The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), a native to China, India, and Vietnam, has been discovered in NJ. This easily recognizable bug is a major threat to fruit and hardwood trees including willows, maples, poplars, tulip poplars, birch and ash. It feeds on leaves and bark. Mercer County is currently under quarantine and Department of Agriculture officials are asking residents to email pictures of spotted lanternflies to SLFfirstname.lastname@example.org or call the New Jersey Spotted Lanternfly Hotline at 1-833-223-2840.
As part of a large conservation project in 1955 mentioned in the Princeton Herald (January 11, 1956), the girl scouts planted 1000 daffodils and another 1000 bulbs including wood hyacinths, chionadoxa, and crocuses. The daffodils and crocuses are still blooming in the park every year.
The Princeton Library has a new initiative for families and children to explore the great outdoors. Families can now check out a backpack loaded with information about parks and open spaces around Princeton. The backpack also includes a compass, binoculars, magnifying glass, New Jersey pocket field guides, nature log and more. The Marquand Park Foundation has included a guide with the location of some of its signature trees and a bookmark featuring the Little Free Library. The backpacks are available for check out at the Youth Services information desk.
By Evie Timberlake
Marquand Park is fortunate to have a tunnel-shaped structure believed to be of the 1800s. Except that the entrance door was probably smaller and likely enlarged to accommodate changing needs over time, the mysterious structure still retains the appearance and integrity it had for the past 200 years. Built into a bank just past the Japanese maple, the building currently is used as a storage shed.
Its original purpose is uncertain, but on a 1917 hand-drawn map of Guernsey Hall the building is listed as an ice house. It appears next to the lily pond (circled on the map) which probably froze in winter and may have been the source of the ice or it may have been delivered from Princeton Ice Company, now Mountain Lakes Preserve**. The lily pond no longer exists but landscape is indelible, and you can still see the dip in the ground where it once was. An opening, which could have been used as an ice chute, is visible in the interior ceiling vault. Two of Eleanor Marquand’s grandchildren remember the building as an ice house and a root cellar, recalling “In the days before refrigerators, people would store large blocks of ice insulated with layers of sawdust in root cellars. Then in winter, the same places would become storage places for veggies like beets and potatoes.”
** To read/see more about ice delivery history in Princeton go visit the Mountain Lakes Preserve on Meadow Road
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