FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2009

CONTACT: Tom Plante, 908-527-4746
Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419

 

Enjoy “February Festivities” at Trailside, Feb. 13-17

Park Naturalist Ruth Yablonsky prepares to tap a sugar maple tree for the February Festivities program “Journey of Sap to Syrup.” Discover how maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple tree and take part in a taste test to see if you can identify the real thing.

Mountainside, NJ – Park Naturalist Ruth Yablonsky prepares to tap a sugar maple tree for the February Festivities program “Journey of Sap to Syrup.” Discover how maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple tree and take part in a taste test to see if you can identify the real thing. For a complete listing of February Festivities programs and activities, dates, times and fees 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 holiday weekend, February 13-17.

Kicking off the long weekend on Friday evening, Feb. 13, is a special history presentation for adults, ages 18 and older, entitled “Lincoln in the White House.” Glenn LeBoeuf, lecturer and history teacher, as well as coordinator of the largest Civil War re-enactment ever held, will fascinate you with dozens of memorable stories about our legendary 16th President. Abraham Lincoln entered the White House without any executive experience, as the nation was coming apart. What was life like as he faced the challenges of the civil war? As casualties mounted and rebel armies threatened to capture the capital, he had to entertain dignitaries and meet with cabinet members, while finding time to be father and husband to a homesick family. Pre-registration is required since space is limited. The fee for this program is $8 per person for residents of Union County and $10 for non-county residents. Light refreshments are included.

“February Festivities” continues on Saturday, Feb. 14. The Trailside staff has designed a variety of entertaining and interactive programs for families to heighten your awareness of the natural world during the winter months. Space is limited and classes fill quickly, so pre-registration is required. Programs are recommended for families with children ages five and older and the fee for each program is $5 per person for Union County residents and $6 per person for out-of-county participants unless otherwise noted.

“The Deep Freeze” is offered on Saturday, Feb. 14, or Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Participants will take an imaginary journey to the tundra habitat while investigating the habits of penguins, polar bears, seals, whales and walrus. Learn how blubber keeps these animals warm, practice foraging for food, and take part in penguin relay races.

“Journey of Sap to Syrup” is offered on Saturday, Feb. 14, and Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. or Monday, Feb. 16, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Families will learn how 100-percent real maple syrup is made from the sap of a sugar maple tree. Find out what equipment is needed to collect sap and take part in a taste test to identify the real thing. Take a short hike to see a tap in action on a live tree.

“Winter Scavenger Hunt,” presented Saturday, Feb. 14, or Monday, Feb. 16, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. will have families discovering how many natural history items they can find in the winter woods. Search for animal tracks, acorns, winter grasses and nests. Compare answers around a warm campfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly.

“Kindling Kits” is offered on Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Keeping warm by an open fire has a lot of appeal, but getting the blaze going can be tough. Families will collect sticks, twigs, holly, evergreen sprigs and pine cones to create a kit that will start a winter fire blazing.

Highlighting the Festivities on Monday, Feb. 16, from 1:30-2:15 p.m., is “Bugs, Bees, Spiders and Magic” presented by Bob Conrad in Trailside’s auditorium. Catch the reading bug with Bob’s puppet friends, Bumble the Bee and a mind-reading spider named Alfred. Audience members will help to change Clarence the Caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly and they’ll enjoy magic, puppets, ventriloquism, balloon sculpting and storytelling. “Bugs, Bees, Spiders and Magic” is recommended for families with children ages 4 and older. Space is limited. Tickets go on sale at 1:00 p.m. the day of the show at the Service Desk in Trailside’s Visitor Center. No advance ticket sales will be made. The fee is $4 per person. Strollers are not permitted in the auditorium.

“Resident Reptiles,” on Monday, Feb. 16, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., takes a close-up look at reptiles that call Trailside home. Adults and children will delight in meeting live snakes and turtles from Trailside’s reptile collection while learning fascinating facts about these elusive creatures. Two concurrent sessions will be offered: the first for families with children ages 3-6, and the second for families with children ages 7 and older. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. The fee is $6 per person for Union County residents and $7 per person for out-of-county participants.

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 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.