The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation invite families with children of all ages and adults alike to celebrate wildlife and embrace environmental conservation at an exciting daylong event at Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside, New Jersey on Sunday, April 24, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., rain or shine.
Wild Earth Fest is an entertaining family event where attendees can learn ways to become eco-friendly and increase awareness of wildlife conservation. Among the events taking place will be live animal demonstrations, educational displays, live music, giveaways and vendors. This year’s children’s activities include a bounce house and slide; face painting, Recycling Olympics and Eco-Art. In addition, the winners of the Wildlife Photography Contest and Environmental Hero Awards will be announced during the event. To nominate an Environmental Hero in your community or participate in the Wildlife Photography Contest visit www.ucnj.org/trailside.
“Wild Earth Fest is a very worthwhile and educational day. We are so proud to celebrate 75 Years of Environmental Education at Trailside,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.
Laugh, learn and celebrate the wonderful world of reptiles at 11:30 a.m. with Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery, LLC. Meet live turtles, snakes and a gator as you have fun learning about the characteristics of these cold-blooded creatures. Eyes of the Wild will perform at 12:30 p.m. bringing live mammals with interesting adaptations and behaviors to the stage. Prepare to laugh out loud at the life stories of each unique animal, their often humorous personality, fun facts and anecdotes.
Stop by the Wolf Visions table throughout the event to see a live wolf and find out why they are important in a balanced ecosystem. Vinnie Reo will dispel the myths and legends of the “Big, Bad Wolf” at 2:00 & 3:30 p.m. Master falconer Jennifer Pena from Flight of the Raptor will have live hawks, falcons and an owl on display for this daylong event. Join Ms. Pena at 4:00 p.m. to discover the importance of these airborne predators and find out how they behave in their natural habitats.
Visit many educational table displays including: Friends of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey Audubon, New Jersey State Parks Service, Morris County’s Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, Native Plant Society, Toad Shade Wildflower Farm, Union County Clean Communities,
4-H Master Tree Stewards, Sierra Club and Master Gardeners of Union County. Many vendors will be on hand selling wildlife related items, recycle art and going green themed items.
As an added attraction to celebrate Trailside’s 75th anniversary, The Nerds will perform. Sometimes called New Jersey’s hardest working, hardest rocking party band, The Nerds perform a blend of soul, classic rock and TV theme music. The band is loosely based on an old skit from Saturday Night Live and have been performing together for over 20 years.
Admission to Wild Earth Fest is $4 per person. Children 6 years of age and under will be admitted free.
There is something for everyone at this special event. Throughout the day food and beverages will be available. Trailside Nature & Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, New Jersey. For more information call (908) 789-3670 or visit www.ucnj.org/trailside.