Winter Break: Craft, Environmental Classes


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MyVeronaNJ-CraftsIf your winter break plans involve teaching the kids a new craft of two, you might want to plan a trip to the Essex County Environmental Center.

The Center, located in Roseland just off exit 4 on Route 280, is hosting several classes during the week that Our Lady of the Lake school and Verona’s public schools are on vacation. But you’ve got to book and pay for these classes in advance, and, with space limited it’s time to get moving. All but of the classes are held in the first of the center’s two buildings that on Eagle Rock Avenue, and the number to call to register for all classes is 973-228-8776.

First up is “Build a Bird House!” on Saturday, February 13 at 10:30 a.m. This is billed as a family-oriented program to celebrate National Nest Box Week, which encourages people to build a bird house that attracts breeding birds and other wildlife to take residence. The cost for this class is $5 per child, $7 per adult or $9 per family.

Then it’s time for rock–the geologic kind, not the music. The Center’s “Rock-N-Roll Geology Club”, scheduled for Tuesday, February 16 at 4 p.m., is geared for children ages 7 to 12. It let’s them explore local geology and soil, and teaches them how to identify rocks and minerals. The cost is $5 per child, though there may be additional material fees.

Older children may also want to try the Center’s “Creative Papermaking” class, which will teach participants how to make one-of-a-kind sheets of paper. This class will be held on Wednesday, February 17 and the cost is $5, plus a $3 materials fee per child.

The Center switches gears on Thursday, February 18, when it hosts the “4-H Stamp Club”. Designed for children in grades 4 through 7, it will help children understand how to start a stamp collection. The class will be held at 4 p.m. and the number to call for registration is 973-228-3785.

High school environmentalists may be interested in “The Wild Side of the Rahway”, a look at the mid-Jersey river presented by Rahway River Association Executive Director Dennis Miranda. On Thursday, February 18 at 7 p.m., he will talk about the biodiversity of the Rahway River. This program is free and no reservations are required.

Your family can end the week with the Center’s “Hot Chocolate Hike”, which is actually two hikes on Saturday, February 20, one at 10:30 a.m. and the other at 12:30 p.m. You’ll take a walk around the Environmental Center forest, sip hot cocoa and enjoy a winter campfire. Register in advance by calling 973-228-8776, and the cost is $5 per child, $7 per adult or $9 per family.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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