Public Info

Residents Invited to Join the Master Trees Stewards of Union County

The Union County Board of County Commissioners are excited to invite residents to join the Master Trees Stewards of Union County. Union County residents who are looking for a fun and rewarding civic service project can join the 4-H Master Tree Steward program and learn how to “speak for the trees.”

“Through our Master Tree Stewards, students are gifted with enriching educational experiences and essential messages concerning trees and the environment,” said Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “This lesson instills a sense of appreciation and stewardship that young minds can cherish as they grow into adulthood, ultimately benefiting our community and the greater world for generations to come.”

Master Tree Stewards are community volunteers who visit 4th-grade classrooms each spring to present an interactive lesson on trees. No experience is needed. All training and classroom materials are provided by the Master Tree Steward program.

Master Tree Stewards can also organize additional projects, such as the educational “Tree Trails” in Union County parks.

Each fall, the Master Tree Steward program offers a series of training sessions, consisting mainly of guided walks in nearby parks and nature reserves. Easy reading assignments, indoor classes, a simple project are also part of the program. The entire program, including a tree identification guide, is covered by a $25.00 administrative fee.

Applicants who complete the series obtain a Master Tree Steward certificate and are qualified to teach lessons about trees to 4th grade classrooms in the spring. The program provides a complete lesson plan along with posters, seeds and other supplies.

The 2023 fall training series will meet every Wednesday from September 6th to December 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., except for any holiday that falls on a Wednesday.

The 4th grade classroom visit schedule takes place on Wednesdays from January to June. Certified Master Tree Stewards are requested to choose 6 dates for their visits. Each visit takes approximately one hour, typically from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

A list of Tree Trails in Union County parks is available here. To apply, or for more information please contact Union County 4-H Youth Development at James Nichnadowicz at 908-654-9854 (ext.3), or

The Master Tree Steward program is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, as part of a statewide program under the umbrella of the Rutgers New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station. For information on all Extension programs in Union County, including Master Gardeners, Environmental Stewards and 4-H clubs for youth, visit