TRENTON -  It's a golden celebration that has been more than two years in the making, after the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on plans.

But now, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is ready to celebrate its grand 50+2 anniversary and Earth Week with a family friendly party and activities on Saturday, April 23 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

Activities will include numerous demonstrations for children and adults on tops ranging from centuries-old fossils to electric vehicles, wildfire prevention, police dogs, a mobile aquarium, fun science demos and learning about the many ecological aspects of the state's diverse environment, according to Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.

"There is much to celebrate about our environment every day, but especially during Earth Week," LaTourette said.

The DEP was established on Earth Day 52 years ago, one of the first such state agencies of its kind in the U.S.

Children will be able to visit a wildlife conservation trailer and mobile aquarium of freshwater fish. They will also be able to dig for fossils and learn about sands from around the world.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service, Smokey Bear and State Park Police will demonstrate how they help keep forests and other parts of the environment clean and safe.

AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors will be on hand to explain why tiny organisms are indicative of clean water.

Inflatable slides, obstacle courses, arts and crafts, face painting and more will round out the fun.

Other exhibitors on site will offer a variety of activities, prizes and giveaways, including reusable straws, reusable bags and tree seedlings.

Admission is free to the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both near and inside the Central Jersey Railroad Terminal building.

Parking will be available in the lot next to the terminal.

For more information about Earth Week and Earth Day in New Jersey, as well as the DEP's 50+2 anniversary, visit https://nj.gov/dep/52earthday/.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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