Wonders of the Wild: Science and Nature at the Zoo

Wonders of the Wild!

Turtle Back Zoo is an amazing classroom! Our Wonders of the Wild program offers students an opportunity to participate in supplementary science and nature-themed programs and projects that facilitate scientific literacy and life-long environmental stewardship.  That’s not all!  We are excited to introduce our partnership with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, a wonderful global conservation organization that will participate in our programs every week, providing insight into their many conservation projects via live stream and in-person presentations.

Available to students ages 6-12. The program includes a visit into the Zoo or South Mountain Reservation as weather permits.  November programs are postponed until December.  In December, each session will be held on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 1pm to 4pm; choose either a Wednesday or Saturday to attend.  This is an in-person, drop-off program.  Face coverings are mandatory.

Fall 2020 Dates and Themes

Session 1, 9/22, 9/23, 9/24: NJ Native Animals
Session 2, 9/29, 9/30, 10/1: Look to the Sky (all about birds)
Session 3, 10/6, 10/7, 10/8: Bugs, Bugs, and More Bugs
Session 4, 10/13, 10/14, 10/15: Plants and You
Session 5, 10/20, 10/21, 10/22: Invasion! (invasive species)
Session 6, Postponed, Dates TBD: Florida
Session 7, Postponed, Dates TBD: Endangered Species
Session 8, Postponed, Dates TBD: Summer vs Winter
Session 9, Postponed, Dates TBD: Native Cultures of NJ

The curriculum is repeated throughout the week; choose 1 class to attend per session.

Ages 6-12:  Wednesdays and Saturdays, postponed until December


Drop-off your student as early as 10 minutes before the program.  No late admissions after 30 minutes.  The fee is $30/person.


About the Program:  This is an in-person, drop-off program.   Participants should be dressed to be comfortable outside.    Appropriately fitted face coverings are mandatory for participation at all times (in accordance with Essex County Health Department guidelines).


Who Should Come:  Students ages 6-12 who are passionate about science and nature

How to Prepare

  • Wear comfortable clothes that will keep your student warm and dry while outside
  • Reusable water bottle

What Not to Bring

  • Electronic devices you might get glued to (phones are ok if you’re just taking pictures)
  • Grumpy attitude!

Program Details
Drop-off is at the Berson Education Center no earlier than 10 minutes before, but no later than 30 minutes after the beginning of the program (we may be leaving the building after that). Pick-up time is after the program; late pick-ups will incur a fee of $10 for every 15 minutes late.  Please make sure that your child has a refillable water bottle and is comfortably dressed to spend time outside. We will go outside, rain or shine or snow, unless there is thunder or lightning.  Thunder or lightning will cancel the program.

Cancellations with refunds may be made up to 7 days before the originally scheduled date and time; no refunds will be offered less than 7 days before the originally scheduled tour date and time. Cancelation requests may be made by phone at 973-731-5800 ext. 103 or email:  mhunt@parks.essexcountynj.org.

  • Date September 3, 2020
  • Tags Conservation, Education, Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Science

Turtle Back Zoo

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