Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

great swamp national wildlife refuge turtles

If nature is your thing, take a ride to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Basking Ridge NJ. Located at 32 Pleasant Plains Road, the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is home to fabulous waterfowl, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Click here to visit their website. Kristin Krag, buying specialist on the Shannon Aronson team, comments that the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is  “A great and beautiful sanctuary, vital to the natural ecosystem that could have been an airport if the residents hadn’t fought it in the late 70′s.” Diane Bausch of the Shannon Aronson team says, “It’s a pretty drive to get there. There’s an educational center for kids. The educational center has many different rooms that were dedicated to the different areas of the refuge. Its very interesting, the rooms are interactive. There’s also a wild bird observations area.”

Established in 1960, The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is 12 square miles. Many migrating waterfowl use the refuge as a place to rest and feed along their migration. Some of the waterfowl you can plan to see here are mallards, green-winged teal, and American black ducks.

Common species of mammals spotted at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge include river otters, coyote, muskrats, raccoons and more. Approximately 39 species of mammals have been seen at the refuge. The population of bat species found on the refuge help to control the insect population. Types of bats found here include the eastern small footed bats and the federally endangered Indiana bat.

Some of the reptiles and amphibians you can plan to see at the refuge include the painted turtle, gray treefrog, and snapping turtle. Several federally and state threatened reptiles and amphibians find their home here. They include the bog turtle, wood turtle and blue spotted salamander.

There are several types of habitats maintained at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. They include forested wetlands, grasslands, and brushlands.

If you are planning a move to the area, contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. You can reach us by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at To learn more about our communities, and for great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at

Summit Restaurant Week


Thursday, 7/20/17, begins the Summit Restaurant Week. Live music downtown as well as prize drawings at participating restaurants kick off the festivities. Summit Restaurant Week runs through Sunday, 7/30/17. During Summit Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offer price fixe menus at $25, $35 or $45. Some restaurants will also offer specials and outdoor seating.

Participating $25 Prix Fixe restaurants include:

Fiorino Ristorante ($25 lunch, $45 dinner); Located at 38 Maple St
Jenny’s Japanese Cuisine; Located at 447 Springfield Ave
La Pastaria; Located at 327 Springfield Ave
Negeen Persian Grill; Located at 330 Springfield Ave
Summit Diner; Located at 1 Union Pl
Summit Thai Cuisine; Located at 34 Maple St
The Bombay Bistro; Located at 427 Springfield Ave
The Committed Pig; Located at 339 Springfield Ave
The HAT Tavern; Located at 570 Springfield Ave
Winberie’s Restaurant; Located at 2 Kent Place Blvd

Participating $35 prix fixe restaurants include:
Batavia Café; Located at 356 Springfield Ave
Marco Polo; Located at 527 Morris Ave
Rosalita Mexican; Located at 10 Maple St
Summit Greek Grill; Located at 90 Summit Ave

Participating $45 prix fixe restaurants include:
Fiorino Ristorante ($25 lunch, $45 dinner); Located at 38 Maple St
Huntley Taverne; Located at 3 Morris Ave
Piattino; Located at 67 Union Pl
Roots Steakhouse; Located at 401 Springfield Ave

For links to menus and to see restaurants offering specials during Summit Restaurant Week, please visit the Summit Restaurant Week website.

If you are planning a move to Summit NJ, or any surrounding communities, contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. To search homes for sale, click here. To learn more about Summit NJ, and for great real estate tips, please be sure to visit my website at

247 Parsonage Hill Road Millburn Township NJ

just listed2

The Shannon Aronson Team is excited to announce our new listing at 247 Parsonage Road Millburn Township NJ. Located in one of the town’s premier neighborhoods, this fine home rests on almost a half acre of beautifully landscaped property and is positioned to take full advantage of all this upscale community has to offer! Please join us for an open house at this fantastic property on Saturday, 7/15, from 2-4 or Sunday, 7/16, from 2-4.

MLS Number: 3403264
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 2.5

Classic Floorplan Lends Itself Perfectly to Entertaining

A welcoming covered porch greets you as you make your way into 247 Parsonage Road Millburn Township NJ. The classic split level floor plan lends itself perfectly to entertaining and comfortable daily living.  On the main level, the living room, formal dining room, sunny kitchen and family room come together to greet your guests and invite them to mingle freely.  The patio door in the family room takes you outside for al fresco dining on the deck, while a generous backyard is made for active play and gardening.

Plenty of Space to Meet All Your Needs

Bedrooms occupy the second and third levels of 247 Parsonage Road Millburn Township NJ. Each bedroom offers plenty of closet storage and pleasant treetop views. The master enjoys the benefit of a full master bath, while the hall bath aptly serves the remaining bedrooms.  The ground and lower levels are finished to accommodate indoor play, casual entertaining, hobbies and exercise.  Adjacent to the den, on the ground level, is the laundry room and a powder room, while the den has access to the garage and a door to outside.  Completing the lower level is ample storage space and easy access to utilities.

If you are unable to make one of the open houses this weekend, and you would like to arrange a private tour of 247 Parsonage Road Millburn Township NJ, please contact me! You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at To search more homes for sale, click here. If you would like to learn more about Millburn NJ and other surrounding communities, please contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. Don’t forget to visit my website at for more great real estate information.

Home Buying Expenses

home buying expense 2

Purchasing a home is an exciting time! If you are planning to buy a home, we’d love to help! When determining how much of a down payment you can afford, don’t overlook these home buying expenses that sometimes are forgotten. Visit the website to view the article in its entirety.

  1. Appraisal Fee:  This fee is paid as part of the loan approval process.  The fee typically runs anywhere between $200 and $1,000.
  2. Home Inspection:  Your lender will provide you with a good faith estimate of how much the inspection will cost (usually between $300-$800 for your average home), but you may not know the actual dollar amount you need to bring to closing until a day or two before.  If the home needs to be inspected for mold, termites, or if a structural engineer needs to look at the home, the cost could go up.
  3. Homeowner’s Association Fees:  Some subdivisions charge an annual or monthly fee the upkeep of common areas.  Plan for these costs accordingly in your budget.
  4. Repairs, Upgrades and Renovations:  Don’t forget to budget for anything that needs to be done to your home to make it move-in ready.
  5. Fees for rental vans and boxes.
  6. Termination Fees:  Check things such as your internet and cell phone contracts to see if any fees will be charged when you cancel your current services.
  7. Appliances: If you are purchasing a new construction home, they usually don’t include appliances such as refrigerators, washers or dryers.  If you are purchasing a home that is not new, sometimes you can negotiate with the sellers to leave their appliances behind.  If so, you may still need to purchase some appliances, especially if you are trying to keep a uniform look (ie:  all appliances in the kitchen stainless steel, etc.)
  8. Household Items:  If you are moving to a larger space, don’t forget the day-to-day items you may need more of, such as trash cans and lamps.  If purchasing new construction, you may also need to buy things such as towel bars and bathroom mirrors.
  9. Lawn Care Equipment:  If you haven’t had to take care of a yard, don’t forget that in your new home you  may be responsible for mowing, raking, etc.  Plan in your budget for the purchase lawn tools if that is the case.

As I said, if you are planning to buy a home, we’d love to help you find the perfect one!  Contact us to set up a showing.  You can reach us by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at  To search homes for sale, or for great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at

History of Millburn NJ

historical millburn main street

I always say Millburn NJ is a great place to live. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how our town evolved. Read on to learn some great facts about the history of Millburn NJ.

In the beginning, Millburn Township was part of Elizabethtown and Newark settlements. Millburn Township was part of Springfield Township when it was created in 1793. Many years later, in 1857, Springfield became part of the newly created Union County while Millburn became a separate township within Essex County.

Millburn was first a colonial settlement strong in agriculture. In the 19th century, it became more of a mill/factory economy. Eventually, Millburn NJ turned into a Victorian residential community. This history of Millburn NJ is still noticeable today in places such as the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, the many lovely historic homes, and the two historic districts, Short Hills Park and Wyoming.

“Short Hills” got its name from the topography of the area. The last glacier that covered North America ended in Millburn, and as it melted and retreated, it left a layer of sand, silt, clay and boulders. This resulted in irregular surfaces, or “short hills”. The Lenape Indians, the first peoples to live in the area, built trails around the hills. The streams that ran through the area gave way to the building of mills and factories. A railroad was later built at the base of the slopes of the “short hills”. Eventually, builders of suburban homes found this new terrain to be attractive building sites.

Millburn NJ played a part in the history of the Revolutionary War. It is believed that Washington viewed his troops from a strategic point in the South Mountain Reservation, which today is known as Washington Rock. His army camped in Morristown, and the British attacked through the Hobart Gap. The British last pushed their way into New Jersey in the Battle of Springfield on June 23, 1780, which was the last battle since Bunker Hill that was won by local militia. The Parsil family cemetery on White Ridge Road serves as a reminder of this battle.

After the Revolution, the Rahway River was dammed in 5 places. The first paper mill was built by Samuel Campbell in 1790. The mill was used to manufacture banknotes. Also among the paper mills was Diamond Mill, which is now the site of the Paper Mill Playhouse. Although many paper mills were the first mills to be built in Millburn NJ, eventually hat mills became dominant in the area. Millburn eventually became connected to the large cities in the east, as well as to the coal regions in the northwest, when the Morris and Essex Railroad was completed in 1835.

Millburn got its name as it is known as today in 1857. Many of those who lived in Millburn were from Scotland, and the “mill burn”, which is the Scotch word for “river” or “stream”, reminded them of their home.

In 1872, Millburn underwent yet another change when two residential suburbs were created within its borders. The Wyoming Land and Improvement Company purchased 100 acres and created Wyoming, the first speculative real estate development in the area. The second residential area, Short Hills, was developed when Stewart Hartshorn acquired 1552 acres and built the 1st planned commuter suburb in America.

If you are planning a move to Millburn NJ, click here to see homes for sale. If you would like more information regarding Millburn NJ, please contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. You can reach us by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at For great real estate information, please visit my website at

Maplewoodstock Maplewood NJ

maplewoodstock 2017


On Saturday and Sunday, 7/8 and 7/9, the 14th annual Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival will take place at Memorial Park, Maplewood NJ between 12 pm and 10 pm each day. This event is free and kid-friendly. Each day, 8-10 local and regional bands will perform. These bands will be followed by 1-2 headliner and featured acts. Los Lobos will be the headliner act on Saturday. Ruthie Foster is the headliner act on Sunday.

In addition to listening to great music including r&b, soul, rock, blues and more, Maplewoodstock features a Kid Zone. The kid zone will include fun activities such as bouncy rides, face painting and ice cream! Maplewoodstock Maplewood NJ also includes over 60 art vendor booths boasting hand-crafted jewelry, paintings and more! Bring your own picnic lunch or dinner or purchase refreshments available from over 20 local food vendors.

If you are planning a move to Maplewood NJ, click here to see homes for sale. For information regarding Maplewood NJ and surrounding towns, please be sure to contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. You can reach us by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at For great real estate information, please visit my website at


Great Ways to Organize Your Yard Tools

yard tools

Looking for the right tool to do your garden work can be as easy as 1-2-3 if you follow some of these great ways to organize your yard tools as recommended by Visit the website to see the entire article as well as photos of these great ways to organize your yard tools.

  1. Put Your Hose in a Bucket:  Use a galvanized bucket to nicely wrap up your garden hose.  Be sure to put holes in the bottom so the bucket doesn’t collect water and attract mosquitos.
  2. Use a Pallet in an Awkward Garage Space:  Attach a pallet between the wall and garage door frame.  Shovels and rakes will slide nicely into this space.
  3. Go Vertical with Shelves:  Hanging vertical shelves can leave space underneath to add a work table.
  4. Use S-Hooks on Easy-to-Install Bars:  Purchase some inexpensive storage bars and use s-hooks to hang small tools.
  5. Hang an Old Boxspring:  Hanging a boxspring outside can give you lots of space to hang small tools.  Make sure you spray the springs with Rustoleum paint or hang under an overhang to avoid rusting.
  6. Convert an Unused Filing Cabinet:  Turn a filing cabinet on its side and attach caster wheels.  Add a pegboard to each end for extra storage of small items.
  7. Customize Your Own Tool Box:  Use old parts, such as closet rods, door, and pegboards to create your own custom tool box.
  8. Turn an Eyesore into Storage:  Take the back off a yard sale armoire find and hang it outside to hide utility meters, hoses, etc.
  9. Don’t Forget the Kiddos:  Turn planters into storage bins.  Make sure to hang them low enough that the kids can reach them and only use them for plastic toys to avoid rusting.
  10. Build Fold-Out Storage in a Tight Corner:  A corner storage cupboard can fit nicely next to a patio door.  This type of cabinet keeps tools nicely protected from the elements and the fold-out element makes things easy to find.
  11. Dream Big with a Shed:  A shed can be the ultimate solution.  Choosing one with a wide doorway allows you to easily store a wheelbarrow, ladder or mower.

I hope you’ve found these great ways to organize your yard tools useful.  For other great real estate insider tips, please be sure to visit my website at Thinking of buying or selling? Contact us! We’d love to help! You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at