Women’s History Month

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Gibbons v. Ogden: Its Continuing Importance 200 Years Later

Woodcock Talk and Walk

The Union County Board of County Commissioners and the Union County Department of Parks & Recreation are pleased to announce the Woodcock Talk & Walk, a PowerPoint presentation and guided indoor/outdoor experience discussing the woodcock on Monday, March 18th at Masker’s Barn at the Deserted Village, and Thursday, March 21st, at Lenape Park. Nature aficionados and bird lovers are invited to join an informative event showcasing the American Woodcock, led by nature enthusiast Pete Axelrod.

“These events give us the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this special bird and highlight the importance of caring for our local ecosystems,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Coming together as a community to learn is crucial, empowering us all to make informed choices for the benefit of our shared natural resources. Join us in appreciating the wonders of nature and inspire everyone to take responsibility for protecting our environment.”

The annual Woodcock Talk & Walk provides seasoned birders and beginners alike with the chance to catch a glimpse of the American Woodcock and learn more about this unusual and elusive bird. The American Woodcock is known by a variety of colorful names including Timberdoodle, Labrador twister, Night partridge, Mudbat, and Bog sucker.  The species is most commonly referred to as the woodcock due to its preference for wooded areas. American Woodcocks are drawn to moist forests and require dense woodland, providing ample cover and food.

In the spring, the bird seeks out forest clearings, abandoned fields spotted with low brush or open fields next to forest edges to serve as courtship sites.  In preparation for mating, male Woodcocks establish individual territories known as singing grounds.

Perhaps the most fascinating attribute of the American Woodcock is the acrobatic courtship displays performed by the males.  As part of their mating ritual, a displaying male on the ground will emit a nasal, buzzing call referred to as a peent, to attract females. He then takes flight and ascends 200 or 300 feet. All the while, musical twittering sounds are made by the male’s wings. Afterwards, he will spiral or zigzag back to the ground while producing a liquid chirp.

Participants are advised to dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight.  The event is free and open to adults and children age 10 and up with an adult. Participants have the flexibility to attend either or both events, but must register online at

Event Details:

  • Watchung Reservation Event:
    • Date: Monday, March 18, 2024
    • Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
    • Location: Masker’s Barn at the Deserted Village – 13 Cataract Hollow Road in Berkeley Heights
  • Lenape Park Event:
    • Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
    • Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
    • Location: Lenape Park – 130 Kenilworth Boulevard in Cranford

Pete Axelrod, an experienced nature enthusiast, will be leading the presentations. With a lifelong passion for the outdoors, Pete has dedicated himself to the study of Wildlife Biology and Natural History Interpretation. His widespread experience includes volunteering in avian population studies, wild bird rehabilitation, habitat restoration, and wildlife education. Pete has also been a leader in birding ventures throughout New Jersey, collaborating with organizations such as New Jersey Audubon, Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and The Raptor Trust.

For more information about the Woodcock Walk & Talk, please visit To learn more about the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation and the activities they offer, please visit

Special Events and Programming for Persons with Disabilities & Special Needs

Inclusive Ceramic Painting

Gregorio Center in Linden

March 5th and 19th 7pm to 8pm


Pre-registration required


Autism Acceptance Celebration- Super Hero

Mattano Park, Elizabeth

Saturday, April 20 10am to Noon


Pre-registration required

Rain Date: April 27th


Inclusive Splash Nights Program for Children 12 years and under

Wheeler Park in Linden

Thursdays 6:30pm to 7:45pm

July 11th, 18th, 25th

August 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th


Pre-registration required


Summer Festival

Conant Park in Hillside

Sunday, July 28 11am to 1pm


Pre-registration required

Rain Date: August 4th


Inclusive Yoga

Trailside Nature & Science Center


5pm – 6pm


  • Feb 21, 28
  • March 6, 13, 27
  • April 3, 10, 17, 24
  • May 1


Inclusive Karate for Children

Cranford Community Center


7pm – 7:45pm


  • Feb 26
  • March 4, 11, 18, 25


Inclusive Kate for Teens & Young Adults
(15 and Up)

Cranford Community Center


8pm – 8:45pm


  • Feb 26
  • March 4, 11, 18, 25


Art for All Abilities- Family Canvas

Two Locations


Hillside High School

Plainfield Second Street Youth Center

Recyling Events

Volunteering in Union County Parks is Easier than Ever

collage of three photos of people volunteering in union county parks

Each year, hundreds of community volunteers fan out through Union County parks to clean up litter, clear debris, repair trails and improve natural habitats. Now volunteering is easier than ever before, thanks to free tools and other assistance provided by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Bureau of Recycling.

“We are very grateful for the many individuals, environmental groups, Scouts, schools, businesses and other organizations that dedicate their time and energy to help keep our parks beautiful and welcoming, year in and year out,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “By coordinating the resources of our Parks and Recycling offices, we aim to make organizing a volunteer project easy and hassle-free for everyone.”

The Union County parks system hosts four main types of volunteer programs:

Adopt-a-Park: Beautification and restoration projects including clearing litter and debris, restoring native plants and removing invasive plants.

Adopt-a-Trail/Trail Stewards: Help remove encroaching vegetation from trails and paved pathways; help repair eroded sections and clear debris from culverts.

Chainsaw Crew: Help remove fallen trees from trails and paths (training required to participate).

Clean Communities: This program focuses on litter cleanups with support from the statewide Clean Communities program. Organizers only need to bring themselves and their volunteers. Work gloves, litter grabbers and bags are all provided free of charge.

Individuals or groups that are interested in organizing a volunteer project in any of these four areas can contact the Department of Parks and Recreation by email at to start the process.

For more information:

Senior Services – Just “ASK” information kiosk

ask(aging services kiosk)

Residents seeking information about services for seniors and their care givers can come to Union County’s Aging Services Kiosk events and meet in person with professional staff for guidance on senior programs and resources, including help with filling out applications and forms.

ASK is a program of the Union County Department of Human Services through the Division on Aging and Disability Resources, serving seniors age 60-plus and their care givers. Staff at the ASK events can help seniors and care givers connect with a variety of services including home delivered meals, respite care, home care, adult day care and support services for caregivers.

Any Union County senior or care giver can visit any ASK event, regardless of their hometown. No appointment or pre-registration is needed.

Visit for upoming dates.

Full Time Emergency Medical Technicians

Job benefits include free training opportunities and HazMat cross-training through the Union County Fire/EMS Academy.

Union County has full time job openings for certified Emergency Medical Technicians. The full-time benefits package includes free career development through the Union County Fire/EMS academy.

All applicants must be residents of Union County.

“We are very proud of our EMTs, who work to meet the daily needs and extraordinary demands for life saving services in our community. We are looking forward to meeting the newest members of our emergency services team,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “

For more information:

Union County Host Donation Drive for the people of Ukraine

donations for Ukraine flyer

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has uprooted families, injured citizens, and left thousands of Ukrainian refugees without access to basic necessities. To date, nearly 1.5 million Ukrainians have fled their homes, many leaving behind necessary supplies.

To support individuals in need, the Union County Board of County Commissioners and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office have partnered to organize a county-wide donation drive for the people of Ukraine.

Beginning today, a donation box will be available in the lobby of Union County law enforcement agencies, twenty-four locations in all. Members of the public are invited to bring donations of first aid supplies, toiletries, flashlights, blankets, batteries, clothing, shoes, diapers, formula, and more. The program will run for the foreseeable future, as long as continued aid is needed. This donation drive is made possible through a partnership with law enforcement and local Polish and Ukrainian organizations.

For more information:

Cultural Events Around the County

Register now thru Apr 14

Call for Entries: The 2024 Union County Senior Art Show

Residents of Union County, age 60 and up, both professional and non-professional artists, are invited to enter an artwork in the 2024 Union County Senior Art Exhibit, coordinated by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.

Entry must be an original work completed April 2021 or later. The deadline to register is April 14. Find complete instructions, rules, and registration form here. For questions or assistance, email or call 908-558-2550.

The exhibit will be on view April 19 – May 30 at UCNJ Union College of Union County NJ, at 1776 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains.

Apr 14
11 am – 12:30 pm

Masterclass: Jazz/Modern Fusion

This masterclass is rooted in the Jon Lehrer Dance Company’s signature style, based on three main elements of movement: Circularity, 3-Dimensionality, and Momentum – which combine to create a form that is best described as “Organically Athletic.” The Company’s classes fuse jazz and modern dance techniques with physics to showcase unique movement and a fun, distinctive style which can be learned and enjoyed by dancers of all backgrounds.
Open to the public for ages 14+. Registration required.


The Connection
79 Maple St., Summit

Accessible building with elevator

Apr 21
3 pm

The Jazz Ambassadors of the Us Army Field Band

Come enjoy “America’s Big Band,” The Jazz Ambassadors of the US Army Field Band — official touring big band of the United States Army. The band’s diverse repertoire includes big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals, and patriotic selections. The band has been featured in joint concerts with Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Pops, the Colorado Pops Orchestra, and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall.

UCPAC Main Stage
1601 Irving Street, Rahway

Free, but tickets are required for entry.

Order tickets at

Apr 24
3 pm

Rosena Hill Jackson & Friends

Broadway vocalist Rosena Hill Jackson and Friends perform with pianist Migiwa Miyajima. Jackson has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops, at Teatro di Massimo in Palermo, Italy, and with numerous other orchestras. On Broadway, she stepped into the role of Nettie Fowler in Carousel, replacing Renée Fleming, and was selected by Harold Prince to join the principal cast of his Prince of Broadway.

Tickets: $25 for e-ticket; $30 at the door; students free.

Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit
4 Waldron Ave., Summit

Venue is wheelchair accessible.

May 9 – 10 – 11
Thursday, Friday & Saturday @ 7 pm. Saturday matinee @ 2 pm.

Canned Goods – presented by American Theater Group

American Theater Group presents the world premiere of “Canned Goods,” by Erik Kahn. This new play tells the gripping tale of the largely unknown incident that eventually launched World War II. Don’t miss this harrowing account of Hitler’s devious strategy to fake an attack on Germany to justify his invasion of Poland in 1939. Directed by Charlotte Cohn.

Tickets: $20 – $55

For tickets:

For questions about purchasing accessible seating, please call the Box Office at 732-499-8226.

Hamilton Stage
360 Hamilton St., Rahway
(732) 499-8226

Ample parking on site.

May 4, 5, 11, 12, 17, 18
8 pm Fridays & Saturdays; 2 pm Sundays

See How They Run

Galloping in and out of the doors of an English vicarage are an American actor and actress, a cockney maid, an old maid, and four men in clergymen’s suits, presenting the problem of which is which. One in disguise is an escaped prisoner. A sedate bishop is aghast at all the goings-on and the trumped-up stories that are told to him. So swift is the action in this hysterical British farce that audiences are left exhausted with laughter.

Tickets: $25

Westfield Community Players
1000 North Ave. West, Westfield

Wheelchair-accessible venue. Please call in advance for wheelchair accessible parking.