Union County, NJ – February 25, 2022 — The Union County Board of Commissioners invites residents to enjoy the spring season with a new schedule of outdoor programs for children, families and seniors at the Trailside Nature and Science Center. Trailside is located in Union County’s Watchung Reservation nature preserve, at 452 New Providence Avenue in Mountainside. Ample free parking is available on site.
“Trailside is a wonderful resource for Union County parents and caregivers seeking fun activities that enrich our children with an appreciation for our natural heritage. Please come by and visit soon,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams.
Pre-registration is required for scheduled programs at Trailside. The online registration link is available at the Trailside website, ucnj.org/trailside. This secure registration link includes all recreation programs offered by Union County; scroll down for the Trailside events.
Trailside’s exhibit areas are also open to visitors on a walk-in basis, free of charge, from Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For details visit ucnj.org/trailside.
The spring schedule begins mid-March, with programming for the following age groups:
Toddler Time, for adults with children ages three and younger: The series meets on Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Participants will look for all the colors of the rainbow on a nature walk, become nest detectives to learn how different birds make their nests, go in search for bugs under rocks and logs and participate in a flower scavenger hunt in search of blossoms of all colors, shapes and sizes.
Back to Nature, for adults with children ages four and older: The series meets on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registrants will see how real maple syrup is made, discover the importance of animal camouflage, find out why trees are terrific, go in search of backyard bugs and learn to lead a group on a nature hike.
Trailside Family Evenings (moonlight walks), for adults with children ages four and older: A Pink Moon Hike will take place on April 14 and a Flower Moon Hike will take place on May 12. Both walks will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Participants will explore the Watchung Reservation by the light of the full moon and learn about the wildlife that comes out after dark.
Nature Walks for Seniors, for ages 55 and older (free of charge): These guided walks meet on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Each walk is led by a Trailside naturalist and highlights a different topic in the Watchung Reservation. Participants will learn to identify common tree species, find out about the fast-flying peregrine falcon, enjoy a spring wildflower walk and discover the rich history of the Deserted Village.
A fee of $5 for Union County residents ($6 for out-of-county) applies to the three child-adult programs. The senior walks are free of charge.
For more information about upcoming activities for children, families and seniors visit ucnj.org/trailside or call 908-789-3670.
For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, including the Falcon Cam, visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connect.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, 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.
Connect with Union County on social media.