Environmental Center

Essex County Environmental Commission
The Essex County Environmental Commission will provide advice, outreach and education to the office of the Essex County Executive, Board of Commissioners and the municipal Environmental Commissions in order to protect, restore and renew Essex County's natural resources and to increase environmental awareness, ensuring that all Essex County citizens can enjoy a healthy environment and an enhanced quality of life within a sustainable regional community.
Tara M Casella, Essex County Liaison/Environmental Coordinator  tcasella@parks.essexcountynj.org  
William Barnes, Member
Jennifer Duckworth, Member
Sheila Baker Gujral, Co-Chair
Ann Farr Marchioni, Co-Chair
Joseph P. McCartney, Member
Gray Russell, Member
Karina Vera Rosa Schafer, Member
Patricia Sebold, Essex County Commissioner Liaison
Dawn Spango, Essex County Commissioner Alternate for Patricia Sebold
Thank you for your interest in the Essex County Environmental Commission. Meetings are held virtually at the link below at 6pm on the 1st Monday of the month unless that Monday falls on a County holiday, in which case it will be the following Monday (2nd Monday of the month). There will be no August meeting. Thank you for your interest in the Essex County Environmental Commission.

The Essex County Environmental Commission meets on the first Monday of every month at 6pm via Zoom (unless otherwise noted).  Meeting dates are as follows: 

*No meetings will be held during the months of June, July, August and December


Topic: Essex County Environmental Commission

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Monthly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZUlde2grTsqGdZ7vrJR25f17lcun3LbeaMi/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGppjkuEteVsBqFRpwcGojoLPzztmJfjadnywn3KRIBNwWnYe5BJ7wsPNrV 

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 818 2483 0032        Passcode: 266314

+13017158592,,81824830032# US (Washington DC)

+13052241968,,81824830032# US

Essex County Beekeepers Society, Inc.

The purpose of our Society is to (1) foster and promote the art of apiculture in New Jersey, (2) to educate residents of the Garden State about the state insect, the honey bee, and its vital role in agriculture, (3) to produce bees and honey and related products, and (4) to simply share and enjoy our fabulous and fun-filled pursuit of raising and caring for honey bees.

Its members, beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike, work, cooperate and support each other in promoting beekeeping and related activities. Our members mentor new beekeepers, hold periodic social and business meetings to share experiences and ideas, and provide educational opportunities for schools and the public at large.


Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex County— including the Rutgers Master Gardener and 4H Youth Development programs

Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension helps the diverse population of New Jersey adapt to a rapidly changing society and improve their lives and communities through an educational process that uses science based knowledge. Through science-based educational programs, Rutgers Cooperative Extension truly enhances the quality of life for residents of New Jersey and brings the wealth of knowledge of the state university to local communities.

Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension of Essex County:

  • Provides educational programs to homemakers, home owners, agribusiness people, and youth.
  • Is professionally staffed by Rutgers University faculty and support personnel.
  • Uses the research and expertise of Rutgers University and other land-grant colleges to solve local challenges.
  • Is guided by local advisory groups in identifying and meeting the needs of Essex County residents.
  • Is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the Essex County Executive and Board of Freeholders.
  • Is available to any county resident without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.
  • 4-H programs and projects depend on the skills and interests of volunteer leaders. If you are an adult, and would like to start a new club, contact the 4-H office at 973-353-1338, ext 109.
Rutgers Master Gardener Program

     Master Gardener Volunteer Application (203k PDF)

The New Jersey Master Gardener Program, founded in 1972, now serves as volunteer arm of the University Extension programs in more than 40 states. Master Gardeners are required to pursue a year of intensive study of botany, entomology, plant diseases, landscaping and environmentally sound methods of horticulture.

Following state certification, master gardeners perform community service. Programs include a helpline for gardeners, lectures for community groups, and advice and assistance to schools, to bring an understanding of the interrelationships of nature to our lives.

Master Gardeners use their skills in a variety of areas, including: Gardening demonstrations, Telephone Helpline and Plant Clinics, Horticultural therapy, Information booths at county fairs and other public events, Research assistance at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Harvesting and packing food for the hungry

Master Gardeners receive in-depth, hands-on training in horticulture from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey faculty and professional staff.

Some basic topics include plant biology, propagation, soil science, and disease and pest control. There is a fee to cover material and program costs. (Scholarships are available.)

In exchange for the training, Master Gardeners agree to volunteer a certain number of hours, working in their community in programs sponsored by the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). Successful graduates of the training become Certified Master Gardeners after they complete their volunteer service.

For More Information:

Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Cooperative Extension of Essex County
Master Gardener Program
621a Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ 07068
Essex County Master Gardener Helpline: 973-228-2210

4-H Youth Development Program

4-H is the youth development component of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 4-H uses a learn-by-doing approach to enable youth to become competent, caring citizens of the world. Dedicated adult volunteers provide leadership to 4-H clubs and activities.

Essex County 4-H staff and volunteers work together to develop programs which will provide youngsters with opportunities for new experiences and a broader view of life. Under the guidance of caring adult and teen leaders, youth in grades K-13 develop characteristics of leadership and citizenship, improve their skills, become more aware of others and the environment in which they live, and help others through community service. 4-H works with all youth on a grade-appropriate basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Marissa Staffen (she/her) essex4h@njaes.rutgers.edu 

NJ Audubon

The New Jersey Audubon Society is a privately supported, not-for profit, statewide membership organization. Founded in 1897, and one of the oldest independent Audubon societies, New Jersey Audubon has no connection with the National Audubon Society.

New Jersey Audubon fosters environmental awareness and a conservation ethic among New Jersey's citizens; protects New Jersey's birds, mammals, other animals, and plants, especially endangered and threatened species; and promotes preservation of New Jersey's valuable natural habitats.

New Jersey Audubon Society Headquarters
9 Hardscrabble Road
Bernardsville, New Jersey 07924
(908) 204-8998
E-mail: hq@njaudubon.org 


NJ Woodturners

The New Jersey Wood turners club was started in 1988 with 20 members and has steadily grown to its current membership of over 70 turners. Our members come from many locations in New Jersey e.g. Annandale, Basking Ridge, Belle Mead, Bridgewater, Carteret, Chatham, Chester, Clark, Colonia, Cranbury, East Brunswick, Edison, Fanwood, Franklin Park, Green Brook, Little York, Mendham, Milburn, Mountainside, Neshanic, North Brunswick, Old Bridge, Roselle, Scotch Plains, South Orange, Somerset, South Plainfield, South River, Staten Island, Springfield, Tinton Falls, Westfield, Whitehouse and Sellersvile in Pennsylvania.

The monthly meetings are held at the Essex County Environmental Center and are well attended and feature a wide selection of topics from demonstrations, to auctions, to show and tell. These meetings are a great place for both novice and experienced turners to learn and share experiences.

The club also participates in a number of community activities and exhibitions.

There is a monthly news letter which keep members up to date on activities and events.

Membership Benefits:

Turnathons – hands-on instruction at meetings
Mentoring – personalized instruction
Use of specialized woodworking equipment
Earth Day – participation in ECEC annual festival
Library – hundreds of books, tapes and videos
Discounted Supplies – sandpaper, laminated wood, Anchorseal
Free Logs – from time to time
Woodworking Shows – participation in show and tell