#b#Purple Martins Survive Vandals#/b#

I would like to thank the Greater Mercer County community for generously supporting the Mercer County Wildlife Center. Most recently, community support enabled our Wildlife Center to care for five baby birds that survived an act of vandalism to one of the purple martin colony structures at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s St. Michael’s Farm Preserve in Hopewell Township in early July.

The injured baby birds were taken to the Wildlife Center on Route 29, where they were cared for over the past month. That care included feeding each of these birds 60 meal worms an hour for 12 hours a day.

Once word of the vandalism became public, the Wildlife Center and nonprofit Wildlife Center Friends received an outpouring of support. In fact, the Friends group accepted more than $6,000 in donations. Not only did the surviving purple martins have plenty of mealworms for their recovery, but hundreds of other birds and bats in our care also will have enough food for the rest of the season.

On August 8 three of the young martins were healthy enough to be safely released back into the wild near an active purple martin colony. One of the martins is still being cared for at the Wildlife Center and, unfortunately, one did not survive its injuries.

Our Wildlife Center tends to about 2,200 injured, ill and displaced animals a year and has about 150 trained and dedicated volunteers. The center provides these animals with medical treatment and a temporary refuge before releasing them back into an appropriate wild habitat. We depend on the generosity of volunteers and on donations to make that happen. Thank you for supporting the Mercer County Wildlife Center. We could not do the work that we do without your help.

Brian M. Hughes, Mercer County Executive

#b#Block Party Rocks at McCarter#/b#

On the evening of August 24 the front lawn of McCarter was a sight to behold as more than 2,000 members of our community gathered to celebrate the beginning of our 2016-’17 season. The sixth annual Block Party was a tremendous success as party-goers enjoyed the music of the Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra; took behind-the-scenes tours of our Matthews stage; enjoyed food from the 11 restaurant vendors and food trucks, or even had an ice cold craft beer in our beer garden. We can’t think of a better way to begin our season than by throwing open our doors and having a party on our front lawn.

I would like to thank the remarkable volunteers from Bloomberg L.P. who came out to lend a hand at our arts and crafts tables; and also offer thanks to the people at Art Sparks and Princeton Face and Body Art for donating their time, talent, and supplies. Thanks also to the members of the Princeton University Security staff who helped us with traffic flow and public safety. Thank you to our immediate neighbors who graciously accommodated the road closures needed around the theater to make room for the food trucks and our other activities. Finally, I would like to thank the hardworking staff and volunteers at McCarter. Everyone from our production crew to the education teaching artists look forward each year to the event and have a hand in making it a success.

Emily Mann and Bill Lockwood have put together another compelling artistic season at McCarter. Beginning on September 9 with the world premiere of “Bathing in Moonlight” by Nilo Cruz, McCarter will be the place to be for engaging entertainment this season. We have a new production of “A Christmas Carol,” a great line up of dance and music performances and plans are in place for another spectacular gala in the spring featuring a concert by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

We are grateful to be a part of this engaging and wonderful community, to have the support of so many in the community, and are so proud to be a home for the arts here in Princeton.

Timothy J. Shields, Managing Director

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