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Environmental Education

Eco-Programs   |   Homeschool   |   Scouting   |   Community Service

flower lesson Education is key to the mission of Valley Crest and our goal is to foster a learning environment by bringing families outdoors to experience nature. This is accomplished through our summer and fall programs for youth that are not only educational but fun!


Stream Safari Ever wonder what little insects live in your stream or pond? Sign up for Stream Safari – a blast for kids who love to explore. Love the game of hide and seek but want to use a GPS and compass to find your treasure? Geocaching 101 is for you! If you enjoy a campfire, indulging on S’mores, and hiking in the woods at night, then our Campfire and Night Hike is for you. If you ever wonder why bees and other insects are so vital to our world, then sign up the children for our Water and Woods Exploration. Friday night pizza night at your house? Well, come to the farm and meet our nutritionist, Eric, who will guide you in preparing “super healthy” pizza using only farm-fresh veggies.

For adults, if you are a budding photographer who loves nature, then meet Dr. Frank Greenagel, a noted photographer, who’ll help you shoot the farm’s springtime flowers in May. For a nocturnal experience, take a hike under May’s Full Flower Moon and learn more about our fascinating constellations.

All our programs begin in May and run through September. Pre-registration is recommended for all programs. Each program is $5 per person unless otherwise noted. All program dates are subject to change. Email Jenna at to register today!


Wetland Wake-Up Walk
Families with children 6+
Come to the farm to hear the sounds of our resident amphibians as they welcome in spring. We’ll get to identify the different sounds we hear from this musical wildlife chorus!

May’s Full “Flower Moon” Hike
Adults only
Come out to the farm for this evening program to walk along the farm’s property and into the preserve for a nocturnal experience of the farm. If the sky is clear, we will look for planets and major constellations — and if it’s cloudy, we’ll listen for the springtime frog and toad songs in the forest.

Stream Safari
Families with children 5+
Children of all ages will love going into the farm’s pond or spring-fed stream and seining for the fascinating macro-invertebrates who live there! Kids will examine these insects and learn which insects are indicators of clean healthy water.

Spring Flora Photowalk
Adults only
Join our naturalist Jenna Tomiello and noted photographer Dr. Frank Greenagel to learn how to identify and take great photographs of the farm’s springtime wildflowers. Whether you’re digital or manual, zoom-lens equipped or cell phone equipped, we’ll help you capture the beauty of the spring.

Campfire and Night Hike
Families with children 6+
Sit around the campfire and roast S’mores and then venture out into the farm’s trails and explore the world of nocturnal animals and learn about their adaptations to the night!

Girl Scout Campout
Calling all girl scouts! Camp out at Valley Crest’s special campsite for scouts under the stars for a wonderful evening experience – campfire, stories, and more!

Full Moon Hike
Adults only
Join us for a quiet walk through the farm and woods to enjoy the full moon. Learn about the moon phase and the changes of the season. If the sky is clear, we will look for planets and major constellations — and we’ll listen for the bullfrogs and green frogs that come out to sing in mid summer.

Families with children 8+
Learn how to use a compass and map and a GPS to find hidden treasures buried around the farm!

Healthy Pizza Night
Families with children 6+
Take a fun-family tradition and make it fun AND healthy! We’ll work together to make pizzas, from crust to plate, topping them with some freshly picked veggies from the farm.

Water and Woods Exploration
Families with children 5+
Venture into the forest, field, and pond to search for insects and amphibians living there! We'll use nets to catch what we can and identify them.


The Dig~Sow~Grow Garden Series

Learn where your food comes from! Dig~Sow~Grow is a hands-on and interactive program for homeschool students age 8 to 14. Students will create lifelong connections with the land, plants, and people, and they will leave with a deep appreciation for where their food comes from.

Dig Sow Grow

* Program Details, Schedule, and Fees

* Class Descriptions and Dates

* Registration Form


Valley Crest Farm & Preserve offers classes for scouts that are educational, fun, and will help them earn their merit badges:
Cub Scouts: Programs for Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos
Girl Scouts: Programs for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors
Seasonal Programs: Fun-filled outdoor programs and activities for all scouts.
Pre-registration is recommended for all programs. Each program is $5 per person, with a $50 minimum (at least 10 children). All program dates are subject to change.

Cub Scouts
Programs for Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos

Achievement 5 - Let's Go Outdoors: Take an interactive hike around the fields and forest.
30 Plant a Seed: Take a seed scavenger hunt and plant a native seed to take home.
32 Feed the Birds: Make a bird feeder and go on a bird walk.
WOLVES Achievement 7 - Your Living World: Learn to be environmentally conscious, daily!
13 Birds: Learn how to ID different species of birds on a bird walk, and make a feeder.
15 Grow Something: Help in our garden, go on a scavenger hunt, and plant a seed to take home!
BEARS Achievement 5 - Sharing the World with Wildlife: Learn about the native wildlife in NJ from a naturalist.
12 Nature Crafts: Collect and label leaves, seeds, and rocks, call for birds, and more!
15 Water & Soil Conservation: Build awareness of these precious resources with hands-on activities.
WEBELOS Activity Badges:
Forester: Our forest is important to us for more than just trails! Learn more about trees in our forests, and why they are so special.
Geologist: Visit our Lime Kiln as you learn about the rocks and minerals of the area.
Naturalist: The outdoors is an amazing place! Through these activities, your Scout will nurture his appreciation for our living world.

Girl Scouts
Programs for Daisies, Brownies and Juniors


Rose Petal - Make the World a Better Place: Help our native wildlife by making “seed peas” — a ball of flower seeds, soil, and clay. One for a hike, and one for home!
Clover Petal - Using Resources Wisely: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with us — get crafty with recycled materials, and take a tour of the preserve to see why our land is an important resource!
*Optional: Pick for the Pantry
Snacks:    (extra materials fee)
Come hungry for this badge. We’ll cook, play, and hike, and then make a sweet snack to take home!
Bugs: Get up-close and personal with a bug. Learn about its life and look for it during a bug hunt on one of our trails.
Hiker: Learn the basics of hiking safety - what to wear, pack, and how to read the trails. Then pack a snack and walk back into the fields and woods for a hiking scavenger hunt!
Senses: Explore Valley Crest by using your five senses — a scavenger hunt and taste test are just part of the fun!
Do your girls show special interest in the environment? Create your own badge with us! Email us to find out more.
Animal Habitats: On a hike, we’ll learn why forests and fields are vital habitats for wildlife, and build a birdhouseto hang up!
Camper:    (extra materials fee)
Prepare for a camping trip by going over what to wear and pack, and why. Learn how to build a campfire and use it to make dinner (and dessert)!
Flowers: Take a wildflower walk to know the flowers in your area. Then make a flower necklace to take home!
Geocacher: Learn to use a GPS and find one of the geocaches in our forest.

Seasonal Scouting Programs CUB SCOUTS BROCHURE

Campfire Cookout / S'mores and Night Walk
May - September    (additional materials fee)
Come for an evening at the farm and cook over our campfire, play some night-games, and make s’mores!

Apple Cidering
September - November
After a brief discussion on apples, we get the wheels turning as you press your own Valley Crest Apple Cider!


young volunteers With the farm’s emphasis on education and community service, we work with teachers, students and other youth-based organizations to help us “Pick for the Pantry.” Volunteers help us in harvesting our apple and peach orchards so we can continue to provide ample donations on a weekly basis during our growing season. As part of this experience, we provide classes on sustainable farming and nutritional eating that reinforce our connection to the earth and encourage healthy eating habits. See Partnerships to learn about the organizations that work with us in this effort.

For more information on how you can sign up for our eco-classes or volunteer, please call 908-455-0691 or email

empty corn in bin field class
corn bags in field