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Seeds and Rocks and Bugs, Oh My!

Essex County Environmental Center Offers Summer Nature Programs and Clubs for Kids

Let’s face it.  In addition to the wonderful smell of roses and the harmonic hoots of owls, nature has an icky side.  Mud and moss, crawly things and bats are all part of the package, maybe that is why kids love it so much.

As the school year comes to a close, the Essex County Environmental Center is offering a wide selection of clubs and programs for kids, many of them offering hands-on experiences with both the lovely and the icky facets of nature.  Located on Eagle Rock Avenue within the West Essex Park in Roseland, the center sits along the Passaic River among 1,360 acres of undeveloped wetlands, providing many opportunities for exploration and observation of nature at its best.  If you would like to keep your child plugged into learning over the summer in a fun and interactive way, read on for a list of programs and clubs offered between June and August, provided by the Environmental Center.

OUTSIDE NATURE DISCOVERIES CLUB

Monday—June 11,   4pm to 5pm

For children ages 5 & 6. Come venture into our wooded wetland with magnifiers, trowels, containers and more to observe living things in their environment. The curriculum is not structured; we will discover as we explore. Dress for the weather as all classes will be outside. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child     per session

 

BUG CLUB

Tuesday— June 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.  Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child per session (additional material fees may apply)

 

GREEN KIDS CLUB

Tuesday— June 19,  4pm to 5pm

For children ages 7 to 12. Discover all areas of environmental science with hands-on fun and service projects! Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child per session (additional material fees may apply)

 

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE CLUB

Wednesday— June 6,  4pm to 5pm

For children ages 7 to 12. Let’s get outside and see where the hour takes us. We just might build forts, collect firewood, skip rocks, tell stories, dig for critters, spot wildlife, play tag and more. Let’s blow like the wind. The hour will be directed by club members under the guidance of a Staff Naturalist who will facilitate all free-play activities. Dress for the weather as all classes will be outside. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child per session

 

Nature Crafts with Children CLUB

Wednesdays— June 13, July 11, August 8,  4pm to 5pm

For children ages 7 to 12. To craft means to make something with your hands, and people have been making crafts since time began. Nature provides us with colors and patterns that are gifts of the Earth. Yes, we shall make some beautiful crafts, but you will also likely discover a deeper love of the Earth. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $8 per child per session (includes a $2 material fee)

 

Nature Discovery Garden Club

Wednesdays—June 20, July 18, August 15   4pm to 5pm                             

For children ages 7 to 12. Whether your garden is outdoors or a pot on a windowsill, you’ll learn about how plants live and grow. You will discover many exciting things about nature such as how weather, temperature and seasons affect all living things, how living things come out of seeds and soil, how earthworms, bees and other wildlife help in the garden and how our whole environment works together like an amazing puzzle. Come get in touch with the world in which you live! Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $8 per child per session (includes a $2 material fee)

 

ROCK-N-ROLL GEOLOGY CLUB

Tuesday—June 26, 4pm to 5pm

For children ages 7 to 12. Revel in the fascinating formations of Earth’s geologic creations. Hands-on club activities include exploring local geology, discovering what’s in local soil, and identifying rocks and minerals. Advance registration and payment are required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child per session (additional material fees may apply)

 

4-H YOUNG GARDENERS CLUB

Tuesdays— June 26, July 10, 17, 24 &31, August 7, 14, 21 &28,  4pm to 5pm

For children in grades 1 through 8. 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 x103

 

4-H LEGO CLUB

Fridays— June 1, July 6, August 3; 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Saturdays— June 2, July 7, August 4; 10:30am to 11:30am

For children in grades 3 through 6. Come use your imagination and build animals, castles, and more with other children who are interested in Legos. Friday classes meet in Garibaldi Hall, Saturday classes meet in the main Center. Advance registration is required; please call 973.353.1338 x103

 

LITTLE SPROUTS GARDENING SERIES

Fridays—June 1, 8, 15 & 29                                                                  

3 year olds—11am to 12pm

Fridays—June 1, 8, 15 & 29                                                      

4 & 5 year olds—3:45pm to 4:45pm

The simple act of cultivating a garden can open up a world of growth, learning and enjoyment. A garden for young children rarely resembles a typical adult garden, but children still love to grow plants too. Join your child in a 4-week program as you both gain a new appreciation for the Earth, the food it produces, the beauty of its flowers and the importance of plants. Advance registration and monthly payment is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $32 per child

Stop, Don’t Throw that Garbage Away!

Thursday, June 21, 5:30pm to 7pm

Ages 6 and up. Join Essex County 4-H to help save the environment as we learn how to reuse and recycle "used" items into unique and imaginative crafts. Bring your newspapers, magazines, and egg cartons to create some amazing little critters and gift ideas you can use for any occasion. Advance registration is required; call 973.353.1338 x103. Fee: $10 per person

 

Moveable Models

Saturday, July 7,  11:30am to 1pm

Ages 5 and up.  Have you ever wanted to build your own cars, bugs, machines, or even roller coasters?  Join Essex County 4-H to create your own moveable models.  Come prepared to build creations of your own imagination or test your direction making power to build a magnificent model following detailed directions. Advance registration is required; call 973.353.1338 x103. Fee: $10 per person

 

SUNSET PADDLE ON THE PASSAIC RIVER

Tuesday, July 10,  6pm to 8pm

For adults and children ages 10 and older. A leisurely evening canoe ride provides wonderful opportuni­ties to view wildlife at dusk. All equipment is included. Some paddling experience is helpful but beginners are welcome. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Meet in the Garibaldi Hall parking lot. Fee: $30 per canoe

 

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Saturday, July 14,  10am to 11am or 12pm to 1pm

For ages 3½ to 5. Join Ms. Barbara for the reading of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, learn about their metamorphosis from egg to adult, and paint and create your own caterpillar craft. This program includes a few minutes in our live butterfly tent. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child, $8 per adult

 

BUTTERFLY TENT SAFARI

Monday, July 16 through Friday, July 27,  12pm to 3pm

For all ages. Flutter on over and visit our live butterfly tent. All are welcome to make-and-take a butterfly craft and participate in table activities. $2 suggested donation to the Essex County Parks Foundation

 

BUZZ INTO ACTION WITH INSECT FUN AND GAMES

Saturday, July 21,  10am to 11am OR 12pm to 1pm

For children ages 5 and up. Love Insects? Join us for a family fun and hands-on presentation all about Bugs n’ Butterflies. This program includes a few minutes in our live butterfly tent. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child, $8 per adult

 

SUNSET PADDLE ON THE PASSAIC RIVER

Monday, August 6,  6pm to 8pm

For adults and children ages 10 and older. A leisurely evening canoe ride provides wonderful opportuni­ties to view wildlife at dusk. All equipment is included. Some paddling experience is helpful but beginners are welcome. Advance registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Meet in the Garibaldi Hall parking lot. Fee: $30 per canoe

 

TWILIGHT HIKE

Thursday, August 9,  6:30pm to 8pm

All ages are welcome. Discover what lives at the Environmental Center after the sun goes down. First we’ll make our own insect repellant, and then we’ll wander in the wooded wetland to look for whoooo might be awake. Advanced registration is required; call 973.228.8776. Fee: $6 per child, $8 per adult

 

Junior Scientist Laboratory 101

Thursday, August 16,  5:30pm to 7pm

Ages six and up.  Step into the 4-H laboratory and experience the fun (and dirty) side of science.  Bring your sense of adventure and join our mad scientists to experience what happens when you start mixing and matching chemicals and creating your own mad science lab. Please wear clothing that can get dirty and maybe even destroyed! Advance registration is required; call 973.353.1338 x103. Fee: $10 per person

 

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