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Despite threatening clouds, Mother Nature provided New Jersey a beautiful day to view the 2017 Great American Eclipse on August 21. Ranging in age from toddler to octogenarian, approximately 60 people turned out at The Land Conservancy of New Jersey’s South Branch Preserve in Mt. Olive to witness this once in a lifetime event.

The viewing area was next to the shed in the community garden. Many attendees brought NASA-approved sunglasses and generously shared them with others. Some people made viewers out of cereal boxes or shoe boxes from instructions supplied by The Land Conservancy. Oblivious to the festivities, butterflies and bees continued to buzz through the native flowers in the Preserve’s meadows and the gardens’ ripening vegetables, ducks patrolled the marsh, and the other wildlife carried on as usual.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made the solar eclipse an event to remember! Check out our Facebook albums for photos and video of the event.

The Community Garden is located at the intersection of Wolfe Road and Route 46 in Budd Lake. It is part of South Branch Preserve, which totals over 200 acres. Preserved by The Land Conservancy and its partners (including Mt. Olive Township) this land was purchased to protect the headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan River, a drinking water supply source for over 1.5 million New Jersey residents.

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