FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 2, 2009

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

 

Union County Offers “Adopt-a-Trail” Orientation
for Volunteer Trail Stewards, January 10

 

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – 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, January 10,
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 to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 10. 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 orientation meeting for new participants, the general meeting for all Trail Stewards will be held from 9:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Topics to be discussed will include: Reading Trail Maps and Navigating Trails; Invasive Plant Management; Maintenance “How-To’s”; Updates on Trail Projects; Stewards’ Roundtable, and more. Light refreshments will be provided.

Both meetings on Jan. 10 will be held in the Trailside Nature & Science Center located at
452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. Trailside is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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 more than 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 scheduled for March 7. 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.