Public Info

Freeholder Board Announces “Trailside Talks” Free Lecture Series at Watchung Reservation, May 4 & 8

Colorful displays and a life-sized treescape greet visitors to Union County’s Trailside Nature & Science Center in the Watchung Reservation, home of the popular Trailside Talks series.

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce a series of Trailside Talks of interest to adults, and high school students. Lectures are held at the Trailside Nature & Science Center in the Watchung Reservation, at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. Attendance is free of charge.

“The popular Trailside Talks Series offers the opportunity to participate in educational lectures on a wide variety of topics while also experiencing the natural beauty of the Watchung Reservation,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “The Freeholder Board is proud to support community education and environmental conservation.”

On Saturday, May 4 at 2:00 p.m., NASA Solar System Ambassador Paul Cirillo will present From Apollo to Tomorrow — What’s Next for Human Space Travel. This informative and fascinating program celebrates the 50 years since the Apollo missions led the way for human space exploration.

Mr. Cirillo will also share information about the human space programs planned by the United States, China, Russia and four American commercial companies. Space gateways, moon bases, a journey to Mars and even space tourism are included.  

Celebrating Union County Women’s History will be presented on Wednesday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m.   John Prescott, History Programs Coordinator for the County of Union’s Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, will discuss inventors, writers, educators, activists, athletes and other notable women in Union County history. This program is supported in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission.

In addition, residents can save the date of Sunday, September 15 for Trailside’s Hawk Migration program. Participants will gather at 10:00 a.m. at Maskers Barn in the Deserted Village, located in the Berkeley Heights section of the Watchung Reservation. The program includes a hawk watch walk led by Pete Axelrod, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator of Wild Birds Unlimited in Scotch Plains.

For more information about these programs or other activities at Trailside, please call 908-789-3670 or visit

The Trailside Nature and Science Center is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.                                                              


For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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