It's been an active year for bears in Bernards Township. There were a cluster of sightings, starting in the northern part of the township and later moving into even townhouse neighborhoods in The Hills, starting last spring and cropping up again in autumn.
A state expert on bears and wildlife will address the subject of living with bears in a suburban environment during a free program to be presented on Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Somerset County Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge.
“Know the Bear Facts,” a program to educate both adults and children about black bears in New Jersey, is scheduled to be presented from 2 to 3 p.m.
According to the Somerset County Park Commission, a bear expert from the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife department will explain how people can share the local environment with bears when they visit populated neighborhoods; what can be done to discourage visits; what should be done when a bear appears; and when bears will again become active following hibernation.
This is a child-friendly program and educational for all ages, according to the park commission. Earlier this year, residents had asked Patch for tips on how people could live with roaming bears, and whether special precautions or warnings should apply to children.
Bears may semi-hibernate
The Bernards Township animal control officer, Michelle Wysocki, last week said that bears in this area sometimes enter a state of semi-hibernation, but may emerge for food in a region where the weather isn't too cold.
The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center is located within Lord Stirling Park, in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, and is nestled within 425 acres of the western portion of the Great Swamp Basin of the Passaic River. The EEC may be reached at 908-766-2489.
Information on all Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found online.