highlighted by the distinctive pergola and featuring a visitor center as well as walking trails.

As a Garden Ambassador, volunteers will serve as a welcoming, informative presence on the grounds; guiding visitors to the many things to see on premises — and highlighting the year-round slate of activities for children and adults at Deep Cut, including drop-in storytimes, flower shows, seasonal plant swaps and composting workshops.

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LINCROFT: A LATE-WINTER’S LAP

half marathonOne of the Greater Green’s coolest annual runs takes to the bracing air again with the 40th edition of the E. Murray Todd Half Marathon.

It’s been a favorite local running event for generations,  distinguished by the fact that it’s run through a largely residential landscape, and at the more-or-less leonine beginning of March.

Returning for its 40th annual edition this Sunday, the E. Murray Todd Half Marathon presents a 13.1-mile course that starts and finishes at the Collins Arena on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

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LINCROFT: CAMP Q&A FOR SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS

Thompson ParkPress release from Monmouth County Park System

Looking to give your child with special needs the best camp experience possible?  Head over to the Visitor Center at Thompson Park on Tuesday, March 1 for a free information session on Camp Options for Children with Special Needs.  Scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the session features camp directors from the Park System’s Therapeutic Recreation, Odyssey Adventure, Sports and Fitness, Fort Monmouth, Cultural Services and Nature Camps.  For parents and caregivers of special needs children, it’s a chance to discover which camps best fit your child’s needs and interests, what supports are available, and how the Park System’s inclusion process works.

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LINCROFT: SNOW DAY IN THE PARK

Snow Park SystemWith a belated blast of white stuff in the forecast — anywhere from an inch to two feet, depending on which social media pal you trust about such things — the folks at the Monmouth County Park System have issued a reminder that our many nearby public facilities are standing by for snowy-weather service over the coming days, “whether you’re looking to fly down the sledding hill, strap on your cross-country skis, or lace up your ice skates.”

The groomed trails at the county’s flagship Thompson Park in Lincroft are open to cross-country skiers as weather permits — and marked, ungroomed trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at three county locales in Middletown Township: Hartshorne Woods Park, Huber Woods Park, and Tatum Park.

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LINCROFT: CALLING ALL CREATIVES

art showPress release from Monmouth County Park System

Calling all artists!  From now through January 18, 2016, the Monmouth County Park System is accepting entries into its Creative Arts and Music Festival.  This juried art show and sale is open to artists of all mediums, and those interested in entering are invited to submit images for consideration.

The Festival will run from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, at Thompson Park in Lincroft.  Besides the art show and sale, the event will feature music and food.  Thompson Park is home to the Park System’s Creative Arts Center, which hosts a variety of fine arts and craft classes throughout the year including ceramics, pottery, jewelry and painting.

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ON THE GREEN: WHEELS ‘N REELS OUTDOORS

surf_fishing_110215Jeff DeMent of the American Littoral Society invites anglers of all ages and skillsets to a Surf Fishing Clinic, Saturday morning at the northern end of Sandy Hook.

The clocks may have just been turned back to early-dark doldrums (you did remember to reset that one above the oven, right?), but our recent spate of warmly welcome Fall weather should serve as reminder to not break out that re-gifted Snuggie just yet — not while the colorful wooded trails and beautiful beaches of the greater Red Bank Green beckon for one more weekend.

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MIDDLETOWN: DIG DEEP FOR PHOTO SHOW

pattywhelanImages of Deep Cut Gardens, such as Patty Whelan’s AFTER THE RAIN, are welcomed for the County Park System’s annual photo show, going up in January 2016 (with a submission deadline of November 20).

Press release from Monmouth County Park System

Calling all nature photographers: The Monmouth County Park System is looking for entries for its Weather or Not photography exhibit, to be presented in January 2016 at Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown. The exhibit will look at some of the many ways the weather transforms Deep Cut’s gardens and its elements, whether it be the glistening rays of sunshine or the raindrops falling. Professional and amateur photographers 18 years and older are invited to submit images for consideration into the show. The cost to enter is $10 per person; maximum of two entries (acceptance into the show is not guaranteed, and if selected, only one piece will be exhibited in the show).  All entries must be submitted on CD with completed entry form and fee by November 20, 2015. Rules and entry form are available here  and at the site.

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