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Deserted But Adopted: Volunteers Help 'Spruce Up' Watchung Reservation Village

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Student volunteers from Mitzvah Mania planted trees and cleared invasive species for a nature conservation project in Union County’s Watchung Reservation.
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MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - Student volunteers from the Mitzvah Mania youth community service program recently visited the Deserted Village of Feltville, not to search for ghosts but rather to plant spruce trees and pine trees as part of a Union County Adopt-a-Park project.

Mitzvah Mania is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metro West NJ. It  provides students from age 12 to 16 with opportunities to organize and lead hands-on community service projects in Union, Essex, Morris, Northern Somerset and Sussex counties.

The Deserted Village of Feltville is a 19th century mill town located within Union County’s Watchung Reservation. It was largely abandoned throughout much of the 20th century, leading to local speculation about ghosts and spirits. Restoration work in recent years includes the renovation of Masker’s Barn, which has become a popular setting for weddings and other events.

Each year, hundreds of Adopt-a-Park volunteers work on beautification and nature conservation projects in the Watchung Reservation and other Union County parks. Any individual or group can join. For more information visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation or call 908-7899-3683.

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