Residents Celebrate All Day Long In Hopatcong
By Jane Primerano
The rolling hills of Modick Park were rocking with the sound of a professional DJ spinning rock and roll and hip-hop, punctuated with delighted squeals and giggles of children bouncing down two inflatable waterslides.
Sat., July 11, was Hopatcong Day, a daylong celebration of all things in Hopatcong Borough.
Local organizations take the opportunity to set up tables and talk about their missions.
Among the most enthusiastic are the members of the Hopatcong Community Garden, led by Jen Barone.
The garden’s table lured kids almost as much as the water slides did because it was festooned with all things ladybug. The CSG was adopting out ladybugs as a fundraiser. The ladybugs were puffy magnets, but the group had a release of real ladybugs at 6:30 p.m.
The beneficial insects eat aphids which are harmful to many of the crops in the garden, Barone said.
The bugs released came from California, she said.
“Somebody out there raises them. We paid for priority shipping so they wouldn’t sit in a truck somewhere. They’re stored in a fridge so they remain dormant. Then we hydrate and release them. We spray them with water and lemon/lime soda which they eat, so they stay in the neighborhood,” she explained.
The garden has 46 plots and about 200 members. Both a Girl Scout and Boy Scout troop help and the garden is the subject of its second Eagle Scout project. Connor Maitland of Troup 91 is constructing a new garden plot and an arbor.
Opposite the Community Garden tent was the township Environmental Commission staffed by Jule Girman and Georgia Schilling.
Hopatcong is waiting for its Sustainable Jersey certification from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Girman said. At Hopatcong Day they were trying to raise awareness of invasive species. Most people know about the water chestnut problem in the lake, but there are some land-based plants that cause problems as well, including Japanese Knotweek, Clematis and Stillgrass, Schilling said.
Another township group is CERT. Although they got their biggest workout during Hurricane Sandy, the emergency response team also assists with missing person searches, first aid, clerical work and even weapons searches. It was CERT members who discovered a sword that had been thrown from a car during a police pursuit.
The Girls on the Run tent featured some big news. Valerie Quinn, who has been coaching the Girls on the Run team is recruiting for Hero Boys, a similar youth development and engagement program to Girls on the Run. Quinn, who will be coaching Hero Boys in the fall is looking for third to fifth grade boys. Costs will be minimal to the families thanks to funding from the Hopatcong Municipal Alliance. June Seal will coach the girls and is looking to arrange Girls on Track, for older girls who want to run.
The Hopatcong Ambulance Squad is looking for more members, Henry Sardina III, treasurer of the group said. Both new rigs were parked near the tent. Sardina said the new ambulances feature up to date equipment, including power stretchers which are a big step toward prevent back injuries among volunteers.