Discovery Center at Point Breeze to host holiday open house

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Spend the holidays at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Discovery Center at Point Breeze.

The public is invited to a Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 2-4 p.m. at the Discovery Center located at 101 Park St., Bordentown.

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The public is invited to enjoy mulled cider, hot chocolate and cookies at the open house. The Discovery Center was created by D&R Greenway Land Trust in a renovated historic home that belonged to Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte’s gardener in the early 1800s. The house will be open with exhibits about the history, land and people of Point Breeze, including the Lenape and Bonaparte. 

During the month of December, a Holiday Tree will grace the Crown Jewels Gallery. Visitors are invited to bring an ornament to decorate the tree, commemorating the history of Point Breeze, the natural features that can be found on the land or the local community. Homemade Fleur de Lis ornaments will be available to decorate for a small donation. 

On Sunday, Dec. 10 at 1 p.m., Dr. Dan Druckenbrod of Rider University will present “Talk about Trees” to tell the story of historic trees he has discovered on the Point Breeze land through a survey and tree core sampling. Three of Druckenbrod’s core samples are on display at the Discovery Center, including one from a tree dated before the Bonaparte era.  A noted dendrologist, he has conducted a scientific study that began under the ownership of Divine Word Missionaries and continued with permission from the state and co-managers of the City of Bordentown and D&R Greenway.

Druckenbrod is preparing to publish a book on his work and will reveal previously unknown facts.

These two events celebrate the Discovery Center’s new weekend visitor hours. Beginning in December, the Discovery Center will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 Noon – 4:00 pm every weekend. The Discovery Center will be closed on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Special holiday hours have been added on December 26 and 27 to accommodate families who are home for the holidays. Group tours may be scheduled on weekdays by appointment.

Layers of history are represented at the Discovery Center.  Visitors learn the preservation story and about the land’s Lenape inhabitants in the Peoples Room. The Crown Jewels Gallery showcases special features of Point Breeze, seen as the “crown jewels” that can be found on the land, in reference to Bonaparte’s escape as King of Spain from where he is reputed to have taken the Crown Jewels to support his lifestyle in exile. Climbing a staircase to the second floor, visitors pass beneath an Italian glass chandelier that symbolizes Joseph and his brother Napoleon Bonaparte’s Italian ancestry and birth on the island of Corsica. In the Walk Through Time Room, visitors view an 1819 painting of Jospeh Bonaparte, thanks to the family of Louis Mailliard, his lifelong confidant and secretary. Turing to the Natural World room, stories focus on nature and the Delaware River, including the nearly extinct sturgeon and birds seen by John James Audubon and ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte. 

To RSVP for the events or for more information, contact info@drgreenway.org, call D&R Greenway at (609) 924-4646, or visit www.drgreenway.org. 

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