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Liberty State Park: Education

Environmental Education Programs at the Interpretive Center

Historical Education Programs at the CRRNJ Terminal

How our Programs Correlate with NJ's Core Curriculum Content Standards

How to Book Your Program

Liberty State Park Interpretive Center Public Programs

  • Visit the NJ's Division of Parks & Forestry's Calendar of Events to see what else is going on at Liberty State Park and the rest of New Jersey's Parks, Forests and Historic Sites.

Liberty State Park Interpretive Center Professional Development Workshops for Educators

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The Interpretive Center at Liberty State Park is an environmental and Liberty State Park Interpretive Center  with New York City in the backgroundhistorical education facility located on Freedom Way. Open year round the center features exhibits focusing on the natural history and ecology of the Hudson River Estuary and offers programs for school and community groups and the general public. The center also offers a variety of Professional Development Workshops for formal and non-formal educators.

Find out about events and happenings at the park by downloading the latest edition of The Green Oasis - the official Liberty State Park newsletter.

The Nature Interpretive Center is closed to the public due to storm damage.

Environmental Education Programs at the Interpretive Center


Tiny Trails
Grades: PreK - 3
Time: 1-1½ Hours (Program is seasonally dependent)
Sometimes we don’t see the amazing variety of life right beneath our feet!  A discussion about some of nature’s forgotten or misunderstood creatures will be followed by a walk to look for some common garden insects.


Save a Place for Wildlife
Please specify option A or B when registering.
Grades: PreK - 6
Time: 1-1 ½  Hours
A program designed to enhance the understanding of “habitat” and the importance of having a suitable variety of habitats required to sustain wildlife. Upland and lowland habitats of Liberty State Park will be explored.
OPTION A*:  Includes an interpretive walk and scavenger hunt on our beach habitat.
OPTION B: Includes an interpretive walk and scavenger hunt on our nature path.


Tree-mendous Trees!
Grades: PreK - Adult
Time: 1-1 ½  Hours
Students will participate in a variety of fun, hands-on activities from the highly acclaimed curriculum guide; Project Learning Tree.  Topics will include tree structure, growth patterns, survival needs and uses.  The significance of trees in human history and culture will also be examined.


Pond Study
Grades: K-Adult 
Time: 1-1½  Hours (Program is seasonally dependent)
(Program is seasonally dependent)
Students will explore a pond community.  We will use dip nets and field guides to identify the variety of life in the pond.  Old sneakers should be worn as students may get their feet wet.


Low Tide Beach Walk

Grades: K-Adult 
Time: 1-1½  Hours (Program is tide dependent)
Students will explore the shoreline at low tide.  We will walk along the shore to discover the variety of life found at the water’s edge.  Old sneakers should be worn as students may get their feet wet.


Earthcache Discovery Trail

Grades: 3-Adult
Time: 2 Hours
Using handheld GPS (global positioning system) units we will go on a virtual treasure hunt to discover the richness of the harbor estuary. Through the use of this technology students will discover the estuary’s immense resources, how it was shaped, how we manage the resource and how it directly affects our quality of life.

Birds and Habitats
Grades: 3 - Adult
Time: 1-1 ½ Hours
We will begin with a discussion about how to identify birds and proper binocular use. Then we will go on a walk bird watching and explore various habitats of the park.



Estuary Explorers*
Grades: 4 - Adult
Time: 2 Hours (Program is seasonally and tide dependent)
A hands-on exploration of life in and around the Upper New York Bay.  Students will seine in the river for fish and shrimp and/or comb the beach for shells and other treasures.  Wetlands values, biological and economic, will be discussed.
* Your vehicle is required to transport students to and from the study site.  A charter bus may require additional walking. Your vehicle MUST stay with your group for the duration of the program.


Young Scientists Urban Estuary Program
Grades: 5 -Adult
Time: 2 Hours (Program is seasonally and tide dependent)
Similar to “Estuary Explorers” with water quality sampling experiments, testing a variety of parameters, including pH, Salinity, and Dissolved Oxygen. Your vehicle is required to transport students to and from the study site.  A charter bus may require additional walking. Your vehicle MUST stay with your group for the duration of the program.

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Historical Education Programs at the CRRNJ Terminal

Dreams of Distant Shores
Grades: 4 - Adult
Time: 1 1/2 Hours

This presentation concentrates on the historical significance of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the CRRNJ Terminal and the role they played in America’s immigration history. Interactive activities help students explore reasons for the huge influx of immigrants in the early 20th century.

The Historic CRRNJ Terminal
Grades: 4 - Adult
Time: 1 - 2 Hours

This program is designed to illustrate the role of the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) Terminal complex in the history of New York Harbor. Highlighted is the importance of transportation and the role of the terminal in the immigrant’s journey to a new life. This program can include a walking tour of the
building.

New Jersey’s Early Inhabitants
Grades: 4 - Adult
Time: 1 - 2 Hours

This program concentrates on the Native American group that was one of the earliest residents of the Garden State: the Lenape Indians. An interactive slide presentation depicts the early residents’ dependency on the natural resources around them for their survival. Storytelling, myths and a Native American hands-on activity are included.

CRRNJ Terminal Architecture: Forms and Functions
Grades: 4 - 8
Time: 1 1/2 Hours

An educational program created to foster an appreciation and awareness of the variety of architectural features found throughout the CRRNJ Terminal. Accompanied by a historic interpreter, students will roam the grounds of the historic railroad terminal with activity worksheets observing how the terminal’s designers manipulated space, light and color in forming this impressive structure.

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How To Book Your Program
Reservations

To schedule an education program, please call the Nature Interpretive Center at (201) 915-3400 x203 or email LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov. If our calendar permits, we will tentatively hold a date for you. We will forward a reservation form for you to complete and return. Your program will not be confirmed until we receive your completed reservation form. We will then send you a confirmation letter and directions to the park.


Logistics & Notes
- Programs can be scheduled for morning or afternoon.
- The length of the program is flexible, depending on your needs.
- Programs are available to groups of ten or more.
- Maximum group size is dependent on staff availability.
- All programs MUST be reserved in advance.
- There is NO FEE for any of these programs.
- For programs marked *, your bus is required to stay with your group for the entire length of the program.
- The environmental education programs are taught wholly or partially outdoors regardless of weather. (Please have all participants come prepared!)

Outreach Programs (We come to your school)
Outreach Programs are offered from December through March to schools within our region. For a complete listing of outreach programs, please call the Nature Interpretive Center at 201-915-3400 x203 or email LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov.”



Teachers: Include us in your PIPs
We are registered as a Professional Development provider with the NJ Department of Education. Please call us for a list of Professional Development Opportunities.

Our goal is to provide quality education programs which improve environmental and cultural literacy. We encourage critical-thinking, problem-solving, and cooperative learning. Our lessons and education resources are easily integrated into your curriculum. All programs have been correlated to NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards.

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Interpretive Center Public Programs:

Spring and Summer Nature Interpretive Programs

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Interpretive Center Professional Development Workshops for Educators

Liberty State Park Interpretive Center is committed to providing professional development opportunities for teachers, educators and other youth leaders. The following environmental education workshops are offered on a regular basis at the Interpretive Center. We also offer these workshops by request to schools, teacher colleges and other organizations as pre- or in-service programs. If you would like more information about professional development workshops, please call us at (201) 915-3400 x203, or email us at LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov.


Project Learning Tree (PLT)
Grades: K- 12
PLT is an award-winning environmental education activity guide with over 100 lesson plans for preschool through 12th grade students. PLT uses the forest as a "window on the world" to increase students' understanding of our complex environment; to stimulate critical and creative thinking; to develop the ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues; and to instill the confidence and commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment. PLT is designed to work in rural, suburban, and urban area, whether there is a forest or just a single tree.

Project WILD & Aquatic WILD
Grades: K - 12
The goals of Project WILD & Aquatic WILD are to assist learners of any age in developing awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment that will result in informed decisions, responsible behavior and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment. These programs are based on the premise that students and teachers have a vital interest in learning about the earth as home for people and wildlife. Wildlife is emphasized because of its intrinsic, ecological and other values. Project WILD can help prepare young people for decisions affecting humans, wildlife and the environment. WILD and Aquatic WILD are considered separate programs and each require a 6 hour workshop.

WILD School Sites
Grades: K - 12
In 1994 -95, NJ Project WILD began to expand its programs to include an "action piece" entitled WILD School Sites. WILD School Sites promotes the development of outdoor learning centers, built by students and teachers, to be incorporated into a variety of curricular areas. This is an opportunity for teachers and students to work with their community to improve wildlife habitat on their school grounds.

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers)
Grades: K - 12
The Project WET activity guide is packed full of lessons and activities that engage students in learning about water and the importance of water resources. The goal of Project WET is to facilitate and promote the awareness, appreciation, knowledge and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of classroom-ready teaching aids.

Wonders of Wetlands! (WOW!)
Grades: K - 12
The ultimate wetlands teaching guide! The first part of this guide is filled with background information on wetlands, including definitions, values, wildlife habitats, etc. It's an essential and invaluable resource for an educator preparing to teach about wetlands. The rest of the guide is brimming with fantastic, classroom-tested wetland activities, incorporating Science, Social Studies, Arts, Political Science, and more...

Bridges to the Natural World
Grades: Pre K - 6
The New Jersey Audubon Society developed Bridges to the Natural World to assist teachers in leading students to a better understanding of their local natural environment. Activities are designed to facilitate the transition from classroom or indoor teaching to an outdoor learning experience. The concepts and skills from each activity are cross-referenced to the grade level concepts and skills recommended in the Elementary Science Curriculum Guide, published by the NJ Department of Education.

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Questions regarding our parks and forests can be directed to
Michele Buckley of the State Park Service.

 

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Last Updated: April 25, 2017

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