Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program Classes To Begin In January

calendarSOUTH BRUNSWICK — Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County will offer the Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program at the EARTH Center, in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Avenue, South Brunswick. Classes take place on Wednesday evenings starting Jan. 8 until May 14, 2014.

Those interested in learning more about the science behind environmental issues are excellent candidates for the program. The goal of the Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program is for graduates to expand their awareness of science based information on environmental issues and facilitate positive change in their community.

Graduates become versed in the basic processes of earth, air, water, and biological systems. They will be educated on the techniques and tools used to monitor the health of our environment. They will also gain an understanding of the regulatory infrastructure of state and federal agencies operating in New Jersey.

Says Michele Bakacs, program coordinator in Middlesex County, “This Environmental Stewards program will offer participants the opportunity to learn and take action on local issues. We have some great speakers lined up on a wide range of topics including water management, climate change, energy conservation, restoration of urban areas, and more.”

The Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program is a descendant of the Master Gardener Program. One difference is that Environmental Stewards may complete their training as interns for non-profit and governmental organizations or at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). The 60 plus hours of training does not replace a degree in science, but helps citizens educate themselves when presented with a real world environmental problem. Communication, conflict resolution and leadership skills are also taught in this program to enable Stewards to be effective in community action and political discourse, where most environmental issues play out.

“This Rutgers University program has won awards for its positive impact on communities and it will be a pleasure to add it to our Cooperative Extension curriculum. The program provides a wealth of information on key environmental issues impacting our communities and our planet.” said Bill Hlubik, director of the Middlesex County EARTH Center.

Class size is limited, so register early to insure a space. The program is being coordinated by Michele Bakacs, with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County. To read more about the Rutgers Environmental Steward program, visit

To register or for further information, contact Meredith Jacob, at 732-398-5275. You can also download a program application at

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