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seasonal feature

New Butterfly Garden

All the plants in this garden have been selected to provide a food source for butterflies and caterpillars.

Attracting butterflies involves using plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly.

The insects need places to lay eggs, food plants for caterpillars, a place for the chrysalis to form and nectar sources for adults.  Additional information on butterfly gardening can be found in the Visitor Center. View more photos.

upcomnig event

Basic Digital Photography Workshop
Saturday, October 10th, 10am – 1pm
Professional photographer Joan Pamboukes will bring clarity to such topics as focal length, aperture, shutter speeds, white balance, composition and basic lighting strategies.  Bring your camera system.  Weather permitting, we will walk around the grounds and create beautiful images. Fee:  $45 for Union County Residents and $55 for non-residents.
Healthy Eating for a Healthy Life
October 13th, 7pm – 8pm
Join Sharon Goldner, nutritionist, health care coach and author of “Recipe for a Healthy Life”, as she shares tips for taking better control of your productivity and happiness with simple changes in behavior and diet.  Learn the connection between the quality of your life and your diet.  Find out how to choose meals and snacks that will keep you focused, avoiding energy dips throughout the day.   Useful handouts and recipes will be provided.   Fee:   $10/IC, $12/OC.
Rock, Gem & Jewelry Show
November 7th & 8th, 12pm – 5pm
Explore the fascinating world of rocks, minerals, fossils and gems at Trailside Nature & Science Center. This event will host more than 20 vendors selling minerals, rocks, gemstones, jewelry, sea shells and fossils from around the world. Geologists young and old will be mesmerized by the variety of specimens on display and for sale. Children’s activities will include fossil rubbings, puzzles and a touch table. Admission is free. Rain or shine.
about trailside

Trailside Nature & Science Center is Union County’s Environmental Education Center, located in the Watchung Reservation, a 2,065-acre preserve containing woodlands, fields, lakes, streams and more than 13 miles of hiking trails.

This serene setting provides the perfect classroom to have fun while learning about the natural world. Renovated in September 2006, the Center houses 4,500 square feet of interactive, state-of-the art exhibits, including a towering 34-foot American beech tree exhibit that fills the building’s atrium.

This jewel, secluded in the Watchungs, also features classrooms that look out on the Reservation, a multipurpose room, a library, children’s discovery room and a 250-seat auditorium.


452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, NJ  |  908-789-3670  |  Map


Noon to 5 p.m.; Seven Days a Week

Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, New Years Eve/Day, Fourth of July and Easter

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