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: 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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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: EXTENDED EARTH DAY WEEKEND

DeepCutDeep Cut Gardens in Middletown is the scene for the Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap, just one of several special events going on at Monmouth County Park System facilities this Earth Day weekend.

April 22 marked the 45th annual observance of Earth Day — but with our not-always-gently-used home planet in need of more TLC than ever before, the people of the Monmouth County Park System are extending the observance into the coming weekend, offering several different ways to raise awareness of local earth-friendly programs, all while enjoying several genuine public jewels of the greater Red Bank Green.

It starts on Saturday with a couple of special springtime events, and continues through Sunday at Monmouth County Park sites in Middletown Township.

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MIDDLETOWN: WHEELS AND WOODS

Woods HollowThe rollercoaster wooded trails and fields of the county’s Tatum Park are once more the setting for the annual Woods Hollow Bike Races, this Saturday morning.

It’s pretty much the last of the yearly outdoor recreational events before the turnback of the clocks — and while there’ll still be plenty of open-air public activities to come on the greater Green, chances are they’ll be enticing attendees with cups of hot chocolate from here on in.

Right now, with the local foliage season at its most colorful, there are few better leaf-spotting locales than the Monmouth County Parks Systems’ Tatum Park in Middletown — and no better excuse to get acquainted with Tatum than the Woods Hollow Classic Mountain Bike Race, the 19th annual edition of which takes to the rollercoaster wooded trails and open fields of the park this Saturday, November the First.

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WEEKEND: FRESH AIR, DEAD AIR, PLEIN AIR

deadonMulti-instrumentalist maestro Marc Muller (above right) leads his Dead On Live ensemble back to the Basie Friday night. Keyboard wiz Matt Wade (below) plays a concert for the Boys and Girls Club Saturday in Fair Haven. (Muller photo by Brian Stratton)

Friday, November 1:

matt-wade-1RED BANK: While the greater Red Bank green doesn’t lack for savvy channelers of the Grateful Dead (see our own Jim Willis and his Dead Bank brethren, appearing Saturday at the Walt St. Pub), there exists an even deeper dimension of obsession, and it’s the bailiwick of Marc Muller —— master multi-instrumentalist, sought-after session ace, adjunct professor at Monmouth University, and scoutmaster of the Count Basie Theatre‘s Rock the Basie band-camp program.

A flexibly floating lineup composed of Muller and a rotating roster of talented friends, the entity known as Dead On Live is “deadicated” to the comprehensive transcription (—and note-for-note reproduction) —of the Grateful Dead’s body of officially released recordings. And on Friday, Muller returns to the Basie boards for a Halloween Double Drumming Dance Party that combines psychedelic 60s’ classics (“St. Stephen,” “The Other One,” “Alligator”) with the epic trilogy from Blues for Allah and dual-drummer hits and set standards (“Shakedown Street,” “Touch of Gray,” “The Music Never Stopped”). Take it here for tickets ($19.50 – $45) — and here for our archived feature on Muller and his Dead On Live project.

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