We’re very proud that the opening of our Judith L. Shipley Urban Environmental Center in 2004 marked the very first appearance of an urban environmental center in New Jersey. Named after our beloved donor, volunteer, and friend, Judy Shipley, our Center is a place where people can learn new skills, engage in the community, participate in fun and educational activities, and even just re-energize and de-stress. The Campus of the Environmental Center features the Prudential Outdoor Learning Center, the Main Education Building, and the administrative offices of the Conservancy staff.
Prudential Outdoor Learning Center
Located on Prince Street in downtown Newark, the Center’s 1.5-acre Prudential Outdoor Learning Center features outdoor exhibits located in a series of ten thematic gardens. Get some fresh air, learn a thing or two about native plants, and gaze into the water of the pond – experience a wealth of scents and sights as you walk down a garden pathway! Since the Outdoor Learning Center’s opening, we have hosted over well over 27,000 students for environmental education lessons, creating precious experiences and memories for youth.
Main Education Building
Built in 1884, the Main Building of the Center is a former synagogue and church listed in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. The Conservancy purchased the building in 1995, after a small group of preservationists rescued it from impending demolition, and subsequently performed major renovations to both the exterior and interior of the building. The first phase of construction, which includes three classrooms and a teaching kitchen, along with additional program space is currently being used for workshops, kitchen demos, conferences, and more. As other renovations are completed, we will be able to offer more programs and community activities.