FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 26, 2007

CONTACT: Tom Plante, 908-527-4746
Karen Inzillo, 908-789-3670

 

“February Festivities” Fun at Trailside, Feb. 16-20

hawks
Mountainside, NJ – Discover which bird builds its nest atop a tulip tree snag in “Habitat Hunt,” a special program offered as part of Trailside Nature and Science Center’s annual February Festivities, offered this year from Feb. 16-20. Additional programming during February Festivities includes meeting live snakes and turtles in “Resident Reptiles,” learning how maple syrup is made in “The Journey of Sap to Syrup,” challenging your senses on a “Winter Scavenger Hunt” and discovering fascinating facts about the largest mammal of the Watchung Reservation in “White-tailed Trail.” Special evening workshops touring the new Visitor Center are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 19 for families with children ages 5 and older and on Tuesday, Feb. 20 for families with children ages 4 and younger. Times and fees vary for each program. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For a complete listing of February Festivities programs please call 908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at www.ucnj.org/trailside. Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Mountainside, NJ – Trailside Nature and Science Center is the place to go for “February Festivities” – special adult, family and children’s programs during the Presidents’ Day weekend vacation days, February 16-20.

Kicking off the annual festivities is a special free history lecture entitled “Martha Washington” on Friday, Feb. 16 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. for adults ages 18 and older, sponsored in part with funding from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required.

Pat Jordan, a member of the American Historical Theater for more than 10 years, will recreate the life of Martha Washington while dressed in an authentic costume from the time period. Widowed at an early age, Martha took her two surviving children to Mount Vernon when she married George Washington.

“This program promises to be entertaining and educational,” said Freeholder Chairwoman Bette Jane Kowalski. “You won’t want to miss it.”

The “February Festivities” continue on Saturday, Feb. 17, with a variety of fun, entertaining and interactive programs for families at Trailside designed to heighten awareness of the natural world during the winter months. Space is limited and classes fill quickly, so pre-registration is required for all programs and workshops. The fee for each program is $4 per person for Union County residents and $5 per person for out-of-county participants unless otherwise noted.

“Resident Reptiles,” is offered on Saturday, Feb. 17, or Monday, Feb. 19, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. for families with children of all ages. Participants will take an up-close look at the reptiles that call Trailside home. Learn fascinating facts about these elusive creatures and meet live snakes and turtles from our reptile collection.

“The Journey of Sap to Syrup,” presented on Saturday, Feb. 17, or on Monday, Feb. 19, from 1:00-2:00 p.m., will allow families with children of all ages to discover how 100-percent real maple syrup is made from the sap of a sugar maple tree. Discover what equipment is needed to collect sap and take part in a taste test to try to identify the real thing. A short hike will allow participants to see a tap in action on a live tree.

“Habitat Hunt,” presented Saturday, Feb. 17, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. or Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. for families with children of all ages, will encourage families to work together to use Trailside’s new, state-of-the-art exhibits to answer questions about the plants, animals and natural history of the Watchung Reservation. Participants will discover what “Nomahegan” means in the Lenape language, which bird builds its nest atop a tulip tree snag and which mammal hunts crayfish. A prize will be awarded to the family with the most correct answers. “Winter Scavenger Hunt,” for families with children of all ages, will be offered on Monday, Feb. 19, or Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Participants in this workshop can challenge their senses while searching outside for a tree that resembles an elephant’s foot and one with bark like an alligator’s skin. Find a tree that smells like fruity cereal, one that smells like root beer and a shrub that smells of lemon. Listen for the call of the “chick-a-dee-dee” and look for tracks of deer and fox. Check your answers together as a group around a warm campfire while toasting marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa.

Highlighting the “February Festivities” programs are two evening classes. The fee for each evening program is $5 per person for Union County residents and $6 per person for out-of-county participants.

“The Forest at Night,” presented on Monday, Feb. 19 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. for families with children ages five and older will visit Trailside’s new Night Theater to discover whoooo comes out after the sun sets. Enjoy a guided tour through Trailside’s new exhibits to learn about nocturnal animals of the forest, meadow and wetland habitats.

“When I’m Sleepy,” is offered on Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. for families with children ages 4 and younger. Participants in this program can enjoy the warmth of Trailside’s Visitor Center while learning how plants and animals depend on snow to survive. Listen to a story, learn a snowman finger-play to share with your family and discover the world of wildlife active at night. Help a Trailside Naturalist say good-night to all the resident animals.

For a complete listing of “February Festivities”programs and children’s workshops or for information on upcoming events and summer camps, call Trailside Nature and Science Center at (908) 789-3670 or visit us on the website at www.ucnj.org/trailside. Trailside is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.