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Best Picnic Spots in New Jersey

New Jersey is a family-friendly state. With lots of outdoor and indoor destinations that will be enjoyed by the whole family, the garden state is a great location for family bonding activities, as well as travels.

Simple yet fun bonding activities like picnic will always be fun in New Jersey. The state has a wide array of areas to choose from for families who may want to eat their meals in a relaxing place outdoors.

Best Picnic Spots in New Jersey

Outdoor picnics will always be fun. (Photo Credits)

SJMAG.com has a list of picture-perfect picnic spots in South Jersey, families and friends may want to check out. One of those featured on their list is the Sayen Gardens in Hamilton.

“Pack your basket and grab a blanket for this picnic right out of a fairytale. The serene pond and beautiful bridge make the perfect backdrop for this flower-packed picnic. Keep an eye out for brides and grooms or couples – the park is popular for hosting weddings or engagement shoots.”

Check out the photographs of the picnic locations here.

Great Parks

Mommy Poppins also rounded up great picnic locations within New Jersey. Hacklebarney State Park in Long Valley was mentioned in their write-up. New Jersey Wiki

“Rustic picnic tables shaded by hemlock trees dot the landscape of this rocky park, a favorite with hikers, anglers, and picnickers. A deep ravine carved out by the trout-filled Black River remains cool, even in summer, and the area is home to 100 species of birds and other wildlife, including bears, woodchucks, deer, and foxes. Charcoal grills are available at scenic picnic areas, and a small playground is located near the ravine.“

Take a look at the rest of the picnic spots mentioned here.

Picnic by the Lake

The New Jersey Leisure Guide also shared its own list of picture-worthy picnic locations in and around the New Jersey area. Parvin State Park made it to their list. New Jersey State Golf Association

“Parvin is a state park located on the edge of the Pine Barrens. The park not only has pine forests typical to the area but also a swamp hardwood forest. Spring bursts out in bright colors and rich fragrances with blossoming dogwood, laurel, holly, magnolia, wild azalea and over 200 kinds of flowering plants. Thundergust Lake, Parvin Lake and Muddy Run are popular for fishing and boating.”

Read more here.

Apart from being a family bonding activity, picnics have also been a great way for companies to hold an out of office get together for their employees. There are state and private run parks that can accommodate such large groups through reservations.

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Where to Have the Best Burgers in New Jersey

Burgers will always been All-American food, but each state will always have the best places to grab this classic comfort food. New Jersey is no exception with the many food establishments that dot the garden state. Burger enthusiasts will surely find the one that best fits their description of “The Best Burger Ever.”

New Jersey Leisure Guide for instance came up with a shortlist of the best burgers available in the northern part of New Jersey. Topping their list is the Wagyu Beef Burgers in Blue Morel Restaurant.

Where to Have the Best Burgers in New Jersey

Eating burgers will always be fun in New Jersey. (Photo Credits)

“Their Beef Burger is one of the best in New Jersey. It’s made with ground Wagyu Beef. The beef is from Wagyu cattle in Japan and is known for it’s delicious and healthy marbling characteristics that produce a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness.”

Read about the other burger places that made it to their list here.

Best Bar Burgers

The New York Times meanwhile published a feature article on their search for the best bar burgers in New Jersey. One of the restaurant-bars that were featured was Zagursky’s Bar and Grill in Whippany. They had all praises for the burger, and the congeniality showed by its owners towards the customers. State of New Jersey Official Website

“No matter who shows up, they can expect a warm welcome and a very good burger. The patties come from a local butcher and are gently griddled and then steamed, which accounts for their superior juiciness. American cheese is placed on both the top and bottom roll, a simple innovation we should all consider.”

Read about the other burger places they mentioned in their feature write-up here.

Best Burger Contest

NJ Monthly meanwhile came up with a write-up on the results of the best New Jersey Burger contest. One of the winners in the competition is the Next Door Burgers. New Jersey Tourism Authority

“Topped just with partly melted cheddar (partial melting retains more cheese flavor, Arifai later explained) and caramelized onions, this burger, declared Saferstein, ‘isn’t overwhelming. You can enjoy it. I love the bun. These onions are really good’ Faison noted, ‘the cheese has a more pronounced flavor than what we’ve been having.’

Check out the article here.

The best burgers can indeed be found in New Jersey.

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Most Photographed Places in New Jersey

Most millennials are fond of photographs such that when they travel, one of the must-dos in their list is to check out the most photographed places in the area. In New Jersey there are a lot of interesting spots to check out, and pose in that will truly give an NJ trademark to one’s vacation photos. Same goes with photography enthusiasts who delight in taking shots of wonderful and even bizarre places that add depth to the story of the pictures that they produce.

Most Photographed Places in New Jersey

There are a lot of Instagram-worthy locations in and around New Jersey. (Photo Credits)

Loaded Landscapes featured famous New Jersey locations that have been well loved by photography enthusiasts. The Palisades in one of the locations featured in their write-up.

“The Palisades are also called the New Jersey Palisades or the Hudson River Palisades. This area lies on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, just north of Manhattan. The steep cliffs rise as high as 540 feet and run for about 20 miles. Palisades Interstate Park was created to protect and preserve the area.”

Check out the rest of the list here.

Great Locations

The website New Jersey Isn’t Boring meanwhile shared a list of the most “instagrammable” locations in and around the state. The Barnegat Lighthouse made it to their list, as the location makes for awesome photographs no matter the season of the year. New Jersey State Golf Association

Barnegat Lighthouse: aka Old Barney is the most popular lighthouse photographed in New Jersey, in my opinion. The Historic Lighthouse and it’s surrounding park, which is located in Long Beach Island, is always a great destination to photograph. Whether it’s during the day…at night, Or in the WINTER, the Barnegat Lighthouse is always photogenic. Make sure you make it to the top to get an amazing view.”

The other IG-worthy locations in their article can be found here.

Most Photographed

The website Improve Photography for its past chose close to three dozen locations that produce stunning photos. The Sunflower fields in Sussex is part of their list. State of New Jersey Official Website

“Sown in the spring, sunflowers bloom in the fall sometimes with their stalks stretching seven feet high. There are currently more than 200 acres in New Jersey which offers a boost to the state’s agri-tourism. In the Northeast part of the state lays Augusta and its 70-acre sunflower maze of 1.5 million flowers.”

Find the rest of the locations in their original article here.

New Jersey indeed has a lot of Instagram-worthy spots for photography and personal mementoes.

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Why New Jersey is Called “The Garden State”

A lot of people know that “The Garden State” refers to New Jersey. Not all people though know where this came from, why it has been the monicker of the state, and who thought of giving the said nick name.

The State government of New Jersey tried to explain this in its official website. In their article, they mentioned the history of the slogan. Ad the personalities involved in naming New Jersey s such.

Why New Jersey is Called “The Garden State”

Why New Jersey is called “The Garden State.” (Photo Credits)

“Abraham Browning of Camden is given credit for giving New Jersey the nickname the Garden State. According to Alfred Heston’s 1926 two-volume book Jersey Waggon Jaunts, Browning called New Jersey the Garden State while speaking at the Philadelphia Centennial exhibition on New Jersey Day (August 24, 1876). Browning said that our Garden State is an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other. The name stuck ever since.”

Read the whole text here.

Special Slogan

In 2017, the state nickname has become an official state slogan. The website NewJersey.com published an article on this, saying the slogan was given special status following the orders of the governor.

“Just hours before he and his family head overseas for a 10-day summer vacation, Gov. Chris Christie on Monday signed into law 50 bills, including one inspired by a Girl Scout troop who wondered why New Jersey had an official state bird, state flower, state shell, state dinosaur and even a state tall ship — but no state slogan. A law requiring “Garden State” to appear on New Jersey license plates was enacted in 1954, but until now the phrase had not received special legal status.”

Read the rest of the report here.

Very Apt

Local online publication New Jersey Monthly meanwhile says that no matter how many objections there were in calling the state, the “garden state,” there apparently rises enough reasons why the nick name should stick. New Jersey Tourism Authority

“Agriculture is New Jersey’s third largest industry, behind pharmaceuticals and tourism, generating $65 billion a year. The state ranks second in the country in production of both culinary herbs and blueberries, and it boasts more horses than Kentucky. A full 806,000 acres, or 17 percent of the state, still comprises farmland, a designation that includes nurseries, vineyards and orchards, horse farms, and produce and livestock farms.”

The whole article can be read from here.

New Jersey’s support for its agricultural industry could also be a reason why the nick name should remain.

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Best Plants to Cultivate in New Jersey

New Jersey is not called the Garden State for nothing. It produces a great variety of fruits and vegetables that are not common in other places in the United States. It also has a high production of crops and vegetables and fruits that are considered all- American hence its monicker, regardless of the real historical background, remains favorable to those with green thumb.

Best Plants to Cultivate in New Jersey

Lovely plants and flowers can be propagated in New Jersey. (Photo Credits)

For gardening enthusiasts who are new to NJ and wondering what to cultivate, there is a good number of plants, fruits, trees, flowers, and crops to choose from.

NJ-Based landscaping company, Abort Landscape Design, for instance came up with a list of 20 flowers that are great to cultivate given the New Jersey climate. Coral Bells made it to their list.

“The diverse colors and interesting textures of coral bells, makes them a favorite on the list of perennial flowers for NJ gardens. Coral bells produce spires of dainty, white, pink and green flowers and different colored foliage in silver, purple and burgundy. They grow in low clumps, so they work well as border plants and groundcovers. Coral bells like rich, humusy soil that retains a lot of moisture.”

Read about the other perennials that made it to their list here.

Best Fruit Trees for New Jersey

NJ.com meanwhile shared their list of best fruit trees to propagate in the Garden State. Grapes is one of the fruits that have been featured on their list. State of New Jersey Official Website

“Grapes have become a very important crop for New Jersey over the past few years. Much of the popularity is a result of the hybridization of European and North American grapes to produce wine. However, there are a few excellent varieties, both seeded and seedless, for general consumption and use in jams and jellies.”

Check out the full list here.

Gardening website Jersey Yards meantime shared tips for those who are planning to cultivate plants in their New Jersey home. One of their tips is to choose native plants for their gardens as they are the easiest to care for. New Jersey State Golf Association https://www.njsga.org/

Hardy, low-maintenance native plants save time and money. Native plants are well-adapted to our local climate and soil and have natural defenses to plant diseases, harmful insects, and other pests. When the right native is planted in the right place, it will thrive with minimal care. Once established, native plants flourish with normal rainfall and need little, if any, additional watering. Save money on fertilizers and pesticides too”

The rest of their advice can be found here.

Planting native trees and flowers also have better chances of blooming optimally as they can withstand the climate and the type of soil in the state.

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Real Estate Agents – Are You Prepared?!

Real estate agents know better than anyone that if a bump along the way can happen, it probably will. However, there are some things real estate agents can do to better prepare themselves and their clients for curveballs like asbestos, mold, and lead, which could turn into expensive and time-consuming headaches if you’re not careful.

If you’re looking for ways to make your real estate transactions smooth and seamless, one of the best places to start is knowing how to handle issues with environmental hazards as quickly and effectively as possible.

Why Asbestos, Mold, and Lead Can Be Major Setbacks

Today, evaluating a home for environmental hazards like asbestos, mold, and lead is often a standard practice before a sale or purchase can go through. Sellers will need to disclose this information to all potential buyers in their seller disclosure statement. However, if asbestos, mold, or lead is found in the home, it may be necessary to remediate the situation prior to closing.

If you’ve ever run into this situation as a real estate agent, you know how time-consuming this process can be if left until the last minute. Not only can these environmental health hazards scare off potential buyers, but it could also cause a sale to fall through if they’re not taken care of properly and in a timely fashion.

How to Give Your Clients Peace of Mind

While there’s no way to completely predict or prevent problems with asbestos, mold, and lead, you can help to give your clients peace of mind by being well-educated about what these substances are, where they’re most commonly found, and how to have a home inspected, tested, and remediated if need be. The more information about asbestos and mold testing that you can provide your sellers upfront, the less of a hassle you both will have to deal with if these problems are left to surface right before closing.

At IRIS Environmental Laboratories, we provide presentations at your real estate office at no cost to help inform realtors of the possible headaches and setbacks that can crop up during a sale when asbestos, mold, and lead show up.

What to Do When Tight Deadlines Matter

Obviously, the ideal situation is to not have to deal with environmental hazards at all. But the fact of the matter is that many homes, especially those built before 1980, still contain materials like asbestos and lead, and mold could be lurking behind walls, under flooring, or within ceiling tiles.

Whether you’re planning ahead of time or are zeroing in on your closing date, arranging for professional asbestos or mold testing as quickly as possible is crucial for a smooth, seamless real estate transaction. Even if you’re getting down to the wire on your closing date, IRIS Environmental Laboratories can help. With one of the quickest turnaround times for test samples available, IRIS can get you your final report in lightening speed.

Get in Touch with IRIS Environmental Laboratories

Don’t let asbestos, mold, or lead get in the way of your real estate transaction. Give IRIS Environmental Laboratories a call today at 1(800) 908-6679 or email support@irislaboratories.com to get the environmental hazard testing process started so you can have happy (and healthy!) sellers and buyers.

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Understanding the Health Effects of Lead Paint

Lead is a naturally-occurring heavy metal that can be found in soil, water, and even air. However, the most common cause of lead poisoning is still exposure to lead-based paints and other building materials that pre-date regulations that disallow lead to be used in these types of products. Unfortunately, lead poisoning is still a very real health threat, especially to young children.

Take a look at some of the health effects of lead paint and what you can do to make sure you and your family are not unknowingly exposed to this harmful substance when buying or selling a home.

Dangers in Lead-Based Paint

Prior to 1978, lead paint was frequently used in homes, schools, furniture, and even children’s toys. Even though there is now a ban in place that prohibits the use of lead-based paint for these purposes, if you are buying or selling an older home, lead paint exposure could be a serious problem that you’ll have to deal with before you can move forward with the buying or selling process.

Exposure to lead paint has been shown to cause the following symptoms and even death if not caught and treated early enough:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Stomach pain, cramping, and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Miscarriage or premature birth

The biggest risks for lead exposure are during demolition and remodeling projects, as any lead dust or particles that are released into the air can be dangerous to your health. For this reason, home inspectors will look for signs of lead-based paint and other materials within a home before a sale can go through. If he or she suspects that lead may be present, the homeowner may need to have the space tested for lead by a third-party.

Your  Lead Testing Questions Answered

If your home needs to be inspected for lead before selling or buying, don’t get discouraged. Although this can temporarily pause the process, professional lead testing doesn’t have to be a hassle. First, make sure you’re working with an accredited environmental Inspector that will send certified experts to evaluate the space and collect samples. Next, those samples will be sent off to the lab for lead testing. An air quality test can also be performed to determine if any lead particles are already present in the air in the home.

If lead is detected, homeowners can choose to hire a team of professionals to remove lead-based paint from the walls. Otherwise, they will need to take special precautions if electing to do the work themselves in order to minimize the risk of lead exposure and the health effects that can come along with it. Keep in mind that children and pregnant women should never be involved in lead removal. If you do have kids, the safest choice may be to have a professional come in and remove the paint for you.

If you still have questions about how to get your home tested for lead or how the process works, please contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073. We would be happy to help!

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How Does Mold Affect Allergies

How Does Mold Affect Allergies

How Does Mold Affect AllergiesAllergies are a very common problem amongst many families all over. Most often seasonal changes can bring on symptoms of coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes etc. Environmental surroundings can also play a part, but did you know that mold can also affect allergies. Household issues like mold can contribute to a person’s symptoms and they might not even know it. Read this article to learn more about how mold affects allergies.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. There are different kinds of mold and it can grow in many different areas, but one thing that’s the same is that mold requires moisture to grow.

The sources of moisture could be washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.

A person might buy an older home, doing renovations, skimping on the home inspection, and then start having symptoms of a cold or allergies. They might not realize that they have mold in their home and it’s causing them health problems.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Mold allergy symptoms can be similar to those of other respiratory allergies:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Irritated eyes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy throat

Because mold allergies have similar symptoms as common cold or seasonal allergies it can  sometimes go unnoticed. It’s important not to ignore these signs especially if you suspect your home might have mold. If you have infants, children, and elderly living with you they  can develop symptoms sooner and be more at risk.  Some indoor mold can  produce toxins that are absorbed through your body and have serious side effects causing harm to your health.

Controlling Mold In Your Home

If you think you might have mold in your home, it’s a good idea to contact an expert. Have them assess the area and let you know if there is in fact mold. If you feel like you’re having health related symptoms to mold be sure to contact your physician and speak to them about your situation.

Controlling the mold is very important. Depending on the kind of mold you have in your home, you might need professional care to remove it. However, there are a few things you can do to help prevent it in the future.

  • Use dehumidifiers or exhaust fans — or crack open a window — to help reduce moisture and humidity in bathrooms or other rooms in your home.
  • Regularly clean garbage cans and refrigerator drip pans.
  • Regularly clear your gutters, and ensure that drainage flows away from your home’s foundation.

Be sure to contact a professional to learn more about what steps need to be followed for mold removal.

Have More Questions About Mold?

Check out our FAQ page or feel free contact us directly to learn more about how we might be able to help with your mold problem.

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Asbestos Testing Prior to Commercial Demolition

Asbestos Testing Prior to Commercial DemolitionWhether you are a commercial building owner or a contractor who will be demolishing a building or performing an internal demo, you’ll need to first safely remove any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) prior to beginning the project.

This can be a frustrating process, however, as there are a number of state and federal regulations that need to be adhered to when removing ACMs and testing for clean air to ensure the safety of you and your workers before any demolition can start. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind before taking on a demolition project, as well as some tips for working with an asbestos testing lab.

EPA Regulations

Under the Clean Air Act, all commercial demolition and renovation projects need to follow a specific set of asbestos safety guidelines. First, the owner of the building will need to notify their state agency prior to starting any demolition or renovation so that a thorough third-party inspection can take place. The inspector will then check for any asbestos containing materials that may be present in the building, which will require professional asbestos removal before the demo project can move forward.

It’s important to note that there are also a set of regulations for removing ACMs from a commercial building, so building owners will need to bring in an asbestos removal company in order to comply with these regulations. Additionally, because asbestos particles are too small to be seen with the naked eye, working with a professional asbestos testing company is the only way to know for sure if all ACMs have been properly removed.

Keeping Your Workers Safe

All asbestos removal contractors and their employees demoing or renovating schools or public and commercial buildings need to be accredited and trained in proper asbestos handling and removal under programs that follow the standards set by the EPA’s Model Accreditation Plan (MAP). On top of this requirement, there may be additional state or local regulations that you’ll need to make sure you meet before, during and after asbestos abatement.

In addition to following local, state and federal asbestos removal regulations, there are steps you can take to make sure your workers are safe while handing ACMs. One of the most important aspects of asbestos abatement worker safety is to provide the right protective clothing and equipment and ensure that all workers know and understand how to properly utilize them. These items may include:

  • Approved safety gear, such as coveralls, gloves, masks and respirators
  • HEPA certified vacuums and other asbestos removal equipment
  • Posters or signs notifying workers of asbestos containing materials
  • Proper OSHA training

Working with an Asbestos Testing Lab

Once asbestos removal companies have taken the necessary precautions and properly removed all known ACMs from the site, the next step is to work with an asbestos testing lab to perform post-remediation testing. This final test will determine whether or not all traces of asbestos fibers have been removed so that demolition or renovations can safely begin. In the event that asbestos is still detected in the air based on the lab sample results, your asbestos testing company can work with you until lab samples show that all asbestos fibers are gone.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Asbestos Testing?

If you still have questions about how asbestos testing works and what the process entails, take a look at our FAQ page for more information. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073 and one of our friendly team members would be happy to help you.

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