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Wildlife Fact:

The blue whale is the largest animal ever known to live on Earth. They are up to 100 feet long and can weigh 200 tons.

 

WILDCHILD Programs for Urban Youth

The WILDCHILD Programs for Urban Youth utilize children’s innate curiosity about nature to engage them in learning about the natural world through hands-on experiences in the classroom and in the field.


Image of Students from Ann Street School in Newark posing for their "Shell-fie" at Island Beach State Park.Students from Ann Street School in Newark posing for their "Shell-fie" at Island Beach State Park. Lindsay McNamara

There is nothing quite as evocative and inspiring for a child as spending a day at the seashore, feeling the sand under your feet with the tangy fragrances of salt marsh and surf. This connection with nature, and chance to experience the abundant wildlife of Island Beach — from red foxes to horseshoe crabs to black skimmers — can help our next generation of outdoor leaders become engaged with the natural world around us.

Image of WILDCHILD students investigate the marine life caught in their seine net along the shore of Barnegat Bay.Zoom+ WILDCHILD students investigate the marine life caught in their seine net along the shore of Barnegat Bay.

Through CWF’s WILDCHILD program, students spend a day at Island Beach State Park and learn more about nature and human impact on New Jersey’s wildlife and environment. Island Beach State Park interpretive staff lead enlightening programs on the beach, where many students collect shells and walk in the sand for the first time in their lives. Interpretive staff take students seining on Barnegat Bay, where they drag a large seine net out into the bay. Students get to hold mud snails, minnows and hermit crabs, and microorganisms in learning firsthand about the marine life in Barnegat Bay.

The students also go on guided maritime forest hikes, tour Island Beach State Park Nature Center, and connect their everyday actions to the larger environment.

"The visit to Island Beach State Park is a culminating experience for my students. They spend the year researching and learning more about wildlife for the Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest, and then the trip brings it all together. The trip is where they can see the different ecosystems and animals that we have talked about throughout the year," stated Sharon Cardoso, Ann Street School Teacher. "The students look forward to WILDCHILD, it is an incentive for them and they are motivated to keep their grades up so they can attend."

WILDCHILD classroom programs include the use of our wildlife webcams. Field experiences include activities such as fishing, seining, and bird watching. CWF wants to connect all children with the “wilds” of New Jersey regardless of location and socioeconomic status.

Thank you to our sponsor

The program is made possible by generous support from PSEG.

"Through the support of the PSEG Foundation, we work with Conserve Wildlife Foundation to help get kids out into nature to learn about endangered species and that teach them to protect nature and protect the environment," explains Russ Furnari, Manager, Environmental Policy, PSEG.


For more information, contact

Stephanie DAlessio, CWF Director of Education: Email
609.984.0621


Sponsored by:

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Project RedBand!

Image of osprey red band

Ospreys are on the move south. Get out and look for some ospreys wearing red bands!

>> Report a red banded osprey!