Fall Newsletter

The end of summer is always bittersweet, but fall is a wonderful time to explore Island Beach State Park. The crowds are gone, and Island Beach is beaming with natural beauty as the foliage takes on a warmer hue.   
Looking for ways to get out and enjoy the Park this season? We've got you covered!
  In this Issue:
- "What's Blooming in the Park" 
- Fall Membership Meeting 
- Beach Grass Planting - Save the Date  
Hope to see you there!

- Friends of Island Beach State Park 

2018 Beach Plum Festival

This year's Beach Plum Festival may go down as the stormiest in it's history, but it was certainly not a total blow out! A few brave vendors and our dedicated team of volunteers came out and made the day a success.  Despite the wet weather, we still sold all 700 jars of beach plum jelly!  All in all, the Festival brought in about $9500 that will be used to enhance the Park in 2018. The Beach Plum Festival is such a wonderful tradition and even the worst of weather can't keep folks away.  Thank you to everyone that helped make this year's festival a success!
Want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of the Beach Plum Festival?


Fall Membership Meeting

Sunday, November 11th
11:00 - 1:00
IBSP Interpretive Center

Join us for our Annual Fall Meeting and learn about all of the great ways to get involved with and support Island Beach State Park! Take a few hours to learn about all of the great things happening in the park this season.
We will also be holding the Board Elections. Lunch to follow.

What's Blooming in the Park

 By Jason Austin
Little Plant Company LLC

As we steam past Labor Day, summer seemed to have been a blip on our radar.
With June barely feeling like summer, July and August were all summer had to offer us this year.  2018 has felt like the shortest in recent memory.

One of the things that we did experience in this all too short summer,  was wild weather. The plants and gardeners alike certainly did not mind the amount of rain we had this summer, but what is the net result of some of the weather extremes we had in Ocean County?   Shorter bloom-times, floppy perennials, marginal beach plum yields... All of these things can be frustrating, but certainly build character. However, the wild dunescape of IBSP didn't seem to be bothered by any of this.

With the onset of fall, I may rename this piece, 'What's Fruiting in the Park?'.  That seems to be what fall really has on offer, fruit. While I am not overlooking my favorite fall perennial, the seaside goldenrod (pictured below), there will not be too much else blooming, with the possible exception of an errant Aster or Eupatorium.  Although, one could argue that the grasses are blooming, too. Dune grass, switch grass, and little bluestem.

More importantly, if I were a "fruit forager", especially a fox;  there is no place that I would rather be than a Dune Woodland. With the changing temperatures and kaleidoscopic fall color,  here are some things to keep your eyes on, whether you are on 2 legs or 4.

Fruit for the people:
Beach plum

Fruit for the animals:
Red Cedar
Virginia Creeper
Poison Ivy (yes:))
Black Gum

As we can see, no shortage of nature's bounty, welcome to Fall.  With water temps remaining in the mid-seventies, IBSP remains the 'queen of the coast' with perfect conditions on tap just about every day.   This is the most amazing time of year to visit the park, so come and see for yourself.


Barrier Island Classic Surf Contest
We had a blast at the Barrier Island Classic this year! Another perfect day in the park. Thanks to all who came out!

Photos by Ray Hallgreen
Save the Date -
Fall Beach Grass Planting  

December 1st, 2018
9:30 - 1:00
Volunteers needed - take part in one our largest volunteer projects this fall! Planting beach grass strengthens the dunes and leads to a more resilient coast line. All ages welcome! Details and registration will be sent out next month.

This year's project is sponsored by Wakefern Food Corp.


Save the Date for our 2018 Events

Want to know the date for all of our events in 2018 - we've got you covered! Check out our calendar so that you can mark yours and plan to attend the Beach Plum Festival, General Meetings, Dune Grass Plantings and more ...

We're committed to making Island Beach State Park - one of New Jersey's most popular state parks - one of it's best cared for. Thanks for your continued support!
visit our website at 

Friends of Island Beach State Park
PO Box 406, Seaside Park, NJ 08752