Public Info

Trailside’s Spring Talks Space Station, Birds, Butterflies & the Garden State

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce a series of free Trailside Talks for adults and high school students. 

“Enjoy the beautiful Watchung Reservation this spring and hear stimulating lectures guaranteed to enhance your enjoyment of the landscape around you,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. 

On Thursday, April 19 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. join New Jersey Audubon Volunteer Associate Naturalist and Star Ledger weekly columnist Peter Bacinski for a lecture, “Our Fascination with Woodpeckers.”  Birders and non-birders alike are fascinated by the sight of woodpeckers.  Mr. Bacinski will introduce us to the 22 species of woodpeckers, with a special focus on the species found in New Jersey.  Enjoy the speaker’s personal stories as he shares little known facts about these fascinating birds with highlights on their behavior, identification and distribution. 

NASA Solar System Ambassador Paul Cirillo returns by popular demand with a lecture “Living on the International Space Station” on Saturday, May 12 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  Share the adventure of how astronauts live and work in space.  Discover how the absence of gravity affects the human body.  This thrilling talk is accompanied by breathtaking pictures of the Earth from this orbiting laboratory. 

Nature author and Conserve Wildlife Foundation Director David Wheeler will present “Wild New Jersey: Nature Adventures in the Garden State” on Thursday May 17 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.   In contrast to the state’s reputation, New Jersey offers unmatched wildlife and an array of outdoor nature adventures all within a short drive of anywhere in the state.  Mr. Wheeler offers examples of unmatched wildlife from bald eagles to bobcats as well as exciting adventures including dogsledding, mountain climbing and wildlife boat tours.  Wild New Jersey will bring nature to life.  

Sharon Wander, President of the New Jersey Butterfly Club, will present “Butterflies and Their Host Plants” on Saturday June 9, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.   She will introduce the audience to many of the state’s 125 species of butterflies from the Giant Swallowtail to the tiny Eastern Tailed-Blue.  Find out which plants attract the butterflies and their caterpillars.  Ms. Wander will also highlight which plants can be grown in a home garden.                                        

For more information about Trailside Talks or other activities at Trailside, please call 908-789-3670 or    Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a facility of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation.