Free event is for kids, crafts and composting

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Master Gardener program is holding a “Birds, Bugs and Beyond” festival where children can explore nature through live performances, games, crafts and displays from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Monmouth County Agricultural Building, 4000 Kozloski Rd.

The free event will feature children’s activities that explore nature and garden creatures through live butterfly and bird shows, garden tours, vermicomposting (with worms), interactive games & activities, insect & bee displays, and make-and-take crafts.

“Birds, Bugs and Beyond” will be held rain or shine and is presented by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service of Monmouth County, the Monmouth County Master Gardeners and the 4-H Youth Development program.

“This is a hands-on fun day for families to learn about gardening and much more,” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said. “This event furthers the efforts of our Master Gardener’s and 4-H club members to educate gardeners of all ages and interests. If you have garden questions you can have them answered, too.”

Monmouth County 4-H Club members will participate by sharing some of their rabbits and reptiles. And, the Tenafly Nature Center will present two “Rappin’ with Raptors” shows throughout the afternoon.

Master Gardeners are experts in all things related to home gardening in Monmouth County and the group will host a free Master Gardener Helpline Table at the event. For additional information, please call the Monmouth County Master Gardeners at 732-303-7614.

The Master Gardener program, conducted throughout the United States and Canada is a two-part educational effort in which avid gardeners are provided many hours of intense home horticulture training. In return, they “pay back” local university extension agents through volunteerism.

In New Jersey, the program is a cooperative effort of Rutgers University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the county Boards of Chosen Freeholders. Monmouth County’s program involves the county office of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Brookdale Community College and the County Park System.

The 4-H Youth Development program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides information and educational services to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.

For information, about Monmouth County 4-H, contact the office at 732-431-7263 or log onto the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com and click on the link to the Monmouth County’s Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service