The Union County Department of Parks & Community Renewal gratefully acknowledges the assistance of a number of individuals and institutions without whom this exhibit would not exist.
We gratefully acknowledge the New Jersey State Museum and the efforts of Rodrigo Pellegrini, Registrar in the museum’s Natural History Bureau, and David C. Parris, Curator of Natural History, who helped arrange for the loan of the Mastodon artifacts. Both gave generously of their time to assist in this exhibition.
We would also like to acknowledge the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and Daniel Brinkman, from the museum’s Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, who helped arrange for the loan of the fish fossils discovered here in the Watchung Reservation, as well as researcher Dr. Paul Olsen, of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who found the Watchung fossils.
The exhibit would not be possible without the artistic and graphics talents of several Union County employees, John Salerno, Vincent Paparella, and Chris Paparella; the research into the Mastodon discovery by Shannon Spaziani and John Celardo, and the work of Robert Charkowsky, who created the companion website to this exhibit. Also, a special thanks to Tom MacDermant and his crews, who prepped, painted and set the stage for what you see today.
It was through the generosity of the Deserted Village Trust Fund that it was possible to purchase several of the museum display cases, along with a main case on loan from the offices of Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi. The New Jersey Mineralogical Society provided the funding for the mastodon grazing mural, which was so graciously provided to Trailside by the Indiana State Museum, with the assistance of museum registrar Kara Vetter.
The exhibit also benefited from the on-going assistance of Trailside Director Patricia Bertsch, Assistant Director Karen Inzillo and naturalist Ruth Yablonsky.
Finally, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that none of this would be possible without the full support given this project by Union County Freeholder Chairman Al Mirabella and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, County Manager Al Faella and Parks Director Ronald Zuber.