Essex County, NJ – Essex County Executive DiVincenzo invites children of all ages to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center. These affordable programs provide the campers with a fun and enriching experience while school is on recess.

“Come participate in the many recreational and enrichment opportunities available for children of all ages. Young people can learn about nature and animals through exciting hands-on activities while visiting Essex County Turtle Back Zoo or our Environmental Center. Youngsters will have a fun-filled adventure when they go to one of our affordable camps at either facility. For a great physical challenge, they can hit the ice at Codey Arena in our ice skating camps. Every day brings something new in Essex!” DiVincenzo said.

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo has several week-long camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science.

The Spring Break Mini Camp is a fun, exciting and educational camp that gets students out of the classroom and into the zoo. Sessions are available for children ages 5-7 years and ages 8-10 years. It will be held Monday, April 11th through Friday, April 15th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Summer Camps are available for children entering kindergarten and grades 1-8. Campers will be introduced to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. The camps have age-appropriate themes and include games, teacher-led lessons, behind-the-scenes visits, up-close animal encounters, hands-on science, and fun crafts. Registration opens in March. For more information, visit www.essexcountynj.org/turtlebackzoo.

For more information about spring and summer programs, e-mail tbzcamp@parks.essexcountynj.org. Turtle Back Zoo is located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange.

The Essex County Environmental Center is offering Nature Explorers Spring and Summer Camps for children in pre-school to grade 5.

The Nature Explorers Spring Camp is a three-day program for children in grades 2 to 5. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the nearby environment to help restore the bond between children and nature. The first session will be held on Tuesday, March 29; Wednesday, March 30; and Thursday, March 31 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The second session will be held Tuesday, April 12; Wednesday, April 13; and Thursday, April 14 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The Nature Explorers Summer Camp is a one-week program for children in pre-kindergarten to grade 4. Students will explore woodland and river habitats for insects, birds, amphibians, Lenape life and much more. Children can sign up for one or two weeks per grade level. Sessions for children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten will be held July 11 to July 15 and July 18 to July 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. Sessions for children in grades 1 and 2 will be held July 25 to July 29 and August 1 to August 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. Sessions for children in grades 3 and 4 will be held August 8 to August 12 and August 15 to August 19 from 1 to 5 p.m.

A minimum number of participants, advanced registration and payment are required. For information, call the Environmental Center at 973-228-8776. The Essex County Environmental Center is located at 621B Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland.

Essex County Codey Arena has a spring and summer sessions of its Learn to Skate camps and a summer Figure Skating Camp for young skaters.

 The Spring 2016 Learn to Skate begins April 5th and runs through May on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Registration opens Tuesday, March 1st. The Summer 2016 Learn to Skate runs from mid-June to early August on Tuesday and Saturday. Registration opens Tuesday, May 10th. The Summer Figure Skating Camp will be held Monday to Friday from June 27 to August 5. Full and half day weekly sessions are available. There will be no classes held on July 4th.

 For information about and fees for the skating programs, please call the arena at 973-731-3828. Essex County Codey Arena is located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange.

 The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 22 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, a Treetop Adventure Course, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.