In partnership with the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, WheatonArts presents the 12th annual Eco Fair, a FREE Wheaton Wide Open event inspired by natural living. This event showcases local artists and craftspeople, as well as environmentally minded organizations, family art activities, live music, food, and more. Local gardening clubs, including Rutgers Master Gardeners, will have a variety of plants and herbs for sale throughout the day.
1:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Heather Holm
Presented by CU Maurice River and sponsored by Eastern Fresh Growers. Heather is an award-winning author and nationally sought-after speaker spending much of her time passionately educating audiences about the fascinating world of native bees and the native plants that support them. Her first book, Pollinators of Native Plants, published in 2014, helped establish her as a knowledgeable resource on the subject of the interactions between native bees and native plants. Her latest book, Bees, published in 2017, has won four book awards. A book signing will follow her presentation. To learn more about her books, click here.
12:30 p.m. Meet the Bio-Artists: Robert & Sarah Beck
Pictured left with their scaled-down version of a wetland ecosystem, bio-artists Robert C. Beck and Sarah Max Beck explore what they believe art of the 22nd century could look like if we were to successfully adapt and turn our current toxic human nature into a beneficial relationship with our environment. The piece is titled “To Fetch a Pail of Water” and is part of the exhibit “Symbiotic Spheres: The Interlocking Worlds of Glass, Science and Art”, featuring over 20 contemporary artists whose work is inspired by science. The exhibit is on display in the Museum of American Glass, April 3 through December 30.
Family Art Activities 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Set up a simple greenhouse and watch the complexities of new life unfold over the coming days! This is an easy, mess-less method to introduce plant life (botany), biology, and the environmental sciences to kids—not to mention a nice addition to your garden.
Make Your Own Painted Twig Mobile
Using colorful beads, yarn, and painted twigs, make your own whimsical mobile.
Nature Impressions Using Air Dry Clay
A wonderful, tactile experience of nature meeting clay: create these impressions to use as pendants, buttons, magnets or just something neat to keep! See all the different patterns that you can make with nature.
Leaf Printing on Fabric
Design your own unique textile swatch using fabric paint and leaves.
“Mighty Max the Benthic Macro!”
Come one, come all, and behold Mighty Max! At this station children, and parents alike will receive a hands-on demonstration of benthic macroinvertebrates within your local rivers and streams. Learn why these creatures are so vital to our ecosystem. If the aquatic creatures aren’t your thing, we will also be testing your brain power. Can you guess how long it takes for a water bottle to biodegrade? How about fishing line? Presentations will start every hour beginning at 10 a.m. Presented by the NJ Watershed Ambassadors at the Watershed Booth across from the General Store.
The Amazing Butterfly Tent
The Amazing Butterfly Tent will be open in the Event Center from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and its importance to our eco system. Children will be able to feed the butterflies while getting an up-close experience they won’t ever forget. Presented by Rutger’s Master Gardeners.
4-H of Cumberland County
The following clubs from 4-H of Cumberland County will be participating with information and educational materials. Animals will present with handlers.
Buckaroos Goat Club – Alice Phillips, Leader. Open to youth grades K-13. Do you own a goat? Learn all about goats, their care, grooming, feeding and much more.
Puppy Power Seeing Eye Raisers – Joan Maloney, Leader. Open to youth in grades 4-13 (one year out of high school) and adults. Parent attends the meeting with 4-H youth. We welcome anyone interested in learning more about The Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Program, even if they don’t want to raise a pup.
Bunny Brigade – Dawn Hoban, Leader. Open to youth grades K-13. Learn all about the care, feeding, grooming of rabbits & more.
Rain Barrel Workshops
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Registration Required)
Become a wiser water user and eco-friendly gardener by attending a rain barrel workshop, offered by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cumberland County and the Cumberland County Improvement Authority. This hands-on workshop is designed to educate participants on the benefits of rainwater harvesting. Workshop participants will build a rain barrel to take home. Click here for more information.
Build a Bee Hotel!
The CU Maurice River Booth will provide materials and instruction on how to make a native solitary bee hotel throughout the day while materials last.
Scavenger Hunt with Naturalists
Walk the WheatonArts Nature Trail and join the Scavenger Hunt from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Both the young and young-at-heart can participate at their leisure. Naturalists will be stationed along the trail to help with the hunt and to answer questions along the walk. Led by CU Maurice River Naturalists and Nature Enthusiasts.