SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ –  The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County at the EARTH Center will be offering classes as part of the Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program.  The 2019 course begins on January 23 and meets every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through June 2019. Classes will take place at the EARTH Center, in Davidson's Mill Pond Park at 42 Riva Ave, South Brunswick.

The Environmental Steward program is designed to explain and analyze the environmental issues affecting New Jersey. Training sessions are taught by experts from Rutgers University, and non-profit and government organizations. To become a certified Rutgers Environmental Steward, graduates of the class portion of the program must then complete a 60-hour volunteer internship on any topic of their choice. Internships are unique and intended to align with the interests of the individual, the needs of the program, and the community.

Class topics include climate change, soil health, energy conservation, water resource protection, invasive species, wildlife management, habitat conservation, protecting pollinators, environmental policy, and more. Field trips to environmentally significant sites around the state are included as part of the program.

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Examples of volunteer projects include:

Mapping and eradicating invasive species in local parks

Engaging policy makers on reducing plastic waste

Restoring native dune vegetation in shore communities

Assisting restaurants in composting food waste

Building green infrastructure like rain gardens or rain barrels

Protecting and creating habitat for threatened and endangered species

Registration, payment and program details for individuals or municipalities are available at with a registration deadline on January 18th. The program and materials fee for the course is $250.