This free event will be held indoors due to expected rain.
The Union County Board of County Commissioners invites residents and visitors of all ages to meet live animals, enjoy fun outdoor activities, celebrate wildlife and learn about environmental conservation at Wild Earth Fest, hosted by the Trailside Nature and Science Center on Sunday, April 30, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., rain or shine.
Trailside is located in Union County’s scenic Watchung Reservation nature preserve, at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.
“Wild Earth Fest raises awareness about the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship here in the Union County community and globally, too,” said Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “It is a unique event that combines fun activities with new opportunities to learn and interact with our natural surroundings.”
Admission to Wild Earth Fest is $5.00 per person seven years and older. Children six years old and younger are free. No pre-registration is required.
Wild Earth Fest 2023 features ongoing activities, crafts and displays throughout the event, highlighted by a sea creature touch tank from Jenkinson’s Aquarium, a petting zoo from Swift Farms, live music by the group Acoustic NRG, an event-wide exhibit of Trash to Treasure Recycled Art, Trailside’s outreach van with a touch table and giveaways, and an obstacle course from Child’s Play Challenge Courses with “course crusher” challenges for all ages.
New this year, Wild Earth Fest also welcomes an electric vehicle display from the nonprofit organization New Jersey Electrical Vehicle Association. Members of the group will be on site to share their EV experiences and answer any questions.
A rock wall climb, a giant inflatable slide, and an Earth Day Play area with skee-ball, hoops, volleyball and other games made from ordinary recyclable items are among the other activities.
Wild Earth Fest also includes a schedule of special presentations:
- Unique Creatures (11:30 a.m.): Learn about some of the most interesting animals from all over the world and meet live reptiles, mammals, birds and insects up close.
- Kids in Motion (12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.): Join DJ Jo Jo Russell in a fun and active musical adventure.
- Water Magic (1:30 p.m.): Join Science Magician Mr. Fish for “a fun and engaging magic show centered around water and water conservation at 1:30 p.m.
- Skyhunters in Flight (12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.): Meet live birds of prey, learn about the sport of falconry, and see an aw-inspiring flight display courtesy of Falconer Brian Bradley and his amazing birds.
- Trashaganza (2:00 p.m.): Enjoy a performance with musical instruments made from recycled materials, try your hand at making instruments, and join the Trashaganza Musical Parade through Wild Earth Fest. Trashaganze is sponsored by Union County Clean Communities to raise awareness about the importance of Reuse, Recycle, Reduce.
Vendors and exhibitors include the New Jersey Electric Vehicle Association, Toadshade Wildflower Farm, Friends of the Great Swamp, Native Plant Society of NJ, Labo Refillery, Oats & Soaks, Lee’s Bees, Planet B, Union County Master Gardeners, 4-H Master Tree Stewards, the NJ Mycological Society and more.
Green-themed art and gifts will also be available for purchase as well as food and snacks.
For more information about Wild Earth Fest and other upcoming programs and events at Trailside, call 908-789-3670 or visit ucnj.org/trailside.
The Trailside Nature and Science Center is a service of the Union County Board of County Commissioners in the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. For information about all recreation, arts, and cultural programs and activities visit ucnj.org/parks or call 908-527-4900.
For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.
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