Bernadette Morales Park
Flemington, Raritan Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey


Directions:

The park is located just north of Mine Brook Park, and beneath Uplands Reserve. From the main traffic circle in southeast Flemington you go west and then turn right onto Old Croton Road. Travel a short distance past Mine Brook Park (on the right) and turn right onto Capner Street. The Morales park entrance is on the left.


History (Morales Sub-Committee of the Flemington-Raritan Parks and Recreation Committee):

Mary and Edwin K. Large, Jr. donated this 52 acre tract to Raritan Township in 1972. Their generosity has garnered our gratitude and respect. A New Jersey Green Acres grant paid the largest half of the property's appraised value.

The park was named for Bernadette ("Bunny") Morales. Bunny Morales, her husband, Dave, and their two daughters, Loren and Kelly, were residents of Raritan Township. Both Dave and Bunny were well-known and respected teachers in the Flemington-Raritan School District.

Bunny taught kindergarten, first at the Reading-Fleming School and later at Robert Hunter. She loved her "chickadees" and they, in turn, adored their teacher. Bunny was an excellent teacher. Her classes were fu-filled learning experiences where children were encouraged to enjoy themselves, each other, and learning.

Bernadette Morales -- her zest for life and her courageous battle to overcome cancer inspired all who knew her.


Trails:

You can take 2.12 miles of trail. The Bernadette Morales Nature Preserve, along with Mine Brook Park, The Dvoor Farm and Uplands, form a contiguous greenway.

We took the number 3 trail (Brook Trail) northwest along Mine Brook. There is an interesting cliff along Mine Brook. You can see the same type of rock here as you see about 9 miles from the Tappan Zee Bridge (west side) on Route US 87. It is a pretty cliff with crumbling red shale type rock.

We crossed the bridge on the main trail (#1 on the map) and followed it northeast and north to trail #5 (Meditation trail). This took us west to #6 trail (Eagle Trail) which traveled southeast close to Mine Brook (and too close to Old Croton Road) back to the one lane bridge. We then just followed the Brook Trail back to our car.

 

Flemington Greenbelt (Liberty Village to Mine Brook Park; to Morales Nature Preserve to Uplands Reserve to Tuccamirgan Park to Liberty Village):

From Mine Brook Park
cross the bridge over Mine Brook and walk right on the park trail
cross Capner Street
enter the Moraales Nature Preserve
take the Main Trail; turn left at the brook; cross the brook via a bridge and walk up the wooden steps
turn left onto Eagle Trail
walk uphill along the brook
continue right onto the Meditation Trail
(One can take a longer hike by taking the left fork into the Uplands Reserve)
The Meditation Trail ends at the Main Trail. 
Follow the Main Trail back to the entrance. 

(See Tuccamirgan Park for the next steps.)

5/24/2005.  While my wife, son and brother-in-law shopped at Liberty Village, I decided to check out Mine Brook Park, Bernadette Morales Park, and Uplands Nature Preserve. I was interested in finding how these three parks connected to each other and then to Tuccamirgan Park.  I parked at the parking lot on Capner Street across from a parking area for Bernadette Morales Park. 

There is a gravel/dirt foot path in a figure 8.  The lower circle of the figure 8 goes around the children's playground area and picnic pavilion, while the top circle of the figure eight went around the ball field area.   The Mine Brook itself  is on the east side of the park.  I crossed over Mine Brook via a wooden bridge.  There is a path on the other side of the bridge that crosses the northern edge of the huge field (probably owned by the Dvoor Farm) and takes the walker over to Shields Avenue.  (From here one could walk south, then turn left onto Bonnell Street and soon afterwards take a left into Tuccamirgan Park.)

I walked over to Shields Avenue and back.  Recrossed the wooden bridge over Mine Brook and went back to where my car was parked.  Crossed over Capner Street and walked into the Bernadette Morales Park.  I took the main trail  and crossed Mine brook and walked up the wooden step to a left turn onto Eagle Trail.   Walked uphill and along the brook on my left.  By the Brook are a lot of houses on the other side of the road.   Passed  the intersection with Dogwood Trail  The trail is very wet and muddy and good footing is hard to come by.  Walked uphill and then bore right onto the Meditation Trail and then steeply uphill.  Turn left onto the Uplands Reserve Trail.  Started to walk the circular loop heading counter clockwise.  As I noticed time was running short, I took a short-cut cutting across the loop trail area and back close to where I started on the circular loop. Turned right and then retraced my steps all the way back to Mine Brook Park and my car. 

I drove around the area and found Tuccamirgan Park across the street from the rear of St. Magdalene Roman Catholic Church (established 1847).  Then I drove back to Liberty Village.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (American hackberry)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Crataegus sp. (cut-leaved hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Ostrya virginiana (eastern hop hornbeam)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax herbacea (carrion flower greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis spp. (grape)
vine, silver frosted leaves, rounded scalloped, horticultural vine by bench

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 7/11/98
Ajuga reptans (bugleweed)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic) 7/11/98
Apocynum sp. (white dogbane very short petioles) 7/11/98
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 7/11/98
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 7/11/98
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 7/11/98
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) 7/11/98
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 7/11/98
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 7/11/98
Eupatorium rugosum (white snake root)
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 7/11/98
Geum canadense (white avens) 7/11/98
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 7/11/98
Narcissus sp. (daffodil)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 7/11/98
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 7/11/98
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 7/1//98
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 7/11/98
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed knotweed)
Ranunculus sp. (buttercup) horticultural variety?
Rumex obtusifolius (broad leaved dock)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Silene latifolia (white campion) 7/11/98
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 7/11/98
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) 7/11/98
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 7/11/98
Trifolium repens (white clover) 7/11/98
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 7/11/98
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/11/98

yellow mustard in bloom; short semi-thick pods, cork stopper top; 3 paired lobes and fat end; perhaps a Rorippa

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex crinita
Carex stipata
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus sp. (brome grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle brush grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue grass)
Setaria sp. (foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)