HOWELL, NJ —  Calling all budding naturalists and their parents!  The Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Georgia Tavern Road, Howell, is filling the dark, cold days of winter with exciting nature programs for children. 

The fun starts with Animal Valentines on Friday, February 3 from 10:30-11:15am.  Youngsters age 3-6 (with adult) will have fun crafting handmade animal-themed valentines.  An additional session will held on Friday, February 10 from 1:30-2:15pm.  The cost of each session is $8 per child and includes light refreshments. Pre-registration is required.

Next up is Nature Buddies for children age 3-5 with an adult.  Through stories, crafts and play, youngsters will learn about a different animal each week.  Participants can choose their favorite or sign up for all.  Each session is held from 10:30-11:15am.  The schedule is as follows:

                Bear Buddies on Wednesday, February 8
                Owl Buddies on Wednesday, February 15
                Fox Buddies on Wednesday, February 22
                Bunny Buddies on Wednesday, February 29

The cost of each session is $8 per child.  Pre-registration is required.

Nature Detectives: Whose Toes are Those? is scheduled from 2-3:30pm on Saturday, February 18.  Children age 7-11 will learn how to identify tracks as they complete their own Animal Case File. They will also have a chance to make a cast of their favorite tracks. The cost is $12.50 per child; pre-registration is required.

Sunday, February 19 brings Hungry Birds Handmade Treats to the Environmental Center.  From 2-3:30pm, kids age 7-12 will whip up some easy-to-make feed while learning how to identify, attract and feed birds in their own backyards. The cost is $12.50 per child; pre-registration required.

From 2-3:30pm on Saturday, March 17, youngsters age 7-11 are invited to learn what it would be like to be an eagle for a day during Fly Like an Eagle.  The fun includes a short trek to the resident eagle pair.  An additional session is offered on Sunday, March 18 from 2-3:30pm.  The cost of each session is $12.50 per child. Pre-registration is required.

To register or learn more about these programs, please visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call (732) 842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks and Recreation agency.