The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission will celebrate Earth Day on Thursday, April 22 with a full slate of fun and educational eco-friendly activities for all ages.
The free programming includes nature walks, craft projects, green living workshops, giveaways and more.
All programs will be held at the Meadowlands Environment Center and in surrounding DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, the home of the NJMC.
DeKorte Park, which was once slated to be a landfill, is a one-square mile urban oasis of wetlands, nature trails and water views, all framed by the New York City skyline.
The day begins at 10 a.m. with a 90-minute guided bird walk through DeKorte Park led by the NJMC and the Bergen County Audubon Society. Guides will help visitors look for spring arrivals such as tree swallows and egrets. Download the flier here: Download Earth Day 2010 Flier
Throughout the day the NJMC will also be running a sneaker recycling program. Visitors are encouraged to donate their old sneakers, whose material will be used in the production of new running tracks and playground surfaces. Other Earth Day activities include a native plant walk, crafts using recycled materials and a drawing for tickets to an NJMC guided pontoon boat cruise on the Hackensack River.
The NJMC was created in 1969 – one year before the first Earth Day – with a mandate to preserve the delicate balance of nature in the Meadowlands while cleaning up illegal dumping in the region. The Commission has made great strides through the years in helping to restore the environment and ecosystem of the Meadowlands.
The District is home to thousands of acres of parkland and protected wetlands, and several studies by the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute – the scientific arm of the NJMC – have shown that the Hackensack River is getting cleaner, which in turn has attracted increasing numbers of fish, birds and other wildlife to the area.