Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hardwick Day 2022 Brought History & Nature Together, Oct. 23rd

Hardwick Day was markedly different this year but pleasant for all ages. Deciding not to rely on Hardwick’s usual venues and hosts for the event – three of the five vast recreation camps in town had generously taken turns playing host each year (except when Covid was rampant), the Committee decided to give them a break and instead have the celebration at the Vass Farmstead, off Route 521. The Township is the new lease holder of the property.

The Vass House. Photo by J. Major, Sept. 2022

Built in 1812, the Vass House represents one of the cut-stone homes still standing from that era. It was the home of Jon Vass, who designed the home for his family of 10, after buying 500+ acres which included the giant lake beyond.

It’s written that young Vass was born enroute from Germany and as a young man was ‘bounded, or indentured. His home was a testament to the perseverance of early settlers in the area. The Hardwick Historical Society was on hand offering tours of this beautiful farmhouse.

Indeed, the venue was ideal for a home-spun, low-key event, with the County-owned White Lake just across the street offering a dramatic setting plus kayaking monitored by the Phillipsburg Youth Group.

This young girl enjoyed testing her skills on the 60-acre White Lake. Photo by D.L. Dunn, Oct. 2022.

A highlight of the event was a presentation by the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, a favorite for the standing-room only crowd. Visiting the event thus were birds of prey, many rescued from horrible circumstances. From the very small to the very large, the presenter informed attendees about each bird, it’s origin and characteristics.

A Northern Saw-whet owl, saved from the side of the road one rainy night and brought to the Canter. Photo by D.L. Dunn, Oct. 2022
A Red-tailed hawk rescued and rehabilitated. Photo by D.L. Dunn 2022

Sadie’ . the majestic Bald eagle found with crushed bones. The Center took on extensive rehabilitation of this Eagle. Photo by D.L. Dunn, Oct. 2022

Due to Covid, the Center is suffering a loss in event scheduling. Whereas they survived on 50 shows per year, they now book about 15. They receive no federal or state funding and their mission is to educate the public about the importance of these birds. More can be learned from their website:

Desiree Dunn
Desi L. Dunn, Managing Editor
Managing Editor at Desiree L. Dunn, LLC

Born & educated in NY with an Environmental Science degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Desi's family resides in Hardwick with a young teen and several spoiled pets. Considering northwest Jersey to be a true gem, her commitment to the people and environs is exemplified by the many different jobs she's had - municipal & county official, election clerk, open space plan writer, newspaper & radio journalist, grant writer, events coordinator and farm market manager as well as retail, waitressing, archaeological digger and once for a short while in a very huge warehouse.

Her favorite was as a reporter for many years with the Recorder newspapers, Blairstown Press, Paulinskill Chronicle, Gannett publications plus WNTI Public Radio producing public affairs and human interest stories on-air.

She often has her camera ready to capture interesting people and events. She's thrilled to now serve as RVE's Managing Editor, helping fellow writers hone their skills and show you the issues as well as treasures that exist in North Warren, through their eyes.