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Take a Hike—and Other Winter Programs at Environmental Center

Lots to do from hiking and birding to learning about bugs at the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland.

Beating the winter doldrums is easy at the Essex County Environmental Center.

During the month of January, the center, located at 621B Eagle Rock Ave. in  Roseland, is offering dozens of nature programs for children and adults. Whether taking a walk in the woods or learning about nature photography, all programs are designed to give participants a greater appreciation and understanding of the environment. 

The following events are planned for January:

"Little Explorers Winter Nature Program" is a child-caregiver class that 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 $6 per child/session (additional material fees may apply). Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Little Explorers Fall Nature Program will be held as follows:

Ages: 2-year olds
Dates and Times: Alternate Fridays, January 6 to February 17, 9:30 a.m.

Ages: 3-year olds
Dates and Times: Wednesdays, January 4 to February 15, 11 a.m.
or Fridays, January 6 to February 17, 11 a.m.

Ages: 4- and 5-year olds
Dates and Times: Wednesdays, January 4 to February 15, 1:30 p.m.
or Fridays, January 6 to February 17, 1:30 p.m.

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

"Nature's Playground" is for children ages 5 and 6. Given the opportunity, young children will discover wonder and excitement outdoors. A Staff Naturalist will take the outdoor experience a little further and let imaginations take flight. Tomorrow's caretakers of the earth need to love and understand the natural world. Participants will explore it, enjoy it and discover our reliance upon it. Cost is $6 per child per session. Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Nature's Playground will be held as follows:

Date: Wednesday, January 4
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Outdoor Adventure Club" is for children ages 7 to 12. Let's get outside and see where the hour takes us. Participants might build forts, collect firewood, skip rocks, tell stories, dig for critters, spot wildlife, play tag and more. 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. Cost is $6 per child per session. Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Outdoor Adventure Club will be held as follows:

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

"New Jersey Shore Birds" is geared for adults and presented by the Essex County Nature Photographers. Peter Massas will give an illustrated slide presentation about the birds of the New Jersey Shore, including less popular species. Mr. Massas will also discuss where to find and photograph the birds. He is a member of the Audubon Society and has been published in periodicals and magazines worldwide. Cost is $8 per adult and free for Essex County Nature Photographer members. For information, call 973-228-8776. Jersey Shore Birds will be held as follows:

Date: Wednesday, January 4
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Thursday Evening Yoga Series" 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 $40 for the series. 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:

Date: Thursdays, January 5, 12, 19 & 26
Time: 6:15 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Planning Your Vegetable Garden" is for adults. Join Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County to learn the basics of selecting a site for a productive vegetable garden. This workshop will include a discussion of soil fertility and management techniques, planting schedules and plant selection. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Cost is $8 per adult. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Planning Your Vegetable Garden will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, January 5
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Friday Morning Yoga" is geared for adults. This class will introduce adult beginners to the many joys of yoga. Breathing synchronized with movement will warm the body and relax the mind. Participants will focus on joint mobility and healing stillness. 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 Autumn Yoga is scheduled as follows:

Date: Fridays, January 6, 13, 20 & 27
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Outside Nature Discoveries Club" is for children ages 5 and 6. Come venture into the wooded wetland with magnifiers, trowels, containers and more to observe living things in their environment. The curriculum is not structured; students will discover as they explore. Dress for the weather as all classes will be outside. Cost is $6 per child per session. Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Outside Nature Discoveries Club will be held as follows:

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

"4-H Lego Club" is for children in grades 3 through 6. Members will use their imaginations and build animals, castles, and more with other children who are interested in Legos. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-353-1338, Ext. 103. 4-H Lego Club will be held as follows:

Dates and Times: Monday, January 9, 4 p.m.
Saturday, January 21, 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 $6 per child per session (additional material fees may apply). Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Bug Club will be held as follows:

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

"Wild New Jersey Photography Exhibit" will showcase the real New Jersey, which boasts more wildlife diversity, outdoor adventures and scenic nature destinations than any other state or region of similar size. Photographers include David Wheeler, Krysti Sabins, Jillian Weislo and Dana Patterson and the award winners from aWildNewJersey.tvcontest. The Wild New Jersey photography exhibit will be on display at the Essex County Environmental Center during the month of January and can be viewed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. The opening reception for Wild New Jersey Photography Exhibit will be held as follows:

Date: Tuesday, January 10
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Birding Hike in Essex County Weequahic Park" is presented by New Jersey Audubon and is geared for adults and children over 12. Visit an Essex County oasis while searching for wintering ducks, gulls and passerine birds. All can be viewed along an easy trail around the lake. Meet at the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland and we will carpool to the park. Cost is $6 for NJAS members and $8 for non-members. Space is limited. Hikes take place unless trails are impassable due to snow or ice. Hikes will be canceled is there is heavy rain or snow. Contact Kelly Wenzel at 973-226-6082 for more information and to register. Birding Hike is scheduled as follows:

Date: Thursday, January 12
Time: 8 a.m.
Meeting site: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"4-H Stamp Club" is for children in grades 4 through 7. Learn about the history of stamps and stamp collecting. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. For information, please call 973-353-1338, Ext. 103. 4-H Stamp Club will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, January 12
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Design It! Trebuchets" is for ages 8 and up. If you have ever seen PunkinChunkin on the Discovery Channel, then you know how outrageous and extreme trebuchet engineers can be. Join other beginning engineers to learn about these ancient sling shot-like devices and discover your own strengths in design and development. Cost is $8 per person. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-353-1338, Ext. 103. Design It! Trebuchets will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, January 12
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Owls of Essex" is presented by New Jersey Audubon for children ages 4 to 12 and their family. Participants will investigate where these majestic birds fit into the food web by dissecting owl pellets, and discover how owls build their nests, communicate and make "owl pellet" candy to take home. Cost is $5 for NJAS members and $7 for non-members. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-226-6082. Owls of Essex will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, January 14
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Holiday Hike – Essex County Hilltop Reservation" is presented by New Jersey Audubon for children grades K to 5. Don't just sit around on your day off from school – enjoy the great outdoors! Come for a hike and learn about local parks and wildlife. This hike has no agenda, so just come prepared to have fun and discover field and forest birds that spend the winter in New Jersey. Meet in the parking area near Mountain Avenue in North Caldwell. Cost is $5 for NJAS members and $7 for non-members. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-226-6082. Holiday Hike will be held as follows:

Date: Monday, January 16, 2012
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Place: Essex County Hilltop Reservation
Mountain Avenue
North Caldwell, NJ

"Tomorrow's Leaders" is for children ages 7 to 14. A winter hike can rejuvenate our spirits and strengthen our connection with Mother Earth. Participants will discuss good stewardship practices as well as how to "lead" others on the trails. Warm up by the campfire with stories and hot chocolate. Cost is $6 per child. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Tomorrow's Leaders will be held as follows:

Date: Monday, January 16
Times: 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Green Kids Club" is for children ages 7 to 12. Discover all areas of environmental science with hands-on fun and service projects. Cost is $6 per child per session (additional material fees may apply). Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Green Kids Club will be held as follows:

Date: Tuesday, January 17
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"4-H Super Animal Kingdom Pet Club" is for children in grades 1-7. Do you love animals and want to learn how to take care of them? If so, then the Pet Club is for you. Members will learn all about pets and small animals. Non-pet owners are welcome. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-353-1338, Ext. 103. 4-H Super Animal Kingdom Pet Club will be held as follows:

Date: Wednesday, January 18
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"4-H Environmental Kids Club" is for children in grades 2 through 6. The 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 the world. Meet in Garibaldi Hall. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-353-1338, Ext. 103. 4-H Environmental Kids Club will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, January 19
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Birding Hike in Essex County South Mountain Reservation" is presented by New Jersey Audubon and is geared for adults and children over 12. Take a stroll in one of Essex County's largest parks and discover how easy it is to find wildlife in the winter. Meet in the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo parking area. We will carpool to various locations within the park. Cost is $6 for NJAS members and $8 for non-members. Space is limited. Hikes take place unless trails are impassable due to snow or ice. Hikes will be canceled is there is heavy rain or snow. Contact Kelly Wenzel at 973-226-6082 for more information and to register. Birding Hike is scheduled as follows:

Date: Saturday, January 21
Time: 8 a.m.
Meeting site: Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, 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 Artistic Recycling. 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 is scheduled as follows:

Date: Monday, January 23
Time: 1 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A 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 $8 per adult and free for NJWA members. For information, call 973-228-8776. New Jersey Woodturners will meet as follows:

Date: Monday, January 23, 2012
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
Garibaldi Hall
621A Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Birding Hike in Essex County Becker Park" is presented by New Jersey Audubon and is geared for adults and children over 12. This is one of the best places for birdlife in the county with a mixture of meadow and woodland habitats. Meet in the parking lot of the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland where we will carpool to the hike location. This hike is free. Space is limited. Hikes take place unless trails are impassable due to snow or ice. Hikes will be canceled is there is heavy rain or snow. Contact Kelly Wenzel at 973-226-6082 for more information and to register. Birding Hike is scheduled as follows:

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Time: 8 a.m.
Meeting site: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Winter Family Fun" is a special program designed for families. Attendees will make a special paperweight filled with shells, pebbles and other gifts from nature – including snow. Bring the family and enjoy making a special craft together. Cost is $6 per child and $8 per adult. Advance registration is required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Winter Family Fun will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, January 28
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: Essex County Environmental Center
621B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ

"Rock-N-Roll Geology Club" is 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. Cost is $6 per child per session (additional material fees may apply). Advance registration and payment are required. For information, call 973-228-8776. Rock-N-Roll Geology Club will be held as follows:

Date: Tuesday, January 31
Time: 4 p.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, call 973-228-8776.

L. Klonsky January 04, 2012 at 05:50 PM
The Environmental Center is one the best kept secrets for moms. Its classes are great & VERY affordable! The grounds offer one of the most beautiful hiking areas around where the kids can lead parents without fear of getting lost. Parents: take a good look at this jewel of Essex!

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