​​NOTES ABOUT THE EVENT


Do I need to register?

No registration is required to attend the event or participate in any of the programs or activities. However, space is limited for the scheduled events (see above), so plan to arrive early.


Where should I park?

Free parking is available in the gravel lot on Snake Den Road, near the outer gate to our Center (you'll see our sign and an info kiosk). If that lot is full, drive through the gate and follow the driveway, where signs will direct you to additional parking areas. 


Are there restrooms onsite?

Yes! We have multiple restrooms in the lower level of our main building, and an accessible restroom on the main level.


Should I bring money?

Although the event and all activities are free, The New Weis Center and some of our community partners will have products or fundraising items for sale. If you would like to purchase something or make a donation, please bring CASH or a check (no credit cards). The New Weis Center also accepts Venmo. The New Weis Center's fundraising items include water bottles, mugs, t-shirts, cookbooks, local organic maple syrup!


How can I support The New Weis Center and the participating nonprofit organizations?

We encourage visitors to support The New Weis Center by becoming a member, making a one-time donation, volunteering, and purchasing our fundraising items (water bottles, mugs, t-shirts, cookbooks, local organic maple syrup). Many of the participating community partners are also nonprofit organizations who appreciate donations and volunteers as well. 


Will there be food or refreshments?

We will have water and possibly some light refreshments, and you are welcome to bring a snack or lunch and picnic on our field or in the covered pavilion. Please be sure to properly dispose of your trash or recycling in the bins provided, or take it with you. Reusable water bottles are encouraged!


Is there anything else to see or do while I'm there?

Yes. Our Trustees and staff would love to give you a tour of our historic property and buildings, which date back to the 1860's! We also have a small history room in the main building with lots of old photos, documents and artifacts. Hiking is also available in the adjacent Norvin Green State Forest.


Can I bring my dog?

Yes. We are making a special exception to the 'no dogs' policy for this event. If you are bringing a dog, they must be on a leash and under control at all times, and be sure to bring a disposal bag to pick up any waste. 

The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation  |  150 Snake Den Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456  |  973-835-2160

Owned and operated by the Highlands Nature Friends, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

​​​No Registration Required

​​​Saturday, April 20, 11:00am-3:00pm

Raindate: Sunday, April 21, 11:00am-3:00pm

​​FREE!

All Ages Welcome

​VOLUNTEER FOR GARDENS & GROUNDS PROJECTS!

Grab your family, friends, group or troop and stop by to help with some gardens and grounds cleanup around the property, including:

  • Remove invasive plants, clear and woodchip pathways, litter abatement
  • ​Prepare the pollinator garden & raingarden for spring programs

Please bring a pair of work gloves and a rake if you have them. While your are here, be sure to check out our other Earth Day activities!

PICTURES FROM LAST YEAR'S EVENT

​2024  EARTH DAY CELEBRATION!

​ONGOING THROUGHOUT THE EVENT

Join us in the picnic grove and field for some nature-focused fun!

Visit our awesome community partner tables!


Nature Crafts, Games & Activities

  • Create sustainable nature art and try an Earth Day "Dig"
  • ​Make your own herbal teabag
  • Follow a springtime scavenger hunt
  • Play a game of ping-pong or cornhole

​​​​SCHEDULED PROGRAMS (Tentative)

Group size is limited, so please plan to arrive a few minutes before the scheduled program time.

Programs are approximately 50-55 minutes.


11:00: Forest Bathing(13 to adult)
The practice of forest bathing means to immerse oneself in the forest and soak in the atmosphere through the senses. Today's walk at an easy pace will focus on connecting to nature through mindfulness, as we explore our senses and the present moment through short, guided, meditations in the forest. Come explore a new way of walking through the forest! 
Led by New Weis Center Lead Educator Lauren Lynch.


11:30: Moss: An Ant's Eye View (ALL ages)

We summit mountains, fly airplanes, and climb to vistas to get a birds eye view, but it takes only a moment to kneel down to experience an equally spectacular perspective: that of a humble ant. Join us on an easy hike as we explore the world of the smallest and oldest land plants, the mosses, to see a world you may have never noticed before. Along the way, we'll talk about the life cycle, evolutionary history, and unique adaptations that make mosses so mighty - despite being so small. Led by special guest (and former New Weis Center Lead Educator) Sarah Crosby.


12:00: Sit Spot & Nature Journaling(6 to adult)

Let's slow down, reflect and appreciate the sensory rich environment of nature. We'll start with a gentle walk and and a well-loved and time honored sit spot activity. We'll listen for birdsong, observe trees swaying in the breeze and connect with the natural world through written reflections. Led by New Weis Center Educator Olivia Trezza.


12:30-1:30: Macroinvertebrates & the Watershed(6 to adult)
Join us for a fun short hike as we explore the Blue Mine Brook that runs through our property, search for macroinvertebrates, and learn how they can indicate the health of the watershed. Wear rainboots if you want to go in the stream and help collect the specimens. Led by New Weis Center Educator (and 2022-2023 AmeriCorps Northern NJ Source Water Protection Ambassador) Laney Darmiento.


1:00-2:00: Geology Hike(ALL ages)

We will look for geologic clues to piece together a picture of the forces that shaped this land, examine the minerals that make it up, and learn about the unique geologic history both across New Jersey and right here at Weis! Led by New Weis Center Educator Peter Lundell.

1:30-2:00: Tree Walk (ALL ages)
Join us as for a short, easy paced tree walk on our private interpretive trail, which was created by two of our former interns. We will observe and learn about 17 different species, all but one are native to the area! Led by New Weis Center Educator Olivia Trezza and Trustee Karin Ahmed.


2:00: Medicinal Invasive Plant Walk (6 to adult)
Most of us have heard the term "invasive species", and how they have a negative impact on our native ecosystems. But did you know that many of these plants are full of beneficial vitamins, nutrients, and medicine? Join us for a walk through the forest as we learn about invasives from a new perspective! We will focus on how to identify 3 of the more prevalent species, medicinal qualities that each offers, and ways to begin working with them yourself in a beautiful, sustainable way. Led by New Weis Center Lead Educator Lauren Lynch.



ONGOING THROUGHOUT THE EVENT


Community Partner Tables

Stop by and visit these terrific organizations and learn about their work


Bergen Community College - Bergen Bulldogs Outdoors Club
The Outdoors Club is a student-led organization dedicated to promoting environmental awareness & sustainability within the school community & beyond. They are committed to increasing access to the outdoors by encouraging outdoor education, stewardship, and equity. Members typically engage in various activities, such as organizing clean-up efforts, implementing recycling programs, advocating for eco-friendly practices, & raising awareness about pressing environmental issues. We also plan educational events, host guest speakers, & participate in community service projects aimed at preserving & protecting the environment. By fostering a sense of environmental stewardship among students, the club plays a vital role in instilling values of conservation & sustainability for a greener future.


Chrysler Herbarium

The Chrysler Herbarium (CHRB) is the last internationally recognized herbarium still in existence in the state of New Jersey, containing a worldwide collection of over 150,000 specimens. The herbarium is the dedicated depository for scientific plant specimens from plant-based pharmaceutical, environmental, and agricultural research at Rutgers University. The Chrysler Herbarium also regularly hosts research visits and provides data to researchers working on topics from plant taxonomy to invasive species, medicinal plants, and local floristics. Please stop by their table to learn the art, history, and science behind plant pressing!

Learn more

Highlands Natural Pool

The pool is adjacent to The New Weis Center, and is open to the general public for swimming, picnics, hiking, and recreation. Listed as one of "The 21 Places in New Jersey You Need to Visit", and named the best swimming hole in NJ, this Olympic-sized, stream-fed, chemical-free swimming pool is located in a scenic wooded setting adjacent to The New Weis Center and Norvin Green State Forest. Stop by to meet the Trustees, who will be happy to give you a tour!

Learn more


Little Monsters Universe

Little Monsters Universe provides science lessons for parents and teachers, offering hands-on activities and immersive learning experiences for curious young minds. They offer an array of educational resources, including tailored science units for students from PreK - 2nd grade, engaging mini-modules, and comprehensive homeschool science curricula, as well as custom courses and virtual classes. Be sure to stop by their table with your kids where they can unleash their creativity at an engineering challenge, using building materials to construct their own planet Earth. They'll also connect with nature at our nature journaling station, zooming in to admire the beauty of natural items and capturing their wonders through art.

Learn more


NJ Search and Rescue

NJSAR provides highly trained volunteer search personnel throughout NJ, NY, PA and beyond, 24/7/365. They offer incident management, mountain rescue, medical, and ground search and rescue services. They manage all types of missing persons cases in wilderness, rural, suburban and urban environments. Member Mark Mielke will be onsite to discuss and demonstrate important tips for staying safe in the forest during your outdoor adventures.

Learn more


Passaic County Parks and Recreation

The Passaic County Department of Parks & Recreation manages one of the largest county park systems in the state of New Jersey, encompassing 16,000 acres of public land. They engage with their communities and promote the use of public spaces by offering a wide variety of fun and educational outdoor public programs, including guided naturalist hikes, hiking safety courses, outdoor movie nights, fireside concerts, and more!
In addition to flyers and hand-outs showcasing their upcoming programs and reservable spaces, their table will include animal skulls, a complex ecosystem diorama, and other visual aids to foster curiosity and inspire conversations for informal environmental education. Junior Ranger activity booklets will be available for children ages 5-12.

Learn more


Passaic River Coalition
The Passaic River Coalition will be on hand to share their past, present and future endeavors within the 800 square miles of the Passaic River watershed. Their volunteer-based environmental nonprofit aims to improve our water quality; protect our water supplies; promote river restoration; reduce flood damages; and educate the public about our waters and the environmental, cultural and historical nature of our natural landscapes and rivers. They also oversee open space land trusts that require stewardship.
Learn more


Ringwood Public Library
Stop by the RPL table to learn about the library’s varied services and explore the hands-on science learning kits that can be borrowed. These kits include the Birding Backpack, Rocks and Minerals collection, Fossil collection, Testing the Waters kit, and Light in the Night kit. Information about our Summer Reading Program and its related STEM Camp, All Together Now: Planet Earth, will be available. Finally, there will be lists of books about Earth Day and conservation to borrow from the library. No library card? We’ll help you sign up for one!
Learn more


Prime Fungi
Prime Fungi i​is a pioneering leader in the field of mycology, dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of an impressive collection of over 180 mushroom species. They offer an extensive array of products and experiences, including high-quality mushroom cultures, user-friendly growing kits, and engaging mushroom foraging excursions. Join founder, Eric Huntington as he shares his passion for mycology and environmental stewardship.

Learn more

Sustainable Ringwood Green Team

Stop by their table to learn how they are making a difference in the community. Test your knowledge on how long everyday items take to decompose, learn about do's and don'ts for recycling and composting, and make a sustainable craft! The Green Team will also have plain tote bags and fabric markers so you can decorate your own bag and take it with you to use when you shop.

Learn more


Tenafly Nature Center
Tenafly Nature Center is a non-profit, independent, member-supported nature preserve in Bergen County, New Jersey. Since 1961, TNC has nurtured an appreciation for nature and been a leader in open-space preservation and environmental education for the community and beyond.

Learn more


TrailBound Project

​The vision of TBP is to inspire and help those who wish to experience the wilderness safely by teaching them the necessary skills through our courses & challenges, resulting in a fun and memorable experience.

Learn more


Wholesome Hearts

Wholesome Hearts Nature Program was established by founder Andrea LaRegina, and is designed to encompass the fundamentals of early learning in an exceptionally fun and developmentally appropriate way for children ages 3-6. Andrea takes great joy in bringing learning to life, using nature, art and children's books as her guide. One of her favorite sayings is: "they say the mud will wash off, but the memories will last a lifetime." Andrea has developed interactive, seasonal lesson plans with the intent to do just that; have fun, get muddy and make meaningful connections to last a lifetime! Be sure to bring the kids by her table in the picnic grove to discover what "does" and "doesn't" belong in nature with a fun, interactive Earth Day Dig! Kids can also explore the natural pigments found on Earth and make an "Earth Day" bookmark using difference shades, colors and techniques.

Learn more


Winding Waters Earth Skills

Primitive skills give us a strong sense of self-reliance, perseverance, and confidence that is unrivaled in today’s world. Founder and area expert Joe Blevis will be onsite to explain and demo some of the primitive wilderness skills that he teaches in his classes, which include shelter building, fire making, water collection and treatment, foraging, tracking, toolmaking, emergency preparedness, and much more. The New Weis Center is pleased to be a host site for many of Joe's terrific classes.

Learn more