BURLINGTON COUNTY

Nature center to mark revival

WESTAMPTON Rancocas Nature Center in Westampton, whose future had seemed so uncertain a year ago, will celebrate the first anniversary of its revival with a meeting for friends of the center on Jan. 5.

The event honors the response to an emergency community meeting called a year ago, days after the New Jersey Audubon Society announced it could no longer afford to support the 130-acre site and would shut it down March 31.

Supporters who gathered at the emergency meeting pledged volunteer and financial support while they searched for ways to keep it open.

By late March, they had persuaded the Burlington County freeholder board to develop a shared-services plan, and Westampton Township agreed to hire two full-time employees and provide insurance for the site.

The New Jersey Department of Parks and Recreation owns the property, at 794 Rancocas Rd. in Westampton, where the Jan. 5 gathering will be held.

The meeting begins at 2:30 p.m. and will feature an update on the center's financial status and plans for the coming year. There will also be an interpretive hike from 1 to 2 p.m.

For more information, call the nature center at 609-261-2495.

- David O'Reilly