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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 19, 2009

ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO AND THE

ESSEX COUINTY ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION RELEASE

FIRST-EVER NATURAL RESOURCE INVENTORY

Schedule of Upcoming Environmental Celebrations is Outlined

Roseland, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and members of the Essex County Environmental Commission released the first-ever Essex County Natural Resource Inventory on Thursday, March 19th. The 334-page study provides a comprehensive description about Essex County's natural features and characteristics and is a valuable resource that will help municipalities and the County shape environmental policy and development practices.

"This Natural Resource Inventory identifies the animals, plants, waterways and other natural resources that are present in Essex County and gives us a clear picture of the state of our environment. Since this is the first time we are gathering this information, it will provide a baseline that we can compare to changing environmental conditions and help us plan for the future," DiVincenzo said. "This is a valuable resource that will help us make decisions about preserving open space, redeveloping brownfield sites and evaluating development projects," he added.

The Executive also noted the NRI can be used as a planning tool for each of the County's 22 municipalities to reference as well as a source document for the development of future educational programs at the Essex County Environmental Center. A copy of the Natural Resource Inventory can be found on the Essex County web site at www.essexcountynj.org.

"Today, everyone is focused on green jobs and doing what is right for the environment. At the Environmental Center, the County Executive is setting an example for the rest of the State to follow in finding new ways to ‘think green,'" State Senator Teresa Ruiz said. "This study not only is valuable in helping provide background for policy, but it is a great educational tool for our teachers and students to get an understanding about nature," she added.

"The NRI provides us with a good cross section of Essex County's ecology and will help us in our mission to advise the County on environmental issues," Essex County Environmental Commission Chairman Tom Pietrykoski. "We thank the County Executive for understanding the importance of having this document and providing the funding to have the study done," he added.

The NRI examines water sources; soils, topography and geology; habitats for resident and migratory species of wildlife and plant life, with special attention given to the habitats of threatened and endangered species. The information contained in the Natural Resource Inventory will help the County and municipalities understand the limitations of the environment, determine the density and location of future development, identify priority areas for open space and historic preservation, and educate residents about the natural resources in their community.

The Essex County Parks Foundation provided a $30,000 grant to fund the study, which was conducted by Amy S. Greene Environmental Consultants, Inc.

Upcoming Environmental Celebrations

To raise awareness about nature and various aspects of the environment, the Essex County Environmental Center has planned several day-long events. The events are open the public and will be held as follows:

"World Water Day" will be presented by the Essex County Environmental Center staff. Staff naturalists will teach participants about Earth's most precious resource - water! There will be water games and hands-on activities throughout the day. Cost is $5 per child and $9 per family. World Water Day will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

"Spring Break Nature Camp" will be presented by the Environmental Center staff for children in grades 3 through 5. Participants will have a full day exploring and discovering insects, birds, amphibians, the Passaic River and much more. Sign up for each day or all three days. Space is limited. Advance registration is required. Cost is $50 per day or $140 for the entire week. Spring Break Nature Camp will be held as follows:

Date: Monday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 8, 2009

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

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

"Fourth Annual Earth Day Celebration Sponsored by PSE&G" is a fun-filled day to celebrate Planet Earth. The Essex County Environmental Center and its partner agencies will present a Green Vendor tent, canoeing, hikes, beekeeping demonstrations, 4-H Club Fair at Garibaldi Hall, refreshments and much more. Learn about natural resource and energy conservation and stewardship opportunities from local and statewide organizations. Admission is free. The Earth Day Celebration will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009

Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

"Celebrate Arbor Day" will be presented by the Essex County Environmental Center. The day's activities recognize the tree as one of our most significant natural resources.Attendees can take our "Walk in the Woods" to discover a series of education stations, each with hands-on activities for families. The program is ongoing throughout the day. All participants can take a baby tree to plant at home. Admission is free. Arbor Day will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Place: Essex County Environmental Center

621B Eagle Rock Avenue

Roseland, NJ

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 18 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, three off-leash dog facilities and a castle.

 
 
 
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