Laura Bush, Principal Park Naturalist

My name is Laura Bush and I am the Principal Park Naturalist at Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation. I grew up in Hunterdon County and have always enjoyed spending time outside, whether it be hiking, birding, biking, or sitting outside reading a book and watching the hummingbirds.

I have been working at the Parks since January 2009. Since then, I have created a variety of nature programming for both children and adults. The Tot Walk series for 2- and 3-year-olds has become very popular. Each month I pick a theme, and participants enjoy a story, walk, and craft on that same topic.Laura with the new flip board I built at the Arboretum Wizard Walk children’s trail.

I have many nature interests, from native plants to insects to birding, and I am excited to bring programs to the public. These programs change with the season and include guided seasonal walks, full moon hikes, and lectures on local wildlife.

I am also proud to bring in some outside presenters for special programs. Past programs have included lectures on insects or climate change, a lichen walk, and live animal presentations.

Group requestable programs are also a major part of my job. Some of the programs I offer are Seasonal Nature Walks, Incredible Insects, Birding, Pond/Stream Studies, Reptiles Alive, Nests & Eggs, and a variety of slide show lectures on wildlife, wildflowers, and trees. For a full listing of our programs, please see our brochure. I conduct these programs year-round. Many of our groups are schools, scouts, and garden clubs, but six or more people can be a group, even family and friends. Contact me to set up a program!

Hunterdon County has 30 parks to explore, so I would encourage you to get out and enjoy what our area has to offer! 

Patrick Eckard, Recreation Program CoordinatorPatrick Eckard Maple Sugaring Living History to go Brought to you by Hunterdon

I have been working for the County since 2002 and have been with Parks since 2010. I have lived in Hunterdon County my whole life. I have been an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for over 25 years. In my free time I enjoy hiking, biking, helping people, and reading. Park programs I am involved with include the Music Under the Stars Free Concert Series, recreation day trips to various locations, Canoeing, Recreation Walks, Adopt-A-Trail, and Public Lands Day. I also offer all of the Outdoor Skills group programs, which are: Emergency Preparedness, CPR & First Aid Certification, Orienteering, Geocaching 101, Hiking Knowledge, Backpacking Knowledge, Camping Knowledge, Knife Safety, Camp Tools, Knot Tying, Fire Building, Outdoor Survival, Fishing Clinic, Bike Safety, Initiatives & Team Building, and Canoe Clinic. The best part of my job is being able to go out into the parks and meet people and see them enjoying the parks.

Liz Fulmer, Recreation Program CoordinatorLiz Braidwood Fulmer, Recreation Program Coordinator

I grew up in Hunterdon County and I am proud to be a “Jersey Girl.” Two of my passions are making baskets and being out-of-doors. I enjoy working with my hands, being creative, and sharing what I know with others. My skills and knowledge have been acquired as a Girl Scout, living on a farm growing up, homesteading in West Virginia, traveling around the U.S. and Europe, working as a professional basket maker and punch-list carpenter, holding a number of Boy Scout leadership titles while raising my two sons, and working for Parks since 2000. My responsibilities at Parks include organizing Touch-A-Truck. I bring to you art instructors, fiber artists, history programs, and more. Being a jack of many programs and the master of basket making, I offer Basketry Workshops, Clay Workshops, Jewelry Workshops, Woodworking Workshops, Earth-Inspired Crafts, Hiking Knowledge, Camping Knowledge, Knife Safety, Camp Tools, Knot Tying, Fire Building, and Initiatives & Team Building. Please contact me if you are interested in setting up a group program or offering a class here. I’m able to tailor most programs to the needs of your group.

Debra Reed, Park NaturalistDebra Reed

I’m Debra, a naturalist fueled by curiosity, discovery, and passion for the natural world. It is that passion of the natural environment that I share with our local community. I started my love of the outdoors when I was four years old, camping in the wilds of New Jersey. A local resident of Raritan Township, I spent my childhood hiking the South Branch of the Raritan River and enjoying the pond at Echo Hill. 

I joined the Hunterdon County Parks Division full-time as a Park Naturalist in 2018, after being the Seasonal Park Naturalist in 2017. As a previous teacher and master ecologist, I relish educating others and sharing about the environment. I also volunteer in the community as a scout leader and ski patroller. I run the nature club and am involved with our summer programs. I have created several new programs at the Parks, including Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing), an indoor insect program, and a family-based nature club.  

Tom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalist

I have had the pleasure of working for Hunterdon County since 2000. I am a life-long resident of the county with roots that date back to the first families to settle here. Through the years I have worked with many individuals and schools, scout, and homeschool groups in offerTom Sheppard, Chief Park Naturalisting a variety of interpretive and recreation programs. While I am an avid birder and do travel to see the different species of the country, I do not consider myself a specialist in any one field. Feel free to contact me to request any of the following interpretive programs: Seasonal Nature Walk, Animal Clues, Amazing Adaptations, Incredible Insects, Birding, Pond/Stream Study, Plant Study, Batty About Bats Lecture, Birds of Hunterdon Lecture, Co-Existing with Coyotes Lecture, Herptiles of Hunterdon Lecture, Mammals of Hunterdon Lecture, New Jersey Black Bears, Owls of Hunterdon Lecture, Planets of the Inner or Outer Solar System Lecture, Raptors of Hunterdon Lecture, Waterfowl of Hunterdon Lecture, Wildlife of Hunterdon Lecture, Woodpeckers of Hunterdon Lecture, Attracting Birds to Your Backyard Lecture, Animal Strategies, Reptiles Alive, Rocks and Minerals, Introduction to Birding, Skull Workshop, Scat & Tracks Workshop, Wings & Feathers Workshop, Physics in Nature, Recycling, Water Issues, and Composting for the Home.