Trailside Museum Association

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The Trailside Museum Association (TMA) is Trailside Nature and Science Center’s volunteer support group. The mission of this organization is to assist staff in their ongoing efforts to interest and educate people in all phases of nature, science, conservation and related recreation, through funding projects and as volunteers.

TMA was formed in 1956. Members staffed the museum store, provided funds for the construction of a classroom and donated money towards many of the old museum’s displays.

More recently TMA funded the construction of the 30 foot American Beech tree exhibit, or “tree of life,” and the taxidermy animals associated with it. Additionally funding was provided for a spotting scope for use in birding programs, a condition assessment of Trailside’s taxidermy collection, computerized, interactive kiosks and construction of a “backyard” pond that can be viewed from the Visitor Center.

Events that the TMA sponsors includes Phenomenal Physics where children join Mr. Fish, a renowned circus performer, as he presents astounding tricks that actually have scientific explanations. Using boomerangs, bubbles, bull whips, balloons and eggs, this program demonstrates ve-locity, friction, inertia, sonic booms, aerodynamics, arches and more.

TMA members will receive a Trailside Newsletter announcing special TMA events, including their annual fall hayride. Articles highlighting seasonal activity in the Watchung Reservation, environmental issues, facility improvements, volunteer achievements and staff biographies are featured in each edition. Members also receive a 20% discount at the museum shop.

  • Individual membership: $15/year
  • Family membership: $20/year

A gift of $250 or more will be recognized on an engraved leaf of our Giving Tree, permanently displayed in the renovated Visitor Center.

Checks can be made out to
and are tax deductible. For a TMA brochure, please call Trailside at 908-789-3670