Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Essex County Environmental Center

The Essex County Environmental Center is a facility of the Essex County Park System. It is located in West Essex Park which stretches along six miles of the Passaic River starting at Bloomfield Avenue in Fairfield and ending just beyond South Orange Avenue in Livingston.

The immediate grounds of the Essex County Environmental Center include approximately one mile of trails in a wooded wetland habitat with access to the Upper Passaic River.

Also on site are the newly renovated Garibaldi Hall, fishing and boating areas, a greenhouse and gardens, a raised boardwalk, and picnic areas.

The former Park Commission first began acquiring land for West Essex Park in 1955. Money to purchase the first piece of property came in part from the sale of Oraton Parkway to the New Jersey Highway Authority.

Over subsequent years, other land was purchased from more than 70 individual landowners.

The Center for Environmental Studies
was established in 1972 and functioned for over 23 years as a place to educate students about the environment. It was officially closed in 1995 due to lack of funding but organizations such as Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the 4-H, and Master Gardeners continued providing services and programs at the site on a limited basis to meet the needs of the community.

Essex County Environmental Center was dedicated and opened in May 2005. This state-of-the-art facility was constructed as an environmentally sensitive building using natural and recycled materials, innovative energy saving technologies, and topped by a "green roof" for the purpose of storm-water management. It also houses a large public meeting room, interactive exhibits, a wet lab, and a library.

New Jersey Audubon and the County of Essex have entered into an educational programming partnership at the Essex County Environmental Center. NJAS provides Outreach Programs for all ages and groups, Birding Field Trips in Essex County,Saturday Family Programs and Summer Nature Day Camp.

Center hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. / Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. / Closed Sundays
Trails: Open dawn to dusk seven days a week.
Check website for holiday closings.

Environmental Center
621 B Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ 07068
Phone: 973.228.8776