“Smart Summer Fun” Online Activities Offered by goHunterdon

goHunterdon has announced the availability of free online summer activities for K-8 students and their families.  The activities reinforce the curriculum offered by goHunterdon to local schools as part of the organization’s environmental education and bicycle/pedestrian safety programming.

“Summer 2020 presents a unique opportunity for Hunterdon students to have fun and stay engaged with hands-on, active learning,” says Tara Shepherd, executive director.

“The bicycle and pedestrian safety activities all have a “Take it Outside” element,” says Ryan Fisher, Safety Programs Coordinator.  “Activities include an “I-Spy” walking game, performing an “ABC Quick Check” of your bicycle before riding, and an “egg drop” helmet experiment. Several “do it yourself” craft activities, like creating “galaxy sneakers” or making homemade sidewalk chalk provide for hands on fun,” he adds.  The bicycle and pedestrian activities may be viewed here: https://www.gohunterdon.org/summer-learning/srts

For those who are looking for STEM education aligned activities, the environmental education resources include activities related to electric vehicles, alternative energies, and air quality. Activities are arranged by grade level and include a greenhouse gas experiment, creating a battery from pennies, building a windmill, designing a car powered by a balloon.

“goHunterdon’s environmental education program has always focused on hands-on learning,” says Jodi Bettermann, Environmental Education Coordinator. “Teaching young people today provides an opportunity for lifelong awareness of the role that they can play in improving the environment,” she notes. “This summer is a great time to help children develop curiosity around these topics,” she adds. The environmental education activities may be viewed here: https://www.gohunterdon.org/summer-learning/env-ed

For more information, contact Ryan Fisher, rfisher@gohunterdon.org, Safety Programs Coordinator  or Jodi Betterman, jbettermann@gohunterdon.org, Environmental Education Coordinator.

Street Smart NJ Pedestrian Safety Campaigns in Clinton, Flemington

Police departments in the Borough of Flemington and Town of Clinton are conducting “Street Smart NJ” pedestrian safety education campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of pedestrian safety within their communities.

“With more residents staying close to home during the COVID19 pandemic, we wanted to make sure that motorists and pedestrians are aware of the role that they can play in ensuring pedestrian safety,” said Chief Jerry Rotella, Flemington Police Department.

“Even with fewer vehicles on the road in recent months, due to COVID19 closures,  we have seen an increase in speeding and distracted driving,” notes Town of Clinton Police Chief J. Cory Kubinak. “As our downtown welcomes back pedestrians, safety becomes a high priority. We want to make sure that motorists and pedestrians are aware of the role that they can play in ensuring safety.”

Street Smart NJ is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations to educate motorists and pedestrians on their roles and responsibilities in maintaining a safe pedestrian environment.   The statewide Street Smart NJ campaign is managed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).

Both Flemington and the Town of Clinton have previously conducted Street Smart NJ campaigns. Prior Street Smart NJ campaigns were conducted in Flemington in 2016, 2017, and 2018. A campaign was conducted in the Town of Clinton in 2016.

The current Flemington Street Smart NJ campaign is focusing on Broad Street and Bonnell Street in response to community concerns.  In Clinton, the focus is in the vicinity of Leigh Street and Center Street.

Emphasis will be on the following key pedestrian safety behaviors:

  • Speeding
  • Distraction (motorists and pedestrians)
  • Using crosswalks
  • Stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks

Speed studies have been conducted in both communities to inform enforcement efforts.

Safety messaging is being shared in Flemington and the Town of Clinton via temporary street signs, social media, and printed materials, including take out coffee cup “sleeves” imprinted with Street Smart NJ messaging.

For more information about Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety campaigns in Hunterdon County, contact Tara Shepherd, executive director, 908.930.9053 of visit https://www.gohunterdon.org/bike-ped-programs/street-smart-nj/overview

Celebrating a “Summer of Cycling”

After a successful virtual Hunterdon County Bike Month event during May 2020, goHunterdon is now promoting a “Summer of Cycling” through the organization’s “Bike Hunterdon” initiative.

“Hunterdon County offers so much for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. With peaceful rural roads, scenic vistasexhilarating mountain bike trails, and miles and miles of family friendly multi-use paths, there really is something for everyone,” say Caryl Harris, goHunterdon Bicycle Specialist.

“During this unique time of COVID19, we have been inspired by the quote that “the bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems”, says Harris.  

Nationally, bicycling has increased in popularity in recent months as individuals and families are looking for activities to replace traditional group activities.  According to the NPD Group, which tracks retail-sporting-goods sales, children’s bike sales in March were up 56 percent compared to March 2019. Adult leisure bike sales are up a whopping 121 percent.

“There are so many people who have rediscovered a bicycle that may have been sitting in their garage or shed,” says Harris. “We’re encouraging Hunterdon residents to get out on their bikes and ride!”

goHunterdon’s Bike Hunterdon initiative promotes bicycling in Hunterdon County through the  www.bikehunterdon.org website. The site features bicycle routes/rides, information on bike maintenance and listings of local bike shops and bike clubs. The site also provides important bicycle safety information and New Jersey bicycle laws.

goHunterdon is using social media, including a Bike Hunterdon Facebook GroupInstagram, and the goHunterdon YouTube Channel, to engage directly with the community.

For more information, visit any of the online sites noted above, or contact Caryl Harris, charris@gohunterdon.org

“Pedal and Park” Bike Rack Loan Program

Bicyclists are good for business. And, adequate bicycle parking tells bicyclists that they are welcome at a business or in a community.

According to the Adventure Cycling Association, towns with populations of just 750 people can generate more than $25 million from bicycle tourism annually. “Bicyclists require relatively little to attract them to your business or community, but bicycle parking is a key amenity to attract and welcome bicyclists to patronize local stores,” says Caryl Harris, goHunterdon Bicycle Specialist.

As part of the Bike Hunterdon initiative, goHunterdon is offering bicycle racks to local businesses and municipalities, for periods of up to one month, free of charge, to test demand for bicycle parking. “The bike rack loan program allows businesses and communities to gauge for themselves whether a bike rack is of value,” says Harris.

“During the COVID19 pandemic, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of local residents who are choosing to ride recreationally and use their bicycles as a form of transportation,” notes Harris.  “We are seeing individuals and families ride into town for ice cream, pick up to go orders from local restaurants, or ride to the farmers market” she reports.  “Providing an appropriate place for bicyclists to park becomes important.”

Businesses and municipalities may request to borrow a 4-bike or 8-bike capacity rack.  goHunterdon will deliver and secure the rack at an agreed upon location for up to 30 days.

For more information, contact Caryl Harris, goHunterdon Bicycle Specialist, charris@gohunterdon.org, or complete an online request form: https://www.gohunterdon.org/pedalpark