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I am sure I am echoing the sentiments of the City of Northfield, Birch Grove Park, Atlantic City, and the surrounding communities in welcoming The Dave Matthews Band Caravan tour to Bader Field stadium this June.
Whatever one’s opinion may be of Northfield’s allocating it’s 2008 300,000 dollar Open Spaces Grant to the construction of the Birch Grove Park Centre, or Pavilion, or whatever they’re calling it this week; and the extension of the boardwalk eye-sores further urbanising and over-developing this once jewel of Atlantic County’s natural areas, one thing cannot be denied: Birch Grove Park is becoming an environmental disaster.
Pennsylvania relies on it’s groundhog to predict an early spring; at Birch Grove Park you can tell spring is just around the corner when our turtles begin emerging from their long winter hibernation at the bottom and in the banks of the ponds.
The Somers Brick Company filed its incorporation papers with the New Jersey Secretary of State on 8 May 1900. The official corporate office for the company stood at the corner of Arctic and Missouri avenues and Warren Somers served as the agent for the firm. The company established its brickyard in Bakersville, the old name of the present-day City of Northfield.
The various independently run October Haunted Halloween Hayrides have been a seasonal tradition in many of our local communities for several years now, and an event many families begin looking forward to as the Summer season begins winding down and a hint of autumn is in the air. (Pictures included).
Big Bubba would be a largemouth Bass; or rather, many largemouth Bass. I am fourty years old, and there has been talk of Bubba since I was a little boy. That was a long time ago. The average lifespan of a Largemouth Bass is about 15 years. There has been a Bubba legend at Birch Grove Park for many generations, so it stands to reason there really isn’t ‘a’ Bubba, but simply an idea of Bubba. In my mind, the Bubba of Birch Grove Park legend represents the archetype or ideal of the lunker, slob, monster, or whatever you want to call a really huge largemouth Bass. I doubt Bubba has ever been one fish; or, maybe, there really was an original Bubba who started the legend, but the origin of the legend has been forgotten.
During the late Miocene epoch, seas covered most of the coastal plain of South Jersey. At the end of the Miocene, a final crustal uplifting occurred (determined by dating marine fossils). These receding seas left deposits of sand, clay and glauconite throughout Northern New Jersey. The clay formation at Birch Grove Park is one of many heavy bed deposits that were carried by ancient rivers that flowed east across New Jersey.
In recent years, I have a noticed a sharp decline in the water quality of the Birch Grove Park pond system. As a local boy growing up in the seventies and eighties, I remember the water in these ponds being almost crystal clear in some places. You could easily see schools of plentiful sunfish, and even the occasional lunker bass or toothy, torpedo shaped Pickerel swimming by.
Today, the ponds are filled with an ugly brown crud, and the water has become markedly opaque; clouded in various shades of brown and green. What is the cause of this undesirable change in water quality? It is a process called eutrophication, a natural process in a ponds life cycle, which is apparently being accelerated by human activity.
Black Bullhead Catfish
Golden Shiners aka Millroach