Public Info

Master Tree Stewards Connect Youths with Trees

Union County Freeholder Sergio Granados (2nd r) visited Black Brook Park in Kenilworth earlier this summer to help celebrate a nationwide 100-year milestone for Cooperative Extension service programs. Granados joined members of the Union County 3rd Grade 4-H Club (front row), Teen Council (back row), 4-H agent Jim Nichnadowicz (l), and Rutgers Extension Department Head Karen Ensle (r), who planted a new flowering magnolia in the park to commemorate the occasion. (photo by Madeline DiNardo)

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders welcomes residents to join the Master Tree Stewards, a volunteer group dedicated to preserving Union County’s natural heritage by reaching out to children and youths. The upcoming schedule of classes to become certified as a Master Tree Steward is now available on the County website, at No previous experience in tree care or horticulture is required to join.

“Every year our Master Tree Stewards fan out across Union County to help children learn about how trees benefit our neighborhoods and the environment,” said Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak. “The program is a great way to connect youngsters with local role models for nature conservation.”

The Master Tree Stewards is a program of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, supported in part by the Freeholder Board. The Union County Extension is one of almost 3,000 county-based Cooperative Extension Service offices established nationwide through the 1914 Smith-Lever Act.

The mission of the Cooperative Extension System is to reach the public with science-based information on nutrition and health, youth development, agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry as well as small business and personal finance.

Earlier this summer, the Union County Extension joined in a nationwide celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, with a ceremonial tree planting at Black Brook Park in Kenilworth.

“Union County is very proud to continue the historic tradition of Smith-Lever. The Extension system enables residents to help strengthen our communities, by learning from the experts and passing their knowledge along to children, teens, and adults,” said Hudak.

The Cooperative Extension of Union County is a program of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station of Rutgers University, supported by the Freeholder Board with offices at the county’s Colleen Frasier Building in Westfield.

For more information about joining the Master Tree Stewards visit or contact 4-H Agent Jim Nichnadowicz at the Extension offices (call 908-654-9854 (press “3”) or  email


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