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More Than 500 Student Artists to Exhibit at Nature Center

Children from 21 schools in Somerset County portray their feelings about nature at exhibit at the EEC in Basking Ridge.

On the day following New Year's, the Somerset County Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge will open its annual "Nature Through a Child's Eye" art show, with pieces produced by students from all Bernards Township elementary schools, the Bedwell Elementary School in Bernardville and other schools.

All in all, more than 500 children from 21 schools throughout Somerset County have contributed pieces that portray how they feel about nature — sometimes using materials from nature in their art, said EEC naturalist Vanessa Darras.

The exhibit at the center at 190 Lord Stirling Road, part of the county park commission, runs every day from Wednesday, Jan. 2 through Sunday, Jan. 27, except major holidays. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 2013, admission is free.
 
The hundreds of pieces of art have been created by kindergarten through sixth grade students, according to information from the park communication.

The art pieces communicate the students' of nature and the environment though application of textures, shapes and colors. Students also can include written statements about their feelings and understanding about nature, Darras said.

For example, one submission this year explains that nature is home both to people and to animals, she said.
 
Past projects have included fall leaves printed with tempera, nature landscapes in pastels, and impressions of trees, all of which demonstrate the children's relationship with nature.

Along with the Bernards Township and Somerset Hills elementary schools, other schools contributing to the show are the Angelo L. Tomaso Elementary School and Central School in Warren, the Van Holten School from Bridgewater, the Hillsborough Elementary School and others, Darras said. She said about 100 pieces of art came from the Bedwell school.

She said a reception for the student artists and their families will be held next Saturday and Sunday, an event that has been well attended in previous years.
 
Throughout the year, the Environmental Education Center offers many opportunities for entertainment and education for the entire family including the Environmental Education Center's library and store, trails for hiking or cross-country skiing through the Great Swamp, maple sugaring and a full calendar of special events.
 
For information on Nature Through a Child's Eye or other Environmental Education Center activities, call 908-766-2489 or NJ Relay 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment.
 
Information on this event and other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found online.
 

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