Public Info

Union County Hosts “Adopt-A-Trail” Orientation Meeting for Potential Trail Stewards, Sept. 24

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 you want to “give something back” to improve the park. Whatever the reason, mark Saturday, September 24, on your calendar from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and plan to attend the Union County Adopt-A-Trail orientation and general meeting.

“By adopting a trail or participating in the Saturday work dates in the Watchung Reservation, you can realize a sense of accomplishment,” said Freeholder Daniel P. Sullivan, liaison to the Union County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. “You’ll work out-of-doors in the fresh air, meet new people and learn new skills in the process.”

A meeting for new Trail Stewards who would like to “adopt” a section of hiking or bridle trail is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 24. At that meeting, 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.

Immediately following the orientation meeting for new participants, the general meeting for all Trail Stewards will be held from 10:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Topics to be discussed will include: An update on the new six-mile History Trail; Reports from farther afield; Invasive Plant Management; Maintenance “How-To’s”; and other subjects of interest.

Trail 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.

Both meetings will be held at Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road in   Mountainside. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Adopt-A-Trail program was implemented in 2001 to complement Union 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 in the Watchung Reservation and miles of other marked and unmarked trails in other county parks, including Lenape Park, Ash Brook Reservation and Rahway River Parkway.

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 on the first 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 Oct. 1.

Pre-registration for the Orientation and General AAT meetings and Saturday Trail Work days is required. Please call (908) 789-3683 to register or obtain additional information.

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Trail stewards (right to left) Bob Czaja, Rich Palmetier (both of Scotch Plains), and Steve Klawitter of Millington work to install steps along a section of hiking trail in Union County’s Watchung Reservation. For more information about becoming a volunteer Trail Steward, or to register for the Sept. 24 orientation meeting, call 908-789-3683.

Steve Klawitter of Millington puts the finishing touches on a newly installed trail step at a recent trail work day in Union County’s Watchung Reservation. For more information about becoming a volunteer Trail Steward, or to register for the Sept. 24 orientation meeting, call 908-789-3683.



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