Do you like to hike? Are you interested in spending more time outdoors? Looking for a way to give back through volunteering? Think about becoming a Trail Steward!
The Union County Board of County Commissioners and the Union County Department of Parks & Recreation are looking for volunteers to bolster the ranks of its Adopt-A-Trail Program. Each Trail Steward adopts a section of trail in the Watchung Reservation or in any other Union County park.
“Walking or hiking on trails in the Union County Park System has been the most popular activity in our parks since they were built over a hundred years ago,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Changes in lifestyle since the pandemic have resulted in a dramatic increase in trail use and trail users of every kind – including hikers, joggers, dog walkers, and nature enthusiasts – visit our parks by the thousands every day. Though our park and trail maintenance staffs work hard to keep trails and paths in good condition, it is an overwhelming task. The Watchung Reservation alone has over sixty miles of trails. Volunteer Trail Stewards help the County keep the trails safe and clean for use by others.”
Trail Stewards walk their adopted trail at least four times each year, picking up litter and fallen branches, clearing leaves from storm culverts, and cutting back vegetation. They report larger problems, such as erosion or downed trees, to be dealt with by County staff or the volunteer Chain Saw Crew.
Anyone 18 or older who is interested in becoming or continuing as a Trail Steward is invited to an orientation meeting on Saturday, January 27, from 9:00 am to noon, at Trailside Nature & Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside. A simple online registration for the meeting is available at the Trail Stewards tab at: https://secure.rec1.com/NJ/union-county-nj/catalog.
The Adopt-A-Trail Program is administered by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. For additional information, contact the Division of Park Environmental Services at 908-789-3683 or email email@example.com.
Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, such as the Adopt-a-Trail and Adopt-a-Park programs and the popular Peregrine Falcon Cam, are available at The Green Connection, www.ucnj.org/green-connection/.