Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 11, 2021

New “Tree Trail” in Rahway River Park Identifies and Introduces Distinctive Trees to Visitors

Master Tree Steward volunteers Jerry Petz, Joan Burns, Dean Talcott and Gail Sweeney visited Rahway River Park this week to create a “tree trail” featuring signs that enable smart phone users to learn more information about trees in Union County Parks.

Union County, NJ – Distinctive trees in Union County’s Rahway River Park now have an opportunity to introduce themselves to visitors, thanks to the volunteer Master Tree Stewards of Union County.

Earlier this week, the Master Tree Stewards created a “tree trail” in the park by adding new green and white name tags to dozens of trees along a walking path. These tags are equipped with QR codes that teach visitors important details about each tree.

“On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, I would like to thank our Master Tree Stewards volunteers. Each tree trail provides an enriching and educational experience for visitors and encourages conservation efforts in Union County parks,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Trees received tags based on their size, age, species, historical significance, or other distinctive factors. The Master Tree Stewards have previously created tree trails in several Union County parks, including:

  • Oak Ridge Park in Clark (trails starts near the east end of the parking lot)
  • Briant Park in Summit
  • Cedar Brook in Plainfield
  • Echo Lake Park in Mountainside
  • Echo Lake Extension (trail starts behind the Mountainside municipal building)
  • Lenape Park (trail is located to the east along the Kenilworth dike)
  • Meisel Park in Springfield
  • Nomahegan Park in Cranford
  • Phil Rizzuto Park in Elizabeth
  • Rahway River Park in Rahway
  • Sensory Friendly Trail in Mountainside
  • Warinanco Park in Elizabeth

Some of the trees that have been given tags in Rahway River Park are also a part of the Rahway Memorial Grove. In 2018, the Union County Office of Veteran Services restored the World War II memorial by replacing missing trees, moving the stone memorial for better visibility, and adding a new paved area to make the memorial more accessible.  

The Master Tree Stewards is a volunteer group that is trained in tree conservation. Volunteers primarily teach Union County youth about the importance of trees in our community and participate in other educational programs related to trees.

For more information about the joining the Master Tree Stewards program, contact Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at 908-654-9854 (ext. 3) or jnichnadowicz@ucnj.org.

The Master Tree Stewards program is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. Supported in part by the Board of Commissioners with offices in Westfield, the Union County Extension is part of a nationwide public outreach initiative coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information about all Extension programs in Union County, visit the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County online at ucnj.org/rce.

More information about all Union County parks, including paths, trails and greenways that illuminate features of local history and geology, is available at ucnj.org/parks-recreation.  

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and volunteer activities, visit The Green Connection at ucnj.org/green-connection.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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

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