Rain gardens, butterfly gardens and raft rides to Ross Island

On a fall day in September, Department of Public Works crews from three towns on the Whale Pond Brook watershed assembled  in the new Long Branch Public Library meeting space.  They were there to learn from Dr Chris Obropta, Rutgers Water Resources Program.  The workshop, ‘How to Design and Build a Rain Garden’ was the first step in providing the ability of the towns to create their own rain gardens.     On Tuesday, October 15 the shovel hit the ground at the Ocean Township Community Pool entrance rain garden.  It was an exciting day and the beginning of a desire that began three years ago.  On October 16 the plants, purchased by the OT Environmental Commission were planted by volunteers from the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association and Sara Mellor, Water Resources Program staff.  Stay tuned for more rain gardens to come on the watershed.

Ocean Township DPW crew, Chris Perez and Sara Mellor, Rutgers Water Resources


different soils mixed together
stones on top of cloth
ready for the plants

laying out the plants


On Friday, October 18 the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association and the Long Branch Green Team sponsored an event at Ross Lake Park. It was the first anniversary of the grand opening of Ross Lake Park.  The City celebrated by running raft rides to the park.  We had a rock painting table and tours of the all native shrub and pollinator garden. It was a fun day for the neighborhood.

thanks to our volunteers who share the love
the Long Branch DPW crew did a great job ferrying
we were so happy to see Joy Bastelli

children had fun painting rocks with Carin
bee on sweet pepper

Long Branch Troop 148 helps out at Ross Island

On a sweltering morning, even at 9 am Troop 148 scouts helped pull the Monmouth University jon boat across Ross Lake. It was loaded with clippers, weed whackers and rakes.  Scout Master Levester Bromley set up a sun shelter and brought a cooler filled with goodies for our return.

After the third trip, with Chuck at the helm, we were all on the island. The scouts found a hornet’s nest in a tree and also a skull. They thought it might have been an opossum.

We opened up a view so that people sitting on the new park bench shelter could clearly see the 117- year- old stone hut. We also wanted to pull off all the vines from the hut’s walls in preparation for the stone masonry work scheduled for this month.

The on-going  beautification of Ross Lake Park has been a joint effort between the Long Branch Environmental Commission, the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association, the Monmouth County Historical Commission, Monmouth University and the Jersey Shore Group of the Sierra Club since 2014.   Come visit the park and see for yourself.  Sit on the bench and watch the osprey, the great blue heron and the butterflies.

19 Elinore Ave   Long Branch 07740


Neighbors working together to restore our watershed.