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LEARN ABOUT GARDENING, NATURE, BIRDS, BUGS, FROGS AND MORE AT THE ESSEX COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

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A variety of programs are being offered at the Essex County Environmental Center during the month of May that will teach children and adults about nature and help them gain a greater appreciation and understanding of our environment. Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. invites children and adults to visit the Environmental Center where they can enjoy an enriching recreational experience through nature and conservation activities.

“Our Environmental Center has become the premiere location for environmental education and nature appreciation. With the help of our partner groups, our dynamic schedule of events and activities will captivate all ages,” DiVincenzo said. “Walk in our woods, discover habitats, get pointers on gardening, learn about nature photography and much more. It’s all about nature and it’s all at our Environmental Center,” he added.

Events scheduled for May are as follows:

“Shinrin-Yoku ‘Forest Bathing’ ” is for children ages 5 and up. Take a relaxing forest walk in the new year. Shinrin-yoku is a term in Japanese that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." Participants will follow cards placed along the trail that prompt them to participate in an awakening activity such as smelling an aromatic plant, touching a textured tree bark or stopping to fill their lungs with fresh forest air. Cost is $10 per child and $12 per adult. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Shinrin-Yoku will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019

Time: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Chair Yoga” is for adults. If you are new to yoga or feel that most yoga classes might be too strenuous, chair yoga can provide a more easy-going supported style. Come experience how gentle yogic breath decreases stress and increases comfort and fluidity of movement, not only through yoga practice, but potentially throughout life, as well. All poses are enjoyed at each participant’s own pace, seated or standing next to a chair and using it for support whenever needed. The class will end in a peaceful restorative pose and optional gentle shoulder massage. All levels are welcome. Dress comfortably and bring a mat. Cost is $15 class and $10 per class for those 65 years and older. No refunds for missed classes. Advance registration, monthly prepayment and a minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Chair Yoga will be held as follows:

Dates: Tuesdays, May 7, 14, 21 & 28, 2019

Time: 3 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Birding Field Trip in Essex County Hatfield Swamp” is presented by New Jersey Audubon. Exploring varied habitats for spring migrants such as warblers and raptors along with views of late-departing waterfowl will make this an exciting trip. Footing may be wet. Meet at the West Caldwell Stop & Shop. This is a free event. To register, call 908-396-6386. Birding Field Trip will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Meeting Site: Stop & Shop

875 Bloomfield Avenue

West Caldwell, NJ

“Bird Club” is for children ages 5 through 10. Come explore the wooded wetland and see what birds live here. Use binoculars, field guides, and a keen sense of observation to discover and identify all sorts of birds. Cost is $10 per child per session. Advance registration, payment and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Bird Club will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019

Time: 4 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Frog Pond Adventure” is for families. This “rrribbettting” program will take an up-close look at the pond ecosystem. Search for and identify the life found in the pond through magnifying glasses, microscopes and field guides. Cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child and $12 per adult. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Frog Pond Adventure will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019

Time: 6 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Thursday Evening Yoga” is for adults. In this “all levels” yoga series, each student is invited to explore and play through the breath and asanas/poses, flowing at their own pace with self-compassion and joy; followed by an optional gentle shoulder massage and restorative pose or Savasana of transformation and peace. All levels are welcome. Dress comfortably and bring a mat. Cost is $15 per class and $10 for those 65 years and older. No refunds for missed classes. Advance registration, monthly payment and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Thursday Evening Yoga will be held as follows:

Dates: Thursdays, May 9, 16, 23 & 30, 2019

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Mother’s Day Annual Plant Sale” is sponsored by the Rutgers Master Gardeners. Choose from a wide variety of annuals, perennials, ornamentals, shrubs, small trees, tomatoes and herbs. Admission is free but plants will be for sale. For more details, call the Rutgers Master Gardeners’ Helpline at 973-228-2210 from Monday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Mother’s Day Annual Plant Sale will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Mommy & Me Friendship Bracelets” is for children ages 4 to 9. Celebrate mom by creating nature-inspired, matching diffuser bracelets. Jenn Forino, founder of plusoils.com, will teach a kid-friendly, mini-workshop on how essential oils can be powerful tools for overall health and wellness. Each child will make a set of diffuser bracelets (one for themselves and one to give to their mother on Mother's Day). Additionally, each child will receive a roller bottle of therapeutic-grade essential oil, diluted so it is safe for them to apply to their diffuser bracelet. Cost is $25 per child/adult participant. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Mommy & Me Friendship Bracelets will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Time: 11 a.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Little Explorers Spring Nature Program” is for children ages 2 to 5. This child-caregiver class uses stories, walks and crafts to develop an awareness and appreciation for science and nature for the child as well as the caregiver. Each week, a different nature or science topic is covered. Cost is $12 per child/session. Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Little Explorers Winter Nature Program will be held as follows:

Age: 2 year olds

Dates and Time: Tuesdays, May 14, 21 & 28 at 10 a.m.

Age: 3 year olds

Dates and Time: Thursdays, May 16 & 23 at 1 p.m.

Ages: 4 and 5 year olds

Dates and Time: Tuesdays, May 14, 21 & 28 at 4 p.m.

OR Thursdays, May 16 & 23 at 9:30 a.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Bug Club” is for children ages 6 to 10. The Bug Club is devoted to children who want to explore the wonders of insects through field walks, games, stories and crafts. Cost is $10 per child per session. Advance registration, payment and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Bug Club meets as follows:

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Time: 4 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Frog Pond Science Club” is for children ages 5 through 9. Uncover and discover ecosystem interactions at the frog pond. Explore with nets, magnifiers and microscopes to investigate what lives at the pond and learn from a naturalist what can be done to protect and conserve the pond inhabitants. Cost is$10 per child per session. Advance registration, payment and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Frog Pond Science Club will meet as follows:

Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2019

Time: 4 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Forest Gnomes” is for families. Uncover the legend of forest gnomes as by exploring the mystery and folklore of these mythical creatures. Design homes with natural materials to attract these fun friends and make a felt gnome hat. Cost is $30 per family (up to two adults and two children) or $10 per child and $12 per adult. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Forest Gnomes will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Horticulture for Seniors” is for senior citizens. Join the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County for this horticulture class especially designed for senior citizens. The topic for May is Starting Spring Greens. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. This is a free program. Advance registration is required one week prior to program. For registration or more information, call Helen at 973-731-0717 or the Master Gardner Helpline at 973-228-2210. Horticulture for Seniors will be held as follows:

Date: Monday, May 20, 2019

Time: 1 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

Garibaldi Hall

621A Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“New Jersey Woodturners” is for adults and children ages 3 and up. Learn to turn and discover the wonders of creating art from found pieces of wood. Topics vary by the month. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Cost is $10 per adult and free for NJWA members. Call Gualberto Malave at 908-310-3557 for details. New Jersey Woodturners will meet as follows:

Date: Monday, May 20, 2019

Time: 7 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

Garibaldi Hall

621A Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Birding Field Trip in Essex County Hatfield Swamp” is presented by New Jersey Audubon. Explore edge and meadow habitats for spring migrants with an easy walk through the reservation. Meet at Mountain Avenue and Courter Lane, North Caldwell. This is a free event. To register, call 908-396-6386. Birding Field Trip will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Place: Essex County Hilltop Reservation

Mountain Avenue and Courter Lane

North Caldwell, NJ

“Bow Drill Friction Fire” is for adults or children ages 8 and up accompanied by an adult. Try this primitive skill. Participants will learn to select proper wood, understand the principles that lead to success and try their best effort at the form and technique required for flame. Cost is $10 per child and $12 per adult. Advance registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Bow Drill Friction Fire will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Birding Walk in Essex County Kip’s Castle Park” is presented by New Jersey Audubon. Hikers will look for late spring song bird migration and witness spectacular valley views from First Mountain in Verona. This is a great place to view warblers and other woodland birds. This walk is generally easy mostly on paved walkways. Cost is $6 for NJA members and $8 for non-members. To register, call 908-396-6386. Birding Walk will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Place: Essex County Kip’s Castle Park

22 Crestmont Road

Verona, NJ

“Crayfish and Aquatic Life along the Passaic” is for adults and children ages 6 and up. Explore along the red trail to the river’s edge and visit the “muddy ditch” to scoop for crayfish. This location is a camper favorite and allows participants to find a variety of aquatic organisms to better understand the myriad creatures that call the Passaic River ecosystem home. Cost is $10 per child and $12 per adult. Advance registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Crayfish and Aquatic Life along the Passaic will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“Family Yoga” is for ages 5 and up. Happy Baby, Cats and Cows, Tree, Elephant and Child’s Pose. In this class, participants will share and enjoy an adventure of calming breath, fun asanas/poses, and gentle stretches with their nearest and dearest in a friendly, go-with-the-flow atmosphere. Cost is $10 per child and $12 per adult. Advanced registration and minimum number of participants are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Family Yoga will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Time: 11 a.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

“4-H Young Gardeners Club” is for children in grades 1 through 10. Have you ever wondered how vegetables and flowers grow? From where spaghetti sauce comes? How you can find a rainbow in a garden? The 4-H Young Gardener's Club can provide the answers to these questions and more. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-353-1337 or visit essex.njaes.rutgers.edu/4h/. 4-H Young Gardeners Club will meet as follows:

Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Time: 4 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

Garibaldi Hall

621A Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

Registration is required for all programs at the Essex County Environmental Center, unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, please call 973-228-8776.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, four off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.

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