Arm & Hammer Park at Waterfront Park is located in the capital city of Trenton and is home to the Trenton Thunder, currently the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Arm & Hammer Park at Waterfront Park is located in the capital city of Trenton and is home to the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
After breaking ground in the summer of 1992, the County officially opened Waterfront Park on May 9, 1994 to the then Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers gave way to the Boston Red Sox in 1995 and Boston kept it's Double A players in Trenton through 2002. The following season, the Thunder welcomed the New York Yankees as their affiliate and that relationship has since been extended through the end of the 2022 season.
As an affiliate of the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees, fans can see up-and-coming Major League prospects as well as current Yankees on injury rehab assignments. Through the first 19 years of the franchise, over 270 players played for both the Thunder and a Major League team in their careers. The following are just some of the superstars who have worn Thunder pinstripes: Nomar Garciaparra, Tony Clark, David Eckstein, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis, Joba Chamblerain and Phil Hughes.
The Thunder have consistently been one of the top organizations in all of Minor League Baseball. The team draws approximately 400,000 fans each season and have welcomed over 7 million fans in the history of the franchise. In 2005, the Trenton Thunder were formally recognized by its governing body (Minor League Baseball) as the winner of the Johnson Trophy, awarded annually to the "nation's best franchise".
The Trenton organization has made a strong commitment to giving back to the community, as the club has raised $4.7 million worth of goods, services and monetary donations through Trenton Thunder Charities since 1994 (as of the end of the 2012 season).
The Trenton Thunder is known both locally and nationally for the family fun created during game days with special entrance giveaways, promotions and theme nights, post-game fireworks, mascots Boomer and Strike and famous real-life golden retriever bat-dog Derby and Rookie.
The docks are CLOSED for the season!
They will reopen in April of 2015
The Docks on the Delaware are public docks, located outside Arm & Hammer Park at Waterfront Park, in the capital city of Trenton on the Delaware River. The docks are operated and maintained by the Mercer County Park Commission with regular hours of operation sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, April through September, weather permitting.
Visitors enjoy walking, fishing, and beautiful views of the Delaware River. Boaters can travel to baseball games and area restaurant Rho via the docks. The docks also remain open during all home Trenton Thunder games to accommodate those fans traveling by the Delaware. Boat owners should also know that the docks are not staffed.
General Information: (609) 730-9059
Lesson Information: (609) 818-1397
Monday-Friday 7 A.M.-8 P.M.
Saturday and Sunday 7 A.M.-5 P.M.
Feeding horses, hunting, fires, alcohol, picnicking without reservation, dogs must be leashed at all time.
The Mercer County Equestrian Center features 31 stalls, indoor and two outdoor rings, two grooming stalls, two tack rooms, two feed rooms, four wash stalls, and eleven horse pastures.
One of the earliest farmers to farm this property was Earnest Johnson, the son of Russell Johnson who owned a farm on the land that is now Rosedale Park. Earnest utilized the land for dairy and crops. In the 1960’s, the MacDonald Family purchased the farm and renamed it The Hadda Farm. The MacDonalds leased out the cropland to a local farming family, the Schaafsmas. They grew crops and raised farm animals. In 1979, Janet Schaafsma built the main horse barn with the indoor arena and began operating a riding and boarding facility. Her daughter Debbie took over the business until the County acquired the property in 1994. Since then, the Mercer County Equestrian Center has been updated to feature 31 stalls, and indoor and two outdoor rings, two grooming stalls, two tack rooms, two feed rooms, four wash stalls, and eleven horse pastures.
- The 243 acre facility has marked trails for bird watching, walking, hiking, and horseback riding that lead to Rosedale Park and Mercer Meadows via the Lawrence Hopewell Trail.
- The Mercer Educational Gardens are located here
- Parking for Curlis Lake and Curlis Woods access
- Parking for the LHT access
- Horse trailer parking for trail riding
- Equine themed playset with barrier-free rubber safety surface
- Riding Lessons
- Therapeutic Riding Program for individuals with special needs. Please call or email for additional information
- Horses and Youth 4-H Program
- Summer Camps
- Pony Parties
- Educational Tours for scouts, schools, or groups
- Pony Rides
- Ring Rentals
- Horse Shows, Clinics and Seasonal Events
Book your tee time by phone
Mercer County in Central New Jersey is your home for public golf. The golf courses of the Mercer County Park Commission offer a variety of settings for every taste and style. From tree-lined courses to open green spaces and smooth rolling greens the courses at Mercer Oaks, Mountain View, and Princeton Country Club are some of your best choices.
Mountain View is a mature, 18-hole championship golf course which was opened in 1958. Mt. View is open year round, seven days a week, weather permitting. The course measures 6117 yards from the regular tees and 6682 yards from the back tees with a par of 72. Mt. View is characterized by its natural terrain of rolling hills and valleys. The course is ideal for players of all abilities.
Princeton Country Club is an 18-hole championship golf course opened in 1958 and is actually located in West Windsor, New Jersey. This picturesque course is open year round seven days a week weather permitting. The course is a par 70 and measures 5,845 yards from the regular tees.
Mercer Oaks West is an 18-hole championship golf course which was opened to the public in 1991. The course was built in a traditional style with tree lined fairways, ample bunkers, and challenging greens. The course is a part of the landscape of Mercer County Park and Lake Mercer. It has large greens and bunkers. Through strategic design and careful placement of bunkers and other hazards, the course provides a good test of golf. From the championship tees, the course measures over 7,000 yards with a par of 72. Although part of Mercer Oaks, the links styled East and traditional styled West offer two completely different course challenges for players of all levels. Both West Windsor courses offer a world class practice facility and are open year around, weather permitting.
Mercer Oaks East Golf Course was designed by Ault, Clark and Associates and was opened to the public in the fall of 2003. The East is an 18-hole championship, links-style golf course featuring generous fairways, exceptional bunkering and large, contoured greens. From the championship tees, the course measures 7,182 yards with a par of 72. Although part of Mercer Oaks, the links styled East and traditional styled West offer two completely different course challenges for players of all levels. Both West Windsor courses offer a world class practice facility and are open year around, weather permitting.
The Mercer County Ice Skating Center is open to the public seven days a week during the operating season. The rink offers general public skating sessions, birthday parties, private parties and ice time for hockey games & practices. Shake the winter blues with a fun, affordable activity which offers something for kids of all ages (adults too!)
Mercer County Skating Center officially opened on October 25, 1975 spanning over 5 acres in Mercer County Park.
Princeton architect Richard Charlton designed the skating center, and the Scozzari Brothers of Trenton were the general contractors for this project.
The intended purpose of the new center was to provide outdoor recreational skating for the general public regardless of weather conditions.
Rink floor was built on a 5-inch floating slab of concrete.
Mercer County Skating Center is an open air, sheltered skating facility, which is approximately 85 by 200 feet.
The rink's outdoor amenities include ice hockey boards, a permanent Plexiglas system, aluminum bleachers, and an electronic clock and score board surrounded by protective netting.
Group lessons are offered at the Mercer County Park Skating Center on Sat and Sun mornings between the hours of 9:45am & 11:45am.
Thursday evenings starting in January from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
Lessons include a half-hour group lesson and 1 hour of practice time each week. Each session of lessons run for 5 weeks.
Lesson Registration Dates for the 2014-2015 season will be posted soon!
Pre-registration is required by mail or in person at the skating center. See group lesson brochure for application. You must pre-register before the start date of your class. Registrations will not be accepted on first day of class.
Registration for all sessions will be held at the skating center on the following dates:
Lesson Registration Dates for the 2014-2015 Season will be posted soon!
Prorated rolling admissions are applied throughout each session until classes are full.
Private skating lessons (one person) and semi-private skating lessons (two people) are offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings (starting Jan 2nd). Lessons are 20min in duration with one of our skating pros. The cost for 1 person 20min lesson $22. Two people 20min lesson $26.
For more information or any questions regarding group lessons or private lessons please see our lesson brochure or contact either of our skating directors: Paula Shomer or Cathy Adamoyurka at email@example.com.
May 24 to June 8 from noon to 6:00 PM weekends only
June 11 to Sept 1 (Labor Day) Wed thru Fri noon to 5:00 PM.
Sat and Sun noon to 6:00 PM.
Boat Rental is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
No standing in the boats or swimming in the lake at any time
The Grand Opening of the new Mercer County Park Marina was held on June 1, 1985. The completion of the Marina rounded out the county's 2,600-acre central park as a total recreational facility. With a price tag of $5 million, it was the largest undertaking by the Mercer County Park Commission to date. The Marina and the development of the 365-acre man-made lake were overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service.
Amenities consist of a beautiful lakeside boathouse, a FREE boat ramp for launching small boats, 1,000 square feet of docks and offers kayak, row and pedal boat rentals.
Surrounding the marina is a recreational area consisting of picnic tables, a 5-mile bike trail, playgrounds, grills and 4 new sand volleyball courts.
We will be improving our Boathouse in 2014 and will not be taking reservations for events. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to helping you plan your event in 2015.
For pictures of the Boathouse at Mercer Lake concepts click on the photo gallery.
The Marina will be open this summer for rentals.
Named for Finn M.W. Caspersen, former Board Chair of the Peddie School and located on the North shore, the original boathouse project was built to provide a better venue for local scholastic rowing programs. Though privately funded, the project was a joint effort between The Peddie School, The Lawrenceville School and Mercer County Officials. The Center is home to the Princeton National Rowing Association, www.rowpnra.org, whose mission combines youth and masters programs with elite rowing and international racing, allowing athletes of all skill levels and ages to train, improve and achieve together. The site is designated as a United States Olympic Training Site and serves as the training venue for the US National and Olympic Rowing Teams.
Click here to view the race course. Maritime rules require boats under mechanical power to yield to human powered boats.
- The marina boat ramp is open for public use seven days a week sunrise to sunset weather permitting. No gasoline engines permitted. Electric motors only.
- Pedal boats, rowboats and kayaks may be rented Memorial Day through Labor Day. Pedal and Rowboats hold a maximum of four people. Kayaks are single-person and double person capacity.
- There are parking facilities for 500 cars and an area for boat trailer parking.
- Boating for canoes, small sail boats, pedal boats, row boats, coast guard approved inflatable and kayaks are allowed on the lake. You must wear a life jacket at all times.
- Fishing permitted. Must be 15 years and older (or accompanied by an adult) and must have a valid fishing license.
- Picnic outings and biking trails. Three beach volley ball courts
- Barrier free Lakeside Village Playground.
- The Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located in Mercer Park is the U.S. Olympic Training Site for Rowing and the only Olympic Training Site in the Mid-Atlantic states. The Olympic, Senior, Under-23 and Junior National Teams all train and/or are selected on Mercer Lake.
- Mercer Lake has hosted major rowing competitions including five U.S. Olympic Rowing Team Trials, FISA World Master Rowing Championships, NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships, Scholastic Rowing Association of America Championships and the Big East and Metro-Area Athletic Conference (MAAC) Collegiate Championships. The Mercer Lake Sprints in among the five largest Junior Regattas in the United States.
- Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA), through the Mercer Junior Rowing Program (MJRC), provides opportunities for students over 30 Mercer County area schools to excel in competitive rowing.
- PNRA provides opportunities for inner city youth from Trenton to experience the sport of rowing.
- The Hun School, Lawrenceville School and Peddie School rowing programs all call Mercer Lake home.
- For information on rowing programs contact PNRA at http://www.rowpnra.org/
- Interesting Facts - Women that train on Mercer Lake won the Olympic Gold Medals in the Women's 8+ in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games and a Silver in 2004 Athens Games. They have also won seven straight World Championships. The Women's 4x won the Bronze in the 2012 London Games.
- Since 2001, every US Olympic or National Team Rowing athlete has trained or been through a selection race on Mercer Lake.
- No gasoline motors of any kind except for official use.
Motors are limited to 12-volt electric trolling type.
- A person shall not launch any watercraft without a US Coast Guard approved flotation device for each occupant. All under the age of 13 years must wear a PDF at all times while on the water.
- No persons shall launch rafts, tubes, houseboats, propeller type airboats, hydroplanes, aquaplanes, surfboards, windsurfers or paddle boards at any time on Mercer Lake.
- Swimming is prohibited unless written consent is given by The Mercer County Park Commission.
- No inflatable boats except those approved by the US Coast Guard with visible seal.
- No persons shall load any watercraft with passengers or cargo beyond its safe occupancy capacity.
- No persons shall operate watercraft in a reckless manner.
- No persons shall moor watercraft overnight.
- No persons shall launch, dock or remove any watercraft in any area except designated launching areas.
- No watercraft shall be operated during any part of the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise except by special permit.
- Any Park Commission employee or Park Ranger shall have the authority to order termination of the use of a boat because of unsafe conditions (overloaded boats, insufficient or improper PFD's, under aged not wearing PFD, neglectful operation, operating under the influence, weather conditions or actions deemed unsafe).
- No sailing vessel will be permitted to sail if height from water line is tip of mast exceeds 22 feet.
- Violators shall be subject to a $100 fine for each violation. Resolution 755, dated October 29, 1980.
- No gasoline motors of any kind except for official use.
Mercer County Park has eleven full-time and two part-time Park Rangers. They patrol all Mercer County Park facilities year around, seven days a week by SUV, foot, bicycle, ATV and boat. All Rangers are certified in CPR and first-aid and each Ranger has a New Jersey Boaters License.
For lesson programs, tournaments, tennis ID cards, women's round robin and indoor seasonal court time.
Monday - Thursday: 7:30 am – 10:30 pm
Friday - Sunday: 7:30 am – 9:00 pm
The Mercer County Park Commission Tennis Facility consists of 6 indoor courts and 22 outdoor courts. The Mercer County Tennis Facility is operated and maintained by the Mercer County Park Commission. The tennis facility encompasses 19 acres of beautiful Mercer County Park. The new 6-court indoor facility has a second-floor viewing lounge overlooking the courts. Stadium seating is available on the premier outdoor court.
The first Mercer County Indoor Tennis Center was completed in October of 1967 located adjacent to The Trenton/Mercer County Airport in West Trenton. Arthur Ashe, Clark Graebner, Manuel Santana and Gene Scott participated in the Dedication Exhibition.
The Mercer County Outdoor Center opened in April of 1981. Vincent Van Patten, Mary Lou Piatek, Jay Lapidus and Marty Devlin participated in the Dedication Exhibition.
On October 20, 2008 the Indoor Center in West Trenton was replaced by a brand new six-court state of the art complex adjacent to our outdoor tennis site in West Windsor.
The Mercer County Tennis Facility boasts 28 courts (22 outdoor and 6 indoor) 16 outdoor courts lighted and available for year round play.
Please check https://register.communitypass.net/mercer to stay current on all programs and special events. The Mercer County Park Commission Tennis Facility consists of 6 indoor courts and 22 outdoor courts. The Mercer County Tennis Facility is operated and maintained by the Mercer County Park Commission. The tennis facility encompasses 19 acres of beautiful Mercer County Park. The new 6-court indoor facility has a second-floor viewing lounge overlooking the courts. Stadium seating is available on the premier outdoor court. Men’s and Women’s locker rooms are located at the Indoor Facility and in the lower level of the outdoor clubhouse. The facility was the recipient of the U.S.T.A.‘s prestigious 2008 National Outstanding Facility of the Year award. The award was presented in New York City during the 2008 U.S. Open. Selection criteria included: overall layout and adaptation of site, excellence of court surface and lights, ease of maintenance, accommodations, aesthetics, amenities and programming.
The Historic Hunt House, located on the grounds of Rosedale Park was originally built by Noah Hunt in the 1700s. The Hunt House represents Hopewell's vast agricultural history and the Township's association with the Hunt Family, prominent early residents of Hopewell who worked a prosperous farm and took an active role in municipal government.
The Hunt House is now the offices of the Mercer County Park Commission.
The Hunt House was built in three sections. The oldest center section was built prior to 1762 and has a hall and palor form, with two rooms downstairs and two upstairs. As the Hunt family prospered and their tastes changed they began to add onto the house. The eight room eastern section (the closest section to the LHT) was built in the 1790s. This section was considered the most grand because some of the rooms had fancy wood millwork. It wasn't until 1850 that the west wing was added and by that time the Hunt Family was the second wealthiest farm in Hopewell Township.
Mercer County aquired the house, surrounding buildings and 12 acres of land in 1969 as part of Rosedale Park and response to the community's desire to maintain open space. In 1988 the Hunt House was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2001, the Park Commission, aided by a grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust, completed a preservation study, discovering that the by-then rundown house was structually sound. The decision was made to have the house restored and used as offices for the Park Commission. In 2009, construction began with funds from the Trust and the Mercer County Open Space Preservation Fund.
The Hunt House is along the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and has public restrooms on the first floor, a rest stop with picnic tables, water fountain and a bicycle rack.
The Tulpehaking Nature Center is the primary access and interpretive hub for the Abbott Marshlands, providing programs and exhibits that encourage visitors to explore and discover the many cultural, historic and natural resources of the Abbott Marshlands.
The Tulpehaking Nature Center opened in the Fall of 2014 as the Mercer County Park Commission's newest center for environmental education. This event was the realization of a decades-long effort by multiple public-private partnerships working together to bring an educational facility to the Abbott Marshlands, a naturally and historically important area south of Trenton containing 3000 acres of urban green space, a rare ecosystem in its tidal freshwater marsh, and one of the most significant American Indian archaeological sites in the mid-Atlantic region.
A team of biologists conducting research in the marsh first voiced the need for a nature center in a 1975 report to Hamilton Township. They recognized the area’s significance as an ecological gem and important educational resource for the community. Support for the marsh itself continued to grow through a grass roots effort resulting in the development of a Management Plan drawn up in 1999, which further outlined the need for a facility to serve as a focal point for marsh activities.
In 2004 and 2005, the D&R Greenway Land Trust received Green Acres development grants, which Mercer County agreed to match in order to construct the nature center. At about the same time, a residential property came on the market that was conveniently located adjacent to the Roebling Park entrance on Westcott Avenue. Mercer County acquired the property, containing a ranch style house and two small, unimproved lots next to the house. This location, situated at the entrance to the Marshlands at Roebling Park and on already improved land, meant that a center would not need to be built within the sensitive marsh environment.
Tulpehaking is a Lenape word meaning “Land of the Turtle,” signifying the region’s rich legacy of Native American culture and history and the surrounding marsh’s ecological importance to plants, wildlife, and people. A visit to the Tulpehaking Nature Center and Abbott Marshlands is more than a tour through an archaeological site or rich ecological preserve. It is an experience of a living place, animated with unexpected biodiversity, providing ecosystem services to the region, and layered with historical homes, archaeological deposits, and recreational areas still enjoyed by people today.
The Tulpehaking Nature Center sits on the bluffs overlooking the Abbott Marshlands, steps away from the Delaware River’s northernmost tidal freshwater marsh and 3000 acres of diverse landscape providing homes for numerous plants and animals, including wild rice, cattails, river otters, and beaver.
It is located at the intersection of three major trail networks at the Marshlands, providing convenient access to features at Watson Woods, Spring Lake, and the Abbott Farm. These features include the historic 1708 Watson House, access to the canoe launch and picnic area, the extensive meandering trail network around Spring Lake and throughout Roebling Memorial Park, and the upland hike to the historic Charles Conrad Abbott homesite.
The Nature Center provides a base of operations for visitors to the Marshlands, with exhibits and educational activities, trail information and restroom facilities. Three main exhibit rooms currently house rotating exhibits showcasing the environment and archaeology of the Abbott Marshlands.
The building houses a 1350 square-foot multi-purpose classroom that can be divided into two smaller classrooms or used as a whole to house up to 50 people. The room is equipped with an 80” flat screen and surround- sound speakers for presentations or movie events, vaulted ceilings and windows that allow for wildlife viewing from within the building.
Outside, a large open-air gazebo provides an assembly area for group orientation activities, educational lessons and social events. It overlooks the beautiful Marsh Native Plant Garden that borders the walkway to the Nature Center. Rain barrels, natural seating areas and outdoor access to restroom facilities support the area’s use as an outdoor classroom. Both the multi-purpose classroom and gazebo are available to rent.
Parking is available in front of the Watson House with easy access to the nature center’s main entrance on the side of the building opposite the gazebo.
Join in interactive programs about science, nature and archaeology, explore exhibits, stroll through the marsh native plant garden, get information on boating and tides, go birdwatching, bicycling and more. Be sure to check our calendar of events and visit!
Private Guided Nature Walks
Discover the urban wilderness of the Abbott Marshlands led by one of our experienced Trail Guides. During 1½ -2 hours of trail time, our Guides can introduce you to what makes the marshlands so special, from the region’s rich archaeological history to the unique tidal freshwater marsh and the diverse plant and wildlife that live there.
Fee: $60/group of 15 people County Resident, $75/group of 15 people Non-county Resident.
Hey, hey it’s a Birthday! Celebrate your child’s special day at the Tulpehaking Nature Center with hands-on activities and guided nature exploration led by one of our staff naturalists. You bring the cake and decorations, and we’ll do the program.
Birthday Package includes:
- 20 guests, including adults and children
- 2 hours in your private Party Room, including 1 hour of programming with our Naturalist
- Your choice of theme: I Love Lenape, Smile it's a Reptile, Can You Camoflage?
- A visit with a live animal
Fee: $150 County Resident, $200 Non-county Resident. (Extra participants $2 each. $50 non-refundable deposit required.
Scout Badge Workshops
Need help meeting those badge requirements? Then register for a scouting activity at the Tulpehaking Nature Center! Our naturalists are ready to help your group work toward completion of any nature- or science-related badge through fun and interactive activities. Workshops are 1½ hours long and can accommodate up to 15 scouts and chaperones.
Fee: $60/group of 15 people County Resident, $75/group of 15 people Non-county Resident.
We want you! The Tulpehaking Nature Center is in need of some good volunteers with a love for nature and desire to share it with others. Greeters, Docents, and Trail Guides are all needed. For more information or to sign up for our next training class, please contact Kelly Rypkema, Nature Center Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open to the public for docent-guided tours each spring and fall from 1pm-4pm on the second Sunday of April, May, June, September, October and November.
The Watson House is the oldest house in Mercer County and was built in 1708 by Isaac Watson. The house is on the National Historic Register and is the State Headquarters for the Daughters of the American Revolution. The interior of the house is furnished as the Watson family may have lived over 300 years ago with a colonial kitchen and living area as well as antiques that the Watson's brought with them from England.
The Watson House is part of the Abbott Marshlands and John A. Roebling Park.
In May 1684, Isaac Watson emigrated over to America with his father, William, and siblings from Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire, England. The Watson family arrived in Philadelphia and rented a house for four weeks before settling in the Township of Nottingham in West Jersey. Their plantation consisted of 700 acres and William built a log house on a bluff facing a creek, so the family had easy access the water routes near Philadelphia.
The Watsons were active in the civic life of the community. Both William and Isaac served as constable, among other positions.
After William passed away, Isaac built a stone house to the east of his father's log house. It was plain and for many years was considered the finest house in the township.
When Isaac died the house was passed to his son. The last descendant of Isaac to live in the house was his grandson, Joseph. He and his wife lived there for 20 years and after they passed away the estate was broken up between the family who all held deeds to sections of the land.
Mercer County is now the present owner and as part of the New Jersey Tercentenary Celebration in 1964, the New Jersey State Society of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) undertook the restoration of the Watson House. The house and its furnishings are all kept with the period in which the Watson lived, the 18th century, and will continue to be a cherished landmark.
General Information: (609) 303-0552
Volunteer Information: (609) 303-0552 ext. 103
Fax: (609) 303-0570
May - September: 9 A.M. - 6 P.M.
September - April: 9 A.M. - 4 P.M.
Animal Fact Sheets
The Mercer County Wildlife Center is a state and federally licensed facility that cares for injured, ill, and displaced native wildlife. The Center provides these animals with medical treatment and a temporary refuge before releasing them back into an appropriate wild habitat.
The Center strives to preserve our natural wildlife by accepting and rehabilitating birds and mammals from the central New Jersey area. As human development continues along the east coast corridor, suitable habitat available to wildlife decreases. This leads to more human contact, resulting in an increased risk of injury to both animals and humans.
The Wildlife Center, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that supports the efforts of the Mercer County Wildlife Center. Although all services we provide are free of charge to those who bring animals in need of care, we greatly appreciate donations. Any donation made to the Wildlife Center, Inc. is tax deductible.
The Mercer County Wildlife Center is open 365 days a year and is directed by a licensed, full-time wildlife rehabilitator. In addition, another two full-time employees, one part-time employee, five seasonal employees, seven volunteer veterinarians and more than 100 trained and dedicated volunteers and interns gain experience and knowledge in wildlife care.
Although all services we provide are free of charge to those who bring animals in need of care, we greatly appreciate donations. Any donation made to the Center is tax deductible. Learn more about donations.
Q. Why do animals need to be rehabilitated?
A. Animals are brought to us for rehabilitation for three main reasons:
Injuries. Most injuries are caused by animals who have been caught by a dog or cat or hit by a car.
Illness. Animals become ill for a variety of reasons, including parasites and diseases such as West Nile virus, or parvovirus.
Displacement. In nature, animal parents do not leave their young. However, circumstances beyond their control sometimes prevent them from raising their young. Young animals can be displaced, rather than truly orphaned - perhaps a human inadvertently intervened by excluding an adult animal from a house without realizing the adult's young were still trapped inside. Or, perhaps, someone cut down a tree without realizing the tree held a nest of young.
Q. What types of animals do you treat?
A. We treat native New Jersey species. An average of 2,300 birds and mammals are brought to us each year. The most common types of animals include rabbits, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, opossums, bats, all kinds of songbirds and waterfowl, and raptors. We also occasionally see animals such as coyotes, foxes, and shore or wading birds.
Q. What are the facilities like at the Mercer County Wildlife Center?
A. Our new building provides us with hospital space and a new public education area. This new facility allows us to provide complete onsite veterinary care for wild animals, including surgery, radiology, and isolation. The new facility greatly improves our ability to provide emergency care and enables us to quarantine ailing animals more effectively to prevent the spread of disease. We also have a number of outdoor enclosures that house the animals that are being conditioned for release back into the wild.In addition, the new facility will eventually accommodate outdoor public areas where members of the community can learn more about local wildlife, and it will allow us to present education programs for small groups. Raising awareness about local species has always been a core part of the Center's mission. Now we will have the opportunity to share even more information and to help ensure that future generations maintain a strong interest in the natural world around us.
Q. Why can't the public tour the facilities?
A. Any contact with humans is very stressful for a wild animal, including voices and curious eyes peering into enclosures. Part of the new facility will eventually include an outdoor education and display area.
Q. What happens to an animal after I bring it in for treatment?
A. When you bring us an animal for treatment, a staff member logs the animal into our computer system and assigns it a case number. (If you would like to follow the animal's progress, make sure you have the case number handy when you call so we can quickly locate the animal's history.) The animal is then examined to determine the best treatment for it.
Q. Why should I not feed an animal in need or give it water?
A. Each species of wild animal requires a very specialized diet. Feeding an animal the wrong type of food, or even offering water to an injured animal, can do more harm than good. Distressed animals are using all of their resources to keep their respiratory and circulatory systems functioning. They cannot afford to waste energy on digestion. If you think you have found an animal in need, call us first.
Q. What should I do if I have found an animal in need?
A. If you find an animal in distress, please call us at (609) 883-6606 and press 2. The animal may not actually need assistance, and removing it from its environment may cause more harm. We will help you decide whether the animal needs care and, if necessary, will ask you to bring it to the Center.
Q. I have a problem with a wild animal in or near my home. How can I remove it?
A. If a wild animal has taken up residence in or near your home or is otherwise unwelcome in your yard or garden, visit our Coexisting with Wildlife brochure for tips on encouraging the animal to move on. Also be sure to visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife website to view information about relocating wildlife in the state of New Jersey.
Q. I do not live in Mercer County. Are there wildlife rehabilitators closer to my area?
A. We accept patients from all counties in New Jersey, as long as you are able to transport the animal to us. If we are farther than you are able to drive, we would be happy to help you locate a wildlife rehabilitator closer to you. Please visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife or New Jersey Wildlife Rehabilitaors Associaition for further information.
Mercer County Wildlife Center, which accepted and treated 2,400 birds, mammals and reptiles in 2012, is seeking individuals who would like to volunteer their time to care for animals brought to the Hopewell Township facility.
The Center’s staff and volunteers care for native wildlife that are injured, ill or displaced, and provide medical treatment and a temporary refuge to prepare the animals for release into an appropriate, wild habitat. The Center is staffed 365 days a year by one full-time licensed wildlife rehabilitator and two full-time assistants and receives more than 12,000 phone calls annually.
“This facility is one-of-a-kind both in terms of quality of care provided by the staff, including seven volunteer veterinarians, and the high volume of animals that are treated,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “And the many volunteers who assist our Wildlife Center are indispensable. I urge anyone who might be interested to volunteer.”
The Mercer County Wildlife Center, a facility of the Mercer County Park Commission, has scheduled its 2013 volunteer orientation from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, March 17, 2013 and 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the center. Those who are interested are required to attend only one of the two sessions.
To work directly with the animals, volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, have had a current tetanus vaccine, and are required to attend one orientation session. No other sessions will be offered this year. The Center requires that volunteers who work with animals make a commitment to a regular, once-a-week, four-hour shift from April through October. This commitment is necessary because of the feeding schedule requirements and housing demands of the animals.