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As part of Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados’s 2023 Building a Stronger Union County theme, we are proud to roll out these Equity and Inclusion initiatives in our community for the benefit of all residents.

The County is working to install free-standing communication boards in our parks — and they are beginning to roll out near you, first in Warinanco Park, then in Mattano, Ponderosa, and Nomahegan Parks, and more to come.

While this was originally conceived to benefit individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and communication issues, as you’ll see in this video, within minutes of unveiling it has already begun to educate children of all stripes and encouraged them to better communicate with one another!

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In a significant stride towards fostering inclusivity and promoting safer interactions between law enforcement officers and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Union County is launching the Blue Envelope Program. By equipping our residents with Autism Spectrum Disorder with an easily accessible envelope to be used during traffic stops, we are hoping to establish a smoother form of communication between law enforcement and drivers, ultimately benefiting both parties during their interactions. The Blue Envelope Program reflects our dedication to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion for all throughout our county.

The heart of the program lies in the blue envelope itself, a simple yet effective tool that carries crucial information for drivers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It contains essential documents such as a copy of their driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance information, and an emergency contact card. Moreover, the envelope provides explicit instructions to drivers, guiding them on how to handle the traffic stop and interact with law enforcement officers in a way that promotes clarity and safety.

The County is rolling out brand new water bottle refill stations out across County parks, starting with Warinanco Park.

These stations are fully ADA-compliant, and even feature ground-height bowls for hydrating pets. This is a great addition to our parks and you’ll see more of them in the coming months!