For Immediate Release: April 5, 2017

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation invite families with children of all ages and adults to celebrate wildlife and embrace environmental conservation at a fun and educational event at Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside on Sunday, April 30, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, rain or shine.

“The Wild Earth Fest event is an entertaining way for families to celebrate the Earth,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen, “People of all ages can learn to become eco-friendly and increase their awareness of wildlife conservation.”

Among the events taking place will be live animal demonstrations, educational displays, live music, giveaways and vendors. Children’s activities include a bounce house and slide; face painting, Recycling Olympics, casting contests and Eco-Art. This year, visitors will have the opportunity to meet “Curby,” Union County’s new, interactive Recycling Robot. Discover how you can become more environmentally aware and help prevent litter. Curby is a fully animated robot that moves, speaks, listens and plays music.

The winners of the Wildlife Photography Contest and Environmental Hero Awards will be announced during the event. There is still plenty of time to nominate an Environmental Hero in your community or participate in the Wildlife Photography Contest. Visit www.ucnj.org/trailside for detailed information.

Featured this year, Dominic Rizzo, of “Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery” will entertain and inform as he presents a host of live reptiles. Meet live turtles, snakes and a gator as you learn about the characteristics of these cold-blooded creatures. Shows are at 12 noon and 3:00 p.m. Join Cyril the Sorcerer as he tells the tale of monsters, magic and too much trash during his magical, interactive performance entitled, “Recycling is Magic” at 1:00 pm and again at 4:00 p.m.

Glen “Wreckin Ball” Waldeck and his band, Full Deck, will delight the audience on a musical journey that touches on an array of topics and encourages participation through singing, dancing and other antics. Glen’s songs have been heard on NBC, PBS, CNN and the Discovery Channel.

Back by popular demand, Vinnie Reo and his wolves from Wolf Visions, will dispel the myths of the “Big Bad Wolf” and explain their role in keeping a balanced ecosystem.

Visit many educational table displays including: New Jersey Audubon Society, Union County Bureau of Recycling, Native Plant Society, Toad Shade Wildflower Farm, Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Rizzo’s Wildlife World, USDA Wildlife Services, AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador, NJ State Park Service, Friends of the Great Swamp, Union County Master Gardeners, 4-H Master Tree Stewards, Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center and more. Vendors will be on hand selling wildlife related items, green-themed art and gifts will be available for purchase.

Admission is $4 per person; children 6 years and younger are free. Admission includes entrance to the “Touch A Truck” event being held concurrently in the Watchung Reservation lower loop parking lot. No pets will be permitted to these events. There is something for everyone at these special events. Throughout the day, food and beverages will be available.

For more information about Wild Earth Fest and Touch a Truck or any upcoming programs or events, please call 908-789-3670 or visit 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.

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