CLARK, NJ – Those looking to celebrate Earth Day outdoors can enjoy a variety of events including live animal and recycled art experiences at the Union County Trailside Nature and Science Center this year. 

The Earth Day celebration is scheduled for Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  According to Union County officials the outdoor educational event will provide attendees the opportunity to meet live animals, celebrate wildlife, and embrace environmental conservation.

“Our Earth Day event provides residents and visitors of all ages with an opportunity to celebrate the Earth as a community while enjoying the outdoors with family and friends,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.  

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The Earth Day event will feature three live animal experiences throughout the day. In Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery, visitors will meet live snakes, turtles, and an alligator and learn about the characteristics of these cold-blooded creatures; show times are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

At 12:30 p.m., a presentation with Eyes of the Wild will feature live mammals and birds from around the world and, at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., guided Spring Nature Walks offering attendees the opportunity to listen for the sounds of spring while searching for wildflowers, young leaves, bird nests, and baby animals. 

Pre-registration through the county's Trailside Nature & Science Center is required for these programs and there is a $7 fee per person per program for Union County residents ($8 for non-county residents). 

As part of the Earth Day Everyday event, visitors can also take a self-guided stroll along Union County’s Sensory Friendly Trail and enjoy a Recycled Art Wildlife Walk. Along the way, they will learn about the importance of recycling as they encounter colorful eco-art made from more than 4,000 recycled plastic bottles as part of this free outdoor exhibit. No pre-registration is required for this activity.

Face masks are required and must be worn for all activities and by all participants, and social distancing guidelines must be observed. The Union County Trailside Nature and Science Center is located in the Watchung Reservation, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside. For more information about the special programs offered for Earth Day and upcoming programs for seniors, families and children at Trailside, visit ucnj.org/trailside or call (908) 789-3670.

In-person activities in Union County parks are limited during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with statewide public health guidelines, and Trailside is closed to the public until further notice.

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