LEARN ABOUT HIKING, BUGS, NATURE, GARDENING, YOGA, MEDITATION, COOKING AND MORE AT THE ESSEX COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

Essex County Executive DiVincenzo Invites Children and Families
to Expand their Understanding and Appreciation of the Environment

Essex County, NJ – A variety of programs are being offered at the Essex County Environmental Center during the month of September 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 September are as follows:

“Baking with Herbs” is for adults and children ages 12 and up. Master Gardener Fran Kroeckel will take participants on a culinary adventure from herb garden to table. This hands-on demonstration will send students home with a tasty treat. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Cost is $7 per child and $9 per adult. Advance registration required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Baking with Herbs will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, September 6, 2014
Time:  10:30 a.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Bug Club” is 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. Cost is $7 per child per session. Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Bug Club will meet as follows:

Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“4-H Young Gardeners Club” is for children in grades 1 through 9. Ever wonder how vegetables and flowers grow? Where spaghetti sauce comes from? How to find a rainbow in a garden? 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 is required. For information, call 973-353-1338, Ext. 103. 4-H Young Gardeners Club will be held as follows:

Dates: Tuesdays, September 9, 23 & 30, 2014
Time:4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Why Garden Organically?” is for adults. There are many reasons to go organic these days as more is learned about the imbalance in nature. Organic gardening utilizes practices that are more harmonious with nature and being aware of products is important. Marleny Franco from Grace Landscaping will discuss the following topics: The movement away from organics and how to come back to the basics; why organic is a good choice; the fundamental principles of organic gardening; what it looks like in practice; and the initial steps of organic garden preparation. Cost is $20 per person. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Why Garden Organically? will be held as follows:

Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Time:7 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. Use nets, magnifiers and microscopes to investigate what lives at the pond and learn with a naturalist how we can protect and conserve their inhabitants. Cost is $7 per child per session. Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Frog Pond Science Club will be held as follows:

Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Birding Hike in Essex County Hilltop Reservation” is presented by New Jersey Audubon. Participants will explore edge and meadow habitats for early fall migrants during an easy walk through the reservation. Meet at Mountain Avenue and Courter Lane, North Caldwell. This is a free event. Please call 908-766-5787 or e-mail kelly.wenzel@njaudubon.org to register. Birding Hike is scheduled as follows:

Date:  Thursday, September 11, 2014
Time:8:30 a.m.
Meeting Site: Parking area at Mountain Avenue and Courter Lane
North Caldwell, 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. This month’s topic is How to Harvest the Summer Bounty. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. This is a free program. Advance registration is required one week prior to program. For information, call 973-379-5488 or 973-731-0717. Horticulture for Seniors will be held as follows:

Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2014
Time:1 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Spanish for Nature Lovers” is a 10-week course 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 ten-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. Cost is $120 per person (includes material fee). Advance registration and pre-payment are required by September 12th. For information, call 973-228-8776. Spanish for Nature Lovers will be held as follows:

Dates and Times:Tuesdays, September 16 through November 18; 12:30 p.m.
OR Thursdays, September 18 through November 20; 6:30 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“4-H Environmental Kids Club” is for children in grades K through 8. The environment is filled with things, big and small, that are surprising and helpful. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. For more information, call 973-353-1338, Ext. 109. 4-H Environmental Kids Club will meet as follows:

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Little Explorers Fall Nature Program” is for children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. This 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 on Tuesday, September 2nd at 9 a.m. Cost is $7 per child/session (additional material fees may apply). Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Little Explorers Nature Program will be held as follows:

Age: 2 year olds
Date and Time:  Wednesday, September 17; 9:45 a.m.

Age: 3 year olds
Dates and Time:Fridays, September 19 & 26; 11 a.m.

Ages: 4 and 5 year olds
Dates and Time:Wednesdays, September 17 & 24; 1:30 p.m.
OR Fridays, September 19 & 26; 1:30 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

The Deadline for the “2014 Essex County Parks Photography Contest”is Wednesday, September 17th, so grab a camera and visit an Essex County Park! Anyone with a camera is invited and encouraged to submit photos that capture a part of their visit to the County Parks System. For rules and regulations, please contact the Essex County Environmental Center at 973-228-8776.

“Montclair Hawk Watch in Essex County Mills Reservation” is presented by New Jersey Audubon. NJ Audubon staff and volunteers will be on hand to help visitors spot and identify hawks as they move through the ridges of the Watchung Mountains. Park along Edgecliff Road (just off of Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove) and look for the pathway to the stairs. The stairway is steep, but worth the effort. Bring a hat, water and a folding chair. Pre-registration is requested. Meet at Edgecliff Road, Cedar Grove/Montclair. This is a free event. Please call 908-766-5787 or e-mail kelly.wenzel@njaudubon.org to register. Montclair Hawk Watch is scheduled as follows:

Date:  Thursday, September 18, 2014
Time:9 a.m.
Meeting Site: Essex County Mills Reservation
Edgecliff Road
Cedar Grove/Montclair, NJ

“Thursday Evening Yoga” is geared 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. Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Cost is $20. Advance registration and monthly payment is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. No refunds will be given for missed classes. Thursday Evening Yoga is scheduled as follows:

Dates: Thursdays, September 18 & 25, 2014
Time:6:15 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
 Roseland, NJ

“Friday Morning Yoga” is geared 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 for the series or just one class. Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Cost is $10 per class. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Friday Morning Yoga is scheduled as follows:

Dates:Fridays, September 19 & 26, 2014
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Essex County South Mountain Reservation” is presented by New Jersey Audubon. Essex County’s largest developed park has many good hiking trails leading into different habitats. At the peak of the fall migration, hikers will search for passerines, raptors, and maybe a few waterfowl. Meet in the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo parking lot, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, where we will carpool to various locations within the park. Cost is $6 for NJA members and $8 for non-members. Please call 908-766-5787 or e-mail kelly.wenzel@njaudubon.org to register. Birding Hike is scheduled as follows:

Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Time:8:30 a.m.
Meeting Site: Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ

“Extending the Garden Season” is for adults. Plant fresh spinach (or kale) in your garden for this Thanksgiving. Learn from Rutgers Master Gardeners the simple and inexpensive techniques of growing and harvesting vegetables in the fall. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Cost is $9 per person. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Extending the Garden Season will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Time:9 a.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Essential Oils for the School Year” is for adults and children ages 13 and older. Be prepared for this school year with essential oils. The class will discuss which essential oils are best to reduce stress and anxiety, keep germs at bay, and maintain energy and attention. Learning a few simple tips from this class can make this the best school year yet. Cost is $9 per person. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Essential Oils for the School Year will be held as follows:

Dates: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Time: 12 Noon
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Ikebana Design, Japanese Flower Arranging Series” is for adults. 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 minds and lift 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 the experienced and talented 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. Class members have an option to either bring their own container, garden scissors, and kenzan (pin cushion) to class or purchase these items in class. Cost is $72 per person for the series. Advance registration and payment is required by Thursday, September 18th. For information, call 973-228-8776. Ikebana Design, Japanese Flower Arranging Series will be held as follows:

Dates: Mondays, Sept. 22, Oct. 27, Nov. 24 & Dec. 22, 2014
Time:7 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“New Jersey Woodturners” is 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. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Cost is $9 per adult; free for NJWA members. For information, call 973-228-8776. New Jersey Woodturners will meet as follows:

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014
Time:7 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Tuesday Afternoon Yoga with Meditation” is for adults. The focus of this class is on the many benefits of long-held, seated poses. Participants will lengthen tissues that connect, wrap and interweave muscles, helping to increase their range of motion and free up areas of limitation. They will cultivate a meditative state in each pose, as well as sit for a meditation at the end of class. All levels are welcome. Cost is $10 per class. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Dress comfortably and bring your own mat. Tuesday Afternoon Yoga with Meditation will be held as follows:

Dates: Tuesdays, September 23 & 30, 2014
Time:3:30 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Kids in the Kitchen Club” is 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. Participants will make an array of foods, one dish per club meeting. All food will be prepared with healthy and tasty goals in mind. Some examples are pizza, cookies, kale chips, fresh apple sauce, and more! Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Cost is $10 per child per session (material fees included). Advance registration and payment are required. For more information, call 973-228-8776. Kids in the Kitchen Club will meet as follows:

Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 3:45 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

“Live Bird and Craft Program” is for ages 4 and up. Whether small or large, birds of prey utilize different techniques to find food. All require a set of talons to survive in the wild. Participants will create their own bird of prey after which they’ll be a live showing of a Barred Owl and a Red Tailed Hawk. Participants will observe these live birds up close and will learn about their behavior, physiology, adaptations, ecological importance and natural history. Hands-on artifacts and demonstrations will capture the imagination of young and old. Cost is $7 per child and $9 per adult. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Live Bird and Craft Program will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Time:11:45 a.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B 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 22 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, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.