Mother Nature wasn’t going to make it easy to be green on Saturday. But even with rain and wind whipping, hundreds of people decided to get back to nature at Essex County’s Earth Day Celebration.
The Essex County Environmental Center hosted the Planet Earth celebration at its eco-friendly facility in Roseland. While many vendors wrapped themselves in blankets to keep warm, this sixth annual event still managed to provide plenty of opportunities to re-connect with nature through hands-on educational games and activities, canoe trips, bird walks, live nature-themed music, information booths, and an eco-market.
Upon entering the Environmental Center, one was immediately captivated by the art showcased in the NJ Woodturners station. The plates, vases, trains, and toys displayed were created out of fallen tree branches and other scraps of wood.
Meanwhile, a dinosaur exhibit gave children the opportunity to become a paleontologist and discover new hidden bones.
Outside, celebration goers were able to decompress on a relaxing bird walk, discover the Passaic River on a canoe trip, or learn about going "green" through numerous eco-friendly vendors teaching ways to save on energy costs and caring for oneself with natural products.
Throughout the year, the Environmental Center provides a variety of workshops and field trips to promote an environmentally conscience Essex County, said manager Tara Casella.
“The Center promotes zero to low waste living, healthy lifestyles such as organic gardening, no GMO food production, outdoor exploration and play, composting, as well as recycling, and reusing and reducing," she said.
"Those who experience the Center, whether on a simple visit to the building or here for an organized program, walk away learning ways in which to operate more sustainably, as individuals and as collective members of the community,” Casella said. “Through our daily thoughts, actions, and behaviors set in harmony with nature, everyone can make a positive difference and positive impact on the environment.”