Kay Environmental Center

Kay Environmental Center, Chester: Address, Kay Environmental Center Reviews: 4.5/5

Kay Environmental Center
4.5
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4.5
4 reviews
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duck8to
Montville, NJ6,583 contributions
Varied Scenic Hiking Trails
Feb 2017 • Solo
Alfred and Elizabeth Kay moved to Chester, New Jersey from Pittsburgh, Pa in 1924 where upon they bought several small farms. The present environmental building which is the home of the N.J. Office of Nature Conservatory was originally their summer home until 1994 when the Morris County Park Commission acquired the building and 45 acres of land. Today the Black River County park encompasses 233 acres. The Nature Conservatory conducts a number of activities including: hands-on nature lessons for both adults and students. Special programs featuring such topics as geology, bird watching, maple sugar harvesting and Lenni Lenape culture have been offered. They have a website which has a schedule of events posted. I enjoyed the hiking trails in particular the one which takes you to the 1826 Cooper Mill. It's a scenic trail that takes you through woodlands and meadows, follows the Black River to some extent, passes by duck ponds, wildflower habitats and the old Hackelbarney mine. Trail maps are available at the Conservatory Office, in the kiosk outside the office and on-line. Great and interesting trails make this an interesting hiking area. Willowwood Arboretum and Bamboo Brook are about a mile and two miles away and are free to explore also. The picturesque town of Chester is about three miles away and has fruit farms and plenty of dining choices.
Written March 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AabirB2014
Long Valley, NJ7 contributions
One of the locations of the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Program.
Jun 2014 • Family
I volunteered with the naturalists at the Kay Center through most of high school, and it was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I've ever had. The Center houses the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Program, which provides summer camps, hands-on nature lessons, special tours, and special events for school-age children. Topics include (among others):

* Basic biology of plants and animals.
* Basic geology and hydrology.
* Nutrient / energy cycles.
* Outdoor survival (e.g., how to identify edible plants, build shelters, and navigate in the woods).
* Lenni Lenape culture.
* Maple syruping / tapping.

It's amazing to see how much fun the kids have (even the older ones) and how quickly they learn. All the trails and gardens are lovely and carefully managed, and some of the views of the river from the high points of the hiking trails are absolutely spectacular.
Written September 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LynnO561
Budd Lake, NJ40 contributions
Kay Environmental Center
Oct 2013 • Couples
The Kay Environmental Center is located in Chester off Route 206 and provides excellent programs sponsored by The Nature Conservancy. We have attended programs on site concerning bird watching, raptors, butterflies, etc. and recommend contacting the Center for schedule information. The Center also connects to various hiking trails which are well worth exploring.
Written October 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MitchPhyllis65
Morristown, NJ4,695 contributions
Butterfly Garden
Jul 2013 • Couples
The Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center is located on 233 acres of farm land within Black River County Park. There’s a Visitor Center with restrooms, a lovely Butterfly Garden, and trails through meadows and woodland areas. The various hiking trails which connect the other historic and horticultural sites in the Black River County Park can be accessed from this site. Trail maps are available at the Visitor Center and parking lot.
Written July 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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