"Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs" is a unique, nationally recognized program created by the Future Fisherman Foundation. In 2012, Governor Christie signed legislation establishing the statewide implementation of the HOFNOD program. The legislation provided initial funding through an appropriation of $200,000 from the state's Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction Fund. (See identical State Assembly and Senate bills.)
The goal of New Jersey's program is to encourage school-aged children to avoid tobacco, drug and alcohol usage by providing alternative activities that involve learning to fish, appreciating aquatic and environmental resources, and developing positive life skills. The program will provide students with access to extracurricular outlets that utilize New Jersey’s incredible outdoor recreational assets.
Councilwoman Cosby is the visionary who sought the program through the NJ DFW and successfully completed a weekend training course in 2016 so that Linden could host a program for the youth. Linden’s Wilson Park Pond is stocked with fish by the NJ Division of fish and Wildlife each spring, this is the official home of Team Linden, HOF NOD.
Cosby praised the program stating , “ The HOF NOD program was appealing to me because the state provides educational materials, some equipment and lots of hands-on opportunities for the HOF NOD teams. We have completed our second season and the team members learned a lot about fishing. The children fished with our sister club in Plainfield in the June youth fishing challenge and some fished on a charter with clubs from Sussex and Passaic County. We have children who have an interest in fishing and this is an opportunity to get them outdoors and away from technology at least for a little while.” The 2018 program will run through the recreation department with dedicated staff and volunteers. Children age 6 – 18 can learn fishing skills, conservation and recycling and Cosby says the curriculum incorporates an anti-drug and alcohol lesson into each team activity. There will be one of several open registration held for anyone interested in joining the team or becoming a volunteer on Friday, December 22, 2017 2:00pm until 7:00 pm at Wilson Park Pond located at Summit Terrace and St Georges Ave.
Photo: Team Linden HOFNOD member fishing on a charter boat courtesy of NJDFW,NJDEP, NJ HOFNOD. Harlem, Charisse and Zaiere.