Friends of Brightwood Park Quarterly Newsletter

September 2022

As summer departs and fall begins, we await the spectacular foliage colors the season offers!  Take a break and come to the sanctuary of Brightwood Park!


President's Note

As we approach our second year anniversary, I am thrilled to report on the many successes we have had.  Native plants are retaking their place in the park!  People are visiting and enjoying the sanctuary in suburbia!

Read about our progress and our plans in Perspectives on the Park.  We have so much more planned and hope that you will be able to join us.

Event Calendar

FOBP has some fun and exciting plans for the fall.  Check out the events calendar​.

For Children:  We are continuing our popular Brightwood Kids Nature Detectives classes through December and holding our second annual Trunk or Treat on October 29.  

For adults:  We are very excited by a social event at the Roig Collection at Evalyn Dunn Gallery Annex on September 22.  Rob Lombard is also continuing his history tours.

For Seniors:  FOBP is teaming up with Lifelong Westfield for a walk in the park.  We are still working out the details but are hoping for a date in October.

FOBP has also started a social committee and will be looking forward to bringing more social events to our membership.  If you would like to get involved, email [email protected].

Roig Art Gallery Show!


Join Friends of Brightwood Park on September 22, 2022 from 6 to 8 p.m. as we celebrate the natural beauty of Brightwood Park through the art of local artist, Ricardo Roig, and his collaboration with the photography of FOBP's  Chuan-Chu Chou.  

Roig's new Art of Brightwood Park will be available for purchase to benefit FOBP and our restoration efforts.

There will be light refreshments and good company:  Ricardo Roig collection at the Evalyn Dunn Gallery Annex, 331 West Broad Street, Westfield, NJ.  RSVP to [email protected].


Message Board update:  

Last year, FOBP donated a durable and lockable message center as chosen by the town.  We were thrilled when it was installed in March 2022.  Soon after installation, FOBP gave the town a park trail map and an events calendar to provide information to park visitors.  FOBP has also offered to provide historical and ecological information.  Our offers were politely rejected with the promise that information produced by the Recreation Commission would be forthcoming. Unfortunately, after six months, the message center has remained empty but for random materials slipped in the glass doors.   It is unfortunate that the kiosk has not yet been put to use to highlight the available trails, park rules, and events.  We remain hopeful that the town will approve these items as well as allow information about park habitat and ecology soon.  


Brightwood Pond

There have been some changes to the ponds this summer - some good, some bad, and some challenging.  Read more about the ponds here!


Bats... Scary or Gentle Creatures of the Night?

Have you noticed boxes on poles in the park?  Ever wondered why they are there?  They are bat houses, i.e. homes to encourage bats to take up residence. 
Many people think that bats are creepy, scary, spooky.  After all, don’t they suck blood?  So, why would we want to encourage them to hang around the park. First, put your mind to ease.  Most certainly, any bats in the park do not drink blood!  The truth is that bats are really shy, gentle, intelligent and misunderstood creatures that are part of a healthy ecosystem.  

Read more about bats here.


Mysterious Lichens


Lacy patches of grey, tufts of orange string, green leaf-like growth, colorful crust covers on rocks or trees  ... what are these mystery organisms found throughout Brightwood Park?  They vary in shape and color and can be found growing on rocks, trees, and other surfaces.  Not to be confused with moss, lichens are a mysterious organism.
Lichens are found all over the earth from polar regions to the tropics!  Most grow on land but a small percentage can even live in water.  They are especially unique in that they are comprised of both fungi and alga –in this symbiosis, each component sustains the other.  The fungus provides moisture allowing alga to grow in otherwise inhospitable climates.  Alga absorbs nutrients and uses photosynthesis to create food thereby feeding the fungus.

Read more about lichens here.

Check out our Brightwood Kids Newsletter here!