Meadowlands Environment Center
Tuesday: 9 am - 2 pm
Wednesday: 9 am - 2 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 2 pm
Friday: 9 am - 2 pm
On Saturday and Sunday, the building will open on the hour for 15 minutes for use of bathroom facilities.
The MEC offers innovative, hands-on, environmental science programs for Grades K-12 at the NJSEA’s Center for Environmental and Scientific Education (Science Center), an NJSEA facility run by Ramapo College of New Jersey. Approximately 15,000 students particpate in MEC education programs each year. Classes cover a wide array of scientific disciplines including ecology, chemistry, biology, physics, natural history and astronomy. All programs comply with New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.
For more information or to register for school programs click here
or call 201.460.8300.
Meadowlands Environment Center Membership
In addition, the MEC offers year-round environmentally themed programs for the general public that help people better understand the issues that impact the Meadowlands District’s unique urban ecosystem, specific types of wildlife and the greater environment. Live animal demonstrations and presentations on the Meadowlands’ history and wetlands underscore the importance of environmental conservation to the public and instill an appreciation of nature in children at a young age.
The MEC’s operations are fully funded by the NJSEA and the MEC Membership Program. Contributions from members help support the Commission’s environmental education programming.
Join as a family and receive four membership cards, event discounts, 10% off in our Gift Ship and four passes to enjoy a Pontoon Boat Tour. Or, join as an individual and receive a membership card, event discounts and 10% off in our Gift Shop. If you are interested call 201.777.2431.
Help support the Environment Center today!
Environmental education programs and local history talks are offered to the general public at the MEC year-round. Fall and winter-spring programs center on families and children, while summer programs are geared toward seniors.
Education programs for all ages range from animal visits, dip-netting in the marshes and nature-oriented painting workshops to astronomy talks and solstice celebrations. Senior workshops include talks on the geographical and human history of the Meadowlands.
William D. McDowell Observatory
The William D. McDowell Observatory is open for free public viewing every Wednesday evening, weather permitting. Observatory hours change with the seasons. View schedule.
The state-of-the-art Observatory features a research-grade, Classical-Cassegrain telescope housed within a six-meter retractable dome with a 20-inch mirror and is capable of viewing objects millions of light years away. The Observatory is operated by astronomers from Bergen Community College.
The telescope has several special filters designed to help minimize the effects of the area’s light pollution. The precision instrument also includes specialized cameras to photograph various astronomical objects, a photometer to measure the brightness of stars and study how they vary over time, and a spectroscope to analyze wavelengths of light to determine the chemical composition of light-emitting objects.
Note: In order to access the observatory telescope, a visitor must be able to climb 25 steps in a spiral formation.