Public Info

Residents Are Encouraged to Explore Their Own Backyards with Activities from Trailside Nature and Science Center

Families and residents of all ages are invited to take part in a variety of nature and science themed activities designed to keep them entertained while practicing social distancing at home to help flatten the curve of virus transmission. 

“Studies have shown that immersing oneself in nature helps to ease anxiety and reduce stress levels,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “During these difficult times, families can use the resources and activities provided to go outside and get some fresh air while also learning about the natural world right in their own backyard.” 

Among the suggested activities, families are encouraged to become citizen scientists. Activities include starting a nature journal, learning to identify backyard birds by sight and sound and participating in science projects. Printable pages are included with activities for younger children such as a backyard scavenger hunt, coloring pages and simple eco-crafts to create with everyday items from your home.

Online resources are also available for families to share their findings and connect with other nature lovers throughout Union County. Activities can be found online at

On the Trailside website, residents will find several links provided for nature observers to view live animal webcams, including Union County’s own Falcon Cam. Families can view video feeds of a variety of wildlife courtesy of zoos and wildlife organizations across the country. 

Residents are also invited to take nature photos in their backyards and send their favorites to along with the town they live in and their age for a chance to be posted on Union County’s website.

Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at

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