Public Info

Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center Offers Free Virtual Summer Camp to Nature Enthusiasts

Tune into the free Trailside virtual summer camp to meet Timber the Eastern Box Turtle and many other denizens of the woods, streams, ponds and meadows in Union County’s Watchung Reservation. Credit: County of Union, NJ.

Union County, NJ – Children and families in Union County who love nature can visit the Trailside Nature and Science Center website every week for a “virtual summer camp” experience that includes original nature videos, craft ideas and more. The program is part of a series of online activities offered by Trailside during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The Freeholder Board is proud to offer the option of a virtual summer camp experience for children and families of all ages,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We also encourage participants in the online program to explore Union County parks this summer – and of course, we continue to urge everyone to observe social distance, wear masks, and wash hands frequently in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The virtual summer camp offers a wide variety of engaging videos and activities created and curated by Trailside’s team of professional naturalists, highlighting a new theme every week.

Campers can follow along with Trailside naturalists to explore ponds and streams, trees, bugs, birds, animal homes, and more in Union County’s Watchung Reservation.

The first topic, Turtle Time, is currently available on the Trailside website, Take a virtual nature walk with Timber the Eastern Box Turtle as he looks for worms and other tasty snacks, play turtle word search and matching games, learn fun facts about turtles, and do an easy turtle craft.

For more information about virtual summer camp and many other free nature programs available online during the COVID-19 outbreak, call Trailside at 908-789-3670 or visit

Organized activities in Union County parks are limited during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with statewide public health guidelines, and Trailside is closed to the public until further notice.

All visitors to Union County parks must observe social distance guidelines in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks are strongly recommended. For more information and updates on permitted activities in Union County parks visit online at

Trailside Nature & Science Center is located in the Watchung Reservation, 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, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University, 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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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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