Essex County Environmental Center

The Essex County Environmental Center

Spring 2015

Public Programs

The Essex County Environmental Center is located at 621-B Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland in Essex County West Essex Park and is a facility of the Essex County Park System. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Essex County West Essex Park is open to the public every day from dawn until dusk.

Pre-registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. For more information, please call 973-228-8776.

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ONGOING CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN

LITTLE EXPLORERS SPRING NATURE PROGRAM

For 2-year olds (Toddlers)

Wednesdays–March 11 & 25; April 8 & 29; May 6 9:45am to 10:30am

For 3-year olds (Tots)

Fridays–March 13, 20 & 27; April 10 & 17; May 1, 8 & 15 11am to 12pm

For 4-and 5-year olds (Pre-K)

Wednesdays–March 11, 18 & 25; April 8, 15 & 29; May 6 & 13 1:30pm to 2:30pm

OR Fridays–March 13, 20 & 27; April 10 & 17; May 1, 8 & 15 1:30pm to 2:30pm

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.

In-person registration will take place on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Center starting on Wednesday, March 4th at 9am. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776.

Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $9 per child/session 

LITTLE SPROUTS SPRING GARDENING CLUB

Fridays, May 22 & 29 1:30pm to 3:30pm

For ages 3½ to 5 years old. With a few seeds, some water, soil and light, we’ll be growing plants in no time. Each week, the children discover the magic of nature, the source of our food supply, and foods that are healthy. This class will also meet June 5th and 12th. Minimum number of participants required. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $10 per session/per child

FROG POND SCIENCE

Wednesdays—March 18, April 15, May 20 4pm to 5pm

For children ages 5 to 9. Uncover and discover ecosystem interactions at the frog pond. Use nets, magnifiers, and microscopes to investigate what lives in and around the pond. Learn from a naturalist how to protect and conserve the pond’s inhabitants. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $8 per child per session

BUG CLUB

Tuesdays—March 10, April 14, May 12 4pm to 5pm

For children ages 6 to 10. The Bug Club is devoted to young people who want to explore the wonders of insects through field walks, games, stories and crafts. This club meets year-round. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $8 per child per session

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN CLUB

Wednesdays—March 25, April 29, May 27 3:45pm to 5:15pm

For children ages 8 to 12. Does your child have an interest in cooking? If so, this club will transform their interest into new skills. We’ll have fun making an array of foods, one new item per club meeting.

All food will be prepared with healthy and tasty goals in mind. Some examples are pizza, cookies, kale chips, fresh applesauce, and more! Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776.

Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10 per child per session (material fees included)

4-H ENVIRONMENTAL KIDS CLUB

Tuesdays—March 10, April 21, May 12 4pm to 5pm

For children in grades 2 through 8. Our environment is filled with things, big and small, that surprise and help us. Join us once a month to see how much fun it is to learn about our world!

Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required; call 973.353.1338 x109.

4-H YOUNG GARDENERS CLUB

Tuesdays—April 14, May 19 4pm to 5pm

For children in grades 1 through 10. Have you ever wondered how vegetables and flowers grow? Where spaghetti sauce comes from? How you can find a rainbow in a garden? Come join the Young Gardener's 4-H Club to find the answers to these questions and more. Learning and fun happen all the time here! Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration required; please call 973.353.1338 x109.

NJ AUDUBON

ESSEX COUNTY BIRDING FIELD TRIPS

BIRDING FIELD TRIPS IN ESSEX COUNTY led by Dave Hall

Spring field trips offer the opportunity to see species of birds that are passing through New Jersey on their way to breeding territories farther north and other migrants that are returning to the state to nest.

The trips also offer a chance to learn the territorial songs and behavior of birds that are residents all year long. This is a wonderful time of year to visit the Essex County Parks System. Advance registration is required; please call 908.766.5787 or e-mail kelly.wenzel@njaudubon.org to register.

THURSDAY MORNING FIELD TRIPS

ESSEX COUNTY WEEQUAHIC PARK 

Thursday, March 12 8am to 11am

This park is a fascinating place to view a variety of gulls, ducks, and geese, plus some woodland birds on their northward migration. All can be viewed along an easy trail around the lake. Enter on Meeker Avenue, follow the road straight, go past the field house and continue to the parking area where we will meet. Newark, NJ. FREE

ESSEX COUNTY BECKER FARM

Thursday, March 26 8:30am to 11am

Explore both field and forest while enjoying beautiful vistas of the Passaic River Valley. Discover early spring migrants just arriving or stopping over in New Jersey. Meet at the Essex County Environmental Center, 621B Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland, NJ. FREE

GREENWOOD GARDENS

Thursday, April 9 8am to 11am

We will tour Greenwood Gardens in search of early spring migrants. Explore several habitats including hardwood forest, conifer stands, ponds and meadows. We may also venture into Essex County South Mountain Reservation through the "back door" to see who is stopping over. Registration with Greenwood Gardens is required for this trip; please register online at www.greenwoodgardens.org or call 973.258.4026. Meet at Greenwood Gardens, 274 Old Short Hills Road, Short Hills, NJ. Fee: $10 NJA and Greenwood Gardens members, $12 non-members

TROY MEADOWS

Thursday, April 23 8:30am to 11am

The combination of forest and meadow habitat makes for spectacular views of middle-spring migrants that will be passing through. Footing may be wet. We will carpool to the trail head. Meet at the Essex County Environmental Center, 621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, NJ. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members

GREENWOOD GARDENS

Thursday, May 7 8am to 11am

We will tour Greenwood Gardens in search of spring migrants. Explore several habitats including hardwood forest, conifer stands, ponds and meadows. We may also venture into Essex County South Mountain Reservation through the "back door" to see who is stopping over. Registration with Greenwood Gardens is required for this trip; please register online at www.greenwoodgardens.org or call 973.258.4026.

Meet at Greenwood Gardens, 274 Old Short Hills Road, Short Hills, NJ. Fee: $10 NJA and Greenwood Gardens members, $12 non-members.

ESSEX COUNTY BECKER FARM

Thursday, May 14 8am to 11am

Explore both field and forest while enjoying beautiful vistas of the Passaic River Valley. This is the right time to discover spring migrants in all their glory, including warblers in full song. Meet at the Essex County Environmental Center, 621B Eagle Rock Ave., Roseland, NJ. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members

ESSEX COUNTY HILLTOP RESERVATION

Thursday, May 21 8:30am to 11am

Explore edge and meadow habitats for spring migrants with an easy walk through the reservation. Meet at Mountain Avenue and Courter Lane, North Caldwell, NJ. FREE

SATURDAY MORNING FIELD TRIPS

ESSEX COUNTY HATFIELD SWAMP

Saturday, March 14 8:30am to 11am

Celebrate NJ Audubon’s Spring into Birding statewide birding event with a hike through this wooded wetland habitat. Early spring migrants such as passerines and raptors along with views of waterfowl will make this an exciting trip! Footing may be wet. Meet at the Stop & Shop, 875 Bloomfield Avenue, West Caldwell, NJ. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members

ESSEX COUNTY VERONA PARK

Saturday, April 11 8:30am to 10:30am

Take an easy walk around the pond looking for signs of early spring migrants. Meet at the Boat House. Essex County Verona Park is at the intersection of Bloomfield Ave. & Lakeside Ave., Verona, NJ. FREE

ESSEX COUNTY SOUTH MOUNTAIN RESERVATION

Saturday, April 25 8am to 11am

We will hike several trails in search of early signs of spring. Target species include early spring migrants and the last of the winter sparrows. Meet at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ. We will carpool from the zoo to various locations. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members

ESSEX COUNTY KIP’S CASTLE PARK 

Saturday, May 16 8:30am to 11am

Join us for late spring song bird migration with 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. Meet at 22 Crestmont Road, Verona, NJ. Fee: $6 NJA members, $8 non-members

MARCH 2015

MONDAY MORNING YOGA

Mondays—March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 9:30am to 10:45am

For adults. Each class will start with a short reading from a classical yogic text. The chosen verse (sutra) will guide us throughout class and in each posture, helping to deepen our understanding of yoga. All levels are welcome. Join us weekly or for just one class. This class is seasonal, meeting November through March. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776.

Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Fee: $10 per class

TUESDAY AFTERNOON YOGA WITH MEDITATION

Tuesdays—March 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 3:30pm to 4:45pm

For adults. The focus of this class is on the many benefits of long-held, seated poses. We lengthen tissues that connect, wrap and interweave muscles, helping to increase our range of motion and free up areas of limitation. We cultivate a meditative state in each pose, as well as sit for a meditation at the end of class. All levels are welcome. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776.

Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Fee: $10 per class

CHAIR YOGA SERIES

Thursdays—March 5, 12, 19 & 26 3:00pm to 4:00pm

For adults. Whether you are new to yoga, are an older adult, or know and love yoga but can no longer get up and down from the floor easily, chair yoga may be for you! All poses are done seated or standing next to a chair. Our breath guides us through class and we will end with a relaxing meditation. All levels are welcome. Dress comfortably. Advance registration and monthly pre-payment required; call 973.228.8776. No refunds for missed classes. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $36 for the month; $28 for those 65 and older

THURSDAY EVENING YOGA

Thursdays—March 5, 12 & 26 6:15pm to 7:30pm

For adults. This “all levels” yoga series will focus on alignment, flow and warmth followed by a restorative pose to unwind the body and mind for bed. All levels are welcome. Advance registration and monthly payment are required; call 973.228.8776. No refunds for missed classes. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $30

FRIDAY MORNING YOGA

Fridays—March 6, 13, 20 & 27 9:30am to 10:45am

For adults. This class will explore the many joys of yoga. Breathing synchronized with movement will warm the body and relax the mind. All levels are welcome. Join us weekly or for just one class.

Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Fee: $10 per class

NEW JERSEY AUDUBON: MAPLE SUGARING

Saturday, March 7 10:30am to 12pm

For children ages 4 to 12 and their families. Our walk today will send us searching for Sugar Maple trees. We will learn how trees are tapped, go through the process of “sugaring,” enjoy different types of maple sugar and make a sugar snack. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $8 NJA members, $10 non-members.

SPRING CLEANING WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

Saturday, March 14 12pm to 1pm

Join us as we discover why it is important to choose safe and non-toxic home cleaning supplies. We will be sharing tips and tricks that will make your spring cleaning arsenal safe and effective all while getting the benefits aromatherapy has to offer! Everyone will make their own all-purpose home cleaner to take home. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776.

Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $15.

HORTICULTURE FOR SENIORS

Monday, March 16 1pm to 3pm

For senior citizens. Join the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County for this horticulture class especially designed for senior citizens. This month’s topic is­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Spring is in the Air. Meet in Garibaldi Hall.

Advance registration is required one week prior to program; call Helen at 973.731.0717 or Maya at 973-379-5548. FREE

SPANISH FOR NATURE LOVERS (10-week course)

Tuesdays March 17th through May 19th 12:30pm to 2pm

For adults. Learn to understand and speak Spanish with Tricia Idrobo, a New Jersey-certified Spanish teacher, in a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere, using the themes of nature. This 10-week class is intended for those with little or no knowledge of Spanish and will cover basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. Be prepared to go outdoors for part of every class, weather permitting.

Advance registration and pre-payment are required by March 13th; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $130 per person (includes material fee)

NEW JERSEY WOODTURNERS

Monday, March 23 7pm to 9:30pm

For adults. Learn to turn with the NJ Woodturners Association! Discover the wonders of creating art from found pieces of wood. Topics vary month to month; call the Environmental Center for details. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Fee: $10 per adult; Free for NJWA members.

MEDITATION SERIES FOR BEGINNERS

Mondays—March 23 & 30; April 6 6:45pm to 7:45pm

For adults. Do you want to start meditating but don’t know how to begin? Some of the many benefits are stress reduction, improved relationships and increased health. Each session will highlight a different meditation technique – visualization, sound and breath, give various hints and suggestions for establishing a regular practice and include some chair yoga postures. Come learn the basics and see how meditation can increase your appreciation for nature around you as well as the nature within you. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10 per adult per class or $25 for the series

ENERGY ENGINEERS: HYDROGEN FUEL CELL RACER

Thursday, March 26 6pm to 7:30pm

For children ages 8 through 12. Assemble a hydrogen fuel cell car and experiment with alternative energies. The unique charging technology will convert water to hydrogen fuel using electrolysis to operate cleanly and safely. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $8 per child.

PRUNING AROUND YOUR HOUSE

Thursday, March 26 6:30pm to 8pm

For adults. Proper pruning enhances the beauty of almost any landscape, tree and shrub, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce its landscape potential. Rutgers Master Gardeners will teach you about the proper tools and methods of pruning trees and shrubs around your house. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration required; call 973.228.8776.

Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10 per adult.

ESSENTIAL OILS OF THE BIBLE

Saturday, March 28 12pm to 1pm

The Bible has over 600 references to essential oils and aromatic plants. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years and only now has science developed the ability to learn about them on a cellular level. Join us as we discover why these oils have been so precious. Minimum number of participants required. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $10.

SPRING CAMP

Tuesday, March 31; Wednesday, April 1; Thursday, April 2 12:30pm to 4:30pm

OR Tuesday, April 7; Wednesday, April 8; Thursday, April 9 12:30pm to 4:30pm

For children in grades 1 through 5. Restore the bond between children and nature! Give your child the opportunity to explore nature right here at the Essex County Environmental Center! Please call the Center for details. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776.

Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $120 per child for all 3 days OR $50 per child/per day

APRIL 2015 

CHAIR YOGA SERIES

Thursdays—April 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 3pm to 4pm

For adults. Whether you are new to yoga, are an older adult, or know and love yoga but can no longer get up and down from the floor easily, chair yoga may be for you! All poses are done seated or standing next to a chair. Our breath guides us through class and we will end with a relaxing meditation. All levels welcome. Dress comfortably. Advance registration and monthly pre-payment required; call 973.228.8776. No refunds for missed classes. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $45 for the month; $35 for those 65 and older

THURSDAY EVENING YOGA

Thursdays—April 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 6:15pm to 7:30pm

For adults. This “all levels” yoga series will focus on alignment, flow and warmth followed by a restorative pose to unwind the body and mind for bed. All levels are welcome. Advance registration and monthly payment are required; call 973.228.8776. No refunds for missed classes. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $50

FRIDAY MORNING YOGA

Fridays—April 3, 10, 17 & 24 9:30am to 10:45am

For adults. This class will explore the many joys of yoga. Breathing synchronized with movement will warm the body and relax the mind. All levels are welcome. Join us weekly or for just one class.

Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Fee: $10 per class

TUESDAY AFTERNOON YOGA WITH MEDITATION

Tuesdays—April 7, 14, 21 & 28 3:30pm to 4:45pm

For adults. The focus of this class is on the many benefits of long-held, seated poses. We lengthen tissues that connect, wrap and interweave muscles, helping to increase our range of motion and free up areas of limitation. We cultivate a meditative state in each pose, as well as sit for a meditation at the end of class. All levels are welcome. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776.

Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Fee: $10 per class.

TAKE THE STRESS AWAY

Saturday, April 11 12pm to 1:30pm

This hands-on workshop will empower you to combat the stresses of life with essential oils. Discover tools and tips to handle stress. Learn which tiny bottle can support the immune system. And find out insider tricks to bring energy and balance to the body. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10

HORTICULTURE FOR SENIORS

Monday, April 13 1pm to 3pm

For senior citizens. Join the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County for this horticulture class especially designed for senior citizens. This month’s topic is the Flowers that Bloom.

Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required one week prior to program; call Helen at 973.731.0717 or Maya at 973-379-5548. FREE

CONTAINER GARDENING

Saturday, April 18 10:30am to 12pm

For adults. Discover the city dweller's answer to the big backyard gardens of yesteryear. Containers aren't just round and made from clay or plastic – explore your options. Rutgers Master Gardeners will show you how to select and raise a wide variety of plants in containers. Advance registration required; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $10 per adult

BACKYARD COMPOSTING MADE EASY

Thursday, April 23 6:30pm to 8pm

All ages. Learn everything you need to successfully compost organic waste in your own backyard. The fee includes The Earth Machine and a kitchen scrap collection pail. An optional aerator is

also available. Advance registration is required by Monday, April 20th; call 973.228.8776. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Minimum number of participants required.

Fee: $69 (the bin retails for over $100 at Home Depot, plus shipping)

IKEBANA DESIGN, JAPANESE FLOWER ARRANGING SERIES

Thursdays, April 23 & 30; May 7, 14 7pm to 8:30pm

Learn the Japanese art of Ikebana, a disciplined art form reflecting the forces of nature with which plants live in harmony. Ikebana is a minimalist expression which draws emphasis toward shape, line, and form. Working with flowers in this way can soothe our minds and lift our spirits. This workshop will include an introduction to the history and philosophy of Ikebana as well as the different styles (moribana, shoka, rikka) and techniques. Hands on instruction in design and technique will be led by Hideko Eda, a senior professor of Ikebana in Japan.

Learn how to bend branches and flowers so they appear to be blown by the wind, or create a leaf that appears half eaten by insects. Each participant will receive fresh flowers to work with in each of the four classes. You have an option to either bring your own container, garden scissors, and kenzan (pin cushion) to class or you may purchase these items in class.

Advance registration and payment is required by Monday, April 20th; call 973.228.8776. Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $72 per person for the series

EARTH DAY

Saturday, April 25 11am to 4pm

Bring your family, friends, and neighbors for our annual outdoor Earth festival. On this special day, celebrate nature with crafts, games, and recreational opportunities, such as canoeing and hiking. Enjoy demonstrations, information, a local ‘eco-vendors’ sale, with the Environmental Center staff and partner groups on hand to guide you throughout the day. FREE

NEW JERSEY WOODTURNERS

Monday, April 27 7pm to 9:30pm

For adults. Learn to turn with the NJ Woodturners Association! Discover the wonders of creating art from found pieces of wood. Topics vary month to month; call the Environmental Center for details. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Fee: $10 per adult; Free for NJWA members.

ENERGY ENGINEERS: PIE PLATE WINDMILL

Thursday, April 30 6pm to 7:30pm

For children ages 8 through 12. In nature, the sun is the source of heat and wind. In this workshop, we’ll use rising warm air created by burning candles to test and turn our own windmills

made from pie plates. Considering the design of our windmill, we’ll discuss how they could be used on an electric generator. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776.

Minimum number of participants required. Fee: $8 per child. 

MAY 2015

FRIDAY MORNING YOGA

Fridays—May 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 9:30am to 10:45am

For adults. This class will explore the many joys of yoga. Breathing synchronized with movement will warm the body and relax the mind. All levels are welcome. Join us weekly or for just one class.

Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Fee: $10 per class

BIKE RIGHT – LEARN TO RIDE

Saturday, May 2 10:30am to 12:30pm

Children ages 5 and older. Make learning to ride a bike easier for your child with TransOptions’ Bike Right Learn to Ride class. Bike Right Learn to Ride will teach your child the safe, easy and effective way to learn to ride. Using this "balance first" method, parents help get their children rolling while the child does most of the work. Participants learn the basics of balancing, starting, stopping, and steering a bike, as well as proper helmet fit and adjustment. Please bring a helmet and a bike (without training wheels) in good working order. In the event of rain, this program will be rescheduled.

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