The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Community Renewal 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 on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The Wild Earth Fest will run from 11 am – 5 pm, rain or shine. Admission is $3 per person; children 6 years old and younger are free. The first 400 people to be admitted will receive free tree seedlings.
“Wild Earth Fest has such a diverse line-up of programs and activities for all ages,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “There is certainly something to educate and entertain the entire family.”
One of the featured presentations, “Recycling is Magic,” at 1 pm and 3 pm, will have Cyril the Sorcerer take the audience on a magical adventure. Through the combination of storytelling and stage magic, the audience will become aware of the power they have to help the planet by reducing, reusing, refusing and recycling.
Another feature presentation, “Flight of the Raptor,” at 2 pm and 4 pm, will allow raptor expert Jennifer Pena to share her knowledge about birds of prey: their nesting habits, hunting adaptations, flight patterns and more. Visitors will be treated to an up close look at live raptors, which may include a peregrine falcon, screech owl, kestrel or gyrfalcon, followed by an exciting flight demonstration.
Wild Earth Fest will have numerous ongoing demonstrations and activities throughout the day. At 1:30 pm, during “The Way of the Wolf,” Vinnie Reo of Wolf Visions will introduce the audience to a live wolf and dispel the myths and legends of the “Big Bad Wolf” while he explains the importance of this keystone species in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
At 11:30 am and 2:30 pm you can accompany Trailside naturalists on a spring walk in the beautiful Watchung Reservation. Throughout the day, “Up-Cycled Art” will feature Angela Pryor of “Useable Art,” who will give demonstrations on how to recycle and re-purpose commonly discarded items into usable, functioning pieces of art.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Lydia Adams Davis and Kathy Byers, who have produced a CD of Songs of Nature called “One Earth, So Green and Round.” Kathy and Lydia are award-winning recording artists who have pooled their talents to co-write an educational environmental album. The New York Times called Lydia Adams Davis a “Splendid performer” and audiences respond enthusiastically to her energetic, inventive and fun performances. Kathy Byers, who is celebrating over ten years as a children’s artist, has performed throughout the Northeast at a variety of venues, including the International Child Art Foundation, Kidzone TV, and the Children’s Music Hall of Fame.
Wild Earth Fest also will offer ongoing Eco-Art activities, free face painting and Recycling Olympics. Refreshments and wildlife-related art and gifts will be available for sale.
The winners of the Environmental Hero Award and the Wildlife Photography Contest will be honored at 4:45 pm.
For information about Wild Earth Fest on May 6 or any other upcoming programs or events at Trailside, please call 908-789-3670 or visit us online at www.ucnj.org/trailside. Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.