FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2008

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, (908) 527-4419
Tina Casey, (908) 527-4346

 

WANTED: TREE LOVERS
Master Tree Stewards of Union County welcomes new members

 

Elizabeth, NJ – Cool shade in the summer, a splash of color every fall, a great place to hang a hammock: if you love all the things that trees give to us, now there is a chance to give back. The all-volunteer Master Tree Stewards of Union County is once again welcoming new members to its free training and certification program.

“The Master Tree Stewards perform an invaluable volunteer service by helping to teach our young people how to preserve and protect an important part of our natural heritage,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “If you are looking for an opportunity to work with children and nature, becoming a Master Tree Steward is ideal.”

Every year, the Master Tree Stewards visit fourth-grade classrooms across Union County and share their knowledge of trees. Previous teaching experience or detailed knowledge of trees is not required.

The Master Tree Steward training and certification program is offered by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The entire program is free, including materials. It consists of 13 sessions held on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., beginning on September 10 and ending on December 3.

Much of the program is conducted “hands-on” at local nature preserves. Indoor sessions are held at the Union County Services Building in Westfield.

The prospective Master Tree Stewards learn about the life cycle of trees and how to identify 50 different species. They also learn how to conduct a specially designed classroom session that includes fun games and a discussion about the importance of trees in our environment.

To apply to the program or to get more information, contact Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at nichnadowicz@aesop.rutgers.edu, or call 908-654-9854, x2236.

The mission of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension is to provide the community with science-based information on nutrition, food safety, home environmental health, family well-being, agriculture and 4-H youth development. It is supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Visit the Union County Green Connection, www.ucnj.org/greenconnect, to find links to all Extension programs and other environmental resources in Union County.