Public Info

Get “Back to Nature” with Outdoor Family Programs at Trailside Nature and Science Center

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that additional sessions of the Back to Nature series at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside have been added, due to popular demand.

The programs are open to families with children ages four and older and feature a different nature or science theme each week. The series is offered on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and continues through December 19.

Pre-registration is required online at Please be advised that programs fill up quickly and are available on a first come, first served basis.

“Trailside’s Back to Nature series is a wonderful way for families to spend time together outdoors and explore our natural heritage in the Watchung Reservation,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Back to Nature encourages nature discovery through hikes and outdoor activities. Participants can play a game of Nature Bingo, find out how different animals prepare for winter, discover where owls live and what they eat, and search for animal tracks on a winter walk.

The fee per class is $5.00 for Union County residents and $6.00 for non-county residents. Programs are held rain or shine. Credits will be issued in the event of severe weather.

Masks are required to be worn by all participants. Programs will be held in small groups in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Participants are advised to dress for the outdoors.

For more information about upcoming programs and activities for seniors, families and children at Trailside, please visit or call 908-789-3670.

In-person 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 general public until further notice. For more information and updates on permitted activities in Union County parks, visit online at

Trailside Nature and 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 quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, visit The Green Connection,

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, visit General information about COVID-19 and updates on statewide vaccine planning are available through the New Jersey Department of Health at


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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