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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2008

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, (908) 527-4419
Thomas Plante, (908) 527-4746



Trail Stewards work to control erosion along a hiking trail in Union County’s Watchung Reservation. New volunteers are always welcome! Come to Union County’s Adopt-a-Trail orientation scheduled for March 8 at Trailside Nature and Science Center, Mountainside. For further information call (908) 527-4231. Pre-registration is required.

Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity? Do you need to log in some hours for a community service project? Or maybe you’re an avid hiker, equestrian or nature lover who uses the trails in the Watchung Reservation, Union County’s 2,060-acre park and want to “give something back.” Whatever the reason, mark Saturday, March 8, from 8:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m. on your calendar and plan to attend Union County’s “Adopt-A-Trail” orientation and general meeting.

A meeting for new Trail Stewards who would like to “adopt” a section of hiking or bridle trail is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. on March 8. At that meeting, potential trail stewards will be introduced to the Adopt-A-Trail (AAT) Program and may obtain a trail assignment. AAT participants are required to adopt their trail for a period of at least two years. Stewards are expected to remove litter, do minor pruning, clear drainage pipes of debris and re-mark trails as needed. All Adopt-A-Trail participants must attend an orientation meeting and a “general” meeting each year as well as complete and submit quarterly report forms.

Immediately following the meeting for new participants, the general meeting for all Trail Stewards will be held from 10:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Topics to be discussed will include: Invasive Plant Management; Maintenance “How-To’s”; Updates on Trail Projects, and more.

Both meetings will be held in the Trailside Nature & Science Center located at
452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Adopt-A-Trail program was implemented to complement the County’s existing monthly trail maintenance program. There are approximately 26 miles of bridle trails and over 13 miles of marked hiking trails that require attention.

Interested persons and trail users who are not able to make a two-year AAT commitment are encouraged to attend one of the monthly trail work days, usually held the 1st Saturday of the month from 9:30 a.m. -12: 00 noon (except in January and February). No experience is necessary to help out! The next Saturday Trail Work date is set for April 5.

By adopting a trail or participating in the Saturday work dates, you can realize a sense of accomplishment, work out-of-doors, meet new people and learn a new skill. Pre-registration for the Orientation and General AAT meetings and Saturday Trail Work days is required. Please call (908) 527-4231 to register or obtain additional information.