The 19th annual Wildlife Sunday family event will be presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Sunday, April 19th from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. at Trailside Nature & Science Center in Mountainside.
"You will not want to miss this afternoon of fun and learning about wild animals from around the world," said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. "Wildlife Sunday has something for people of all ages who are interested in caring for animals and the environment."
Award-winning author Marty Essen will present his high-energy digital slide show, "Around the World in 90 Minutes," featuring interesting facts, humorous stories, and the best of thousands of photos he took while traveling the world for his book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents. Show times are 12:30 and 3:15 p.m. "Around the World in 90 Minutes" began as a show Marty presented in bookstores as part of his first book tour. Since then, it has become a popular event at colleges, museums, and other venues across the United States. Highlights of his show include: cuddly wallaroos and spiny walking sticks; charging elephants and howling wolves; deadly snakes and friendly penguins; kayaking in the rainforest; hiking with a caribou migration; rafting with humpback whales; and surviving a hippo attack in Zimbabwe.
Also on the schedule for Wildlife Sunday will be Vinnie Reo, of Wolf Visions, who will dispel the myths and legends of the "big, bad wolf" with his illustrated presentation "The Way of the Wolf" at 2:15 p.m. Vinnie will explain the importance of this keystone species in a balanced ecosystem. After the presentation, visit the Wolf Visions display outside to meet a live wolf.
Join Sonya Kaloyanides, of South Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, for "A Day in the Life of a Wildlife Rehabilitator" at 1:15 and 3:30 p.m. Sonya will explain the training required to become a wildlife rehabilitator and the work they do in helping injured and orphaned wildlife. Learn what to do if you encounter an animal in need of help, and why wildlife rehabilitation work should only be done by a licensed rehabilitator. Meet some wildlife babies in Sonya's care.
Budding herpetologists can learn about snakes and turtles native to New Jersey from a Trailside Park Naturalist each hour between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Meet live snakes and turtles from Trailside's reptile collection and have your reptile questions answered.
Families will enjoy a guided nature walk to search for wildflowers, bird nests, baby animals and other signs of spring, or join a member of the Greater Watchung Nature Club on a bird-watching walk. Children's crafts will be available for an additional fee. Free face painting and casting contests with the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club will take place throughout the afternoon. Visitors are encouraged to learn about local conservation efforts at the informational displays of the Sierra Club and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Additionally, Friends of the Great Swamp, the Greater Watchung Nature Club, and the Friends of Lenape Park will provide educational displays. Wildlife-related art and gifts will be on sale.
Admission to Wildlife Sunday is $3 per person; children ages 6 and younger are admitted free.
Trailside Nature & Science Center, located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside, is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. For information on Wildlife Sunday, upcoming events at Trailside or for spring and summer program information, please call (908) 789-3670 or visit us online at www.ucnj.org/trailside