Health & Wellness

Freeholders Break Ground on Sensory Trail in Watchung Reservation

6c9f9280e462a282a854_9AC0A1C4-F98E-4BB5-9CA3-47DFCA81D3BF.jpeg
The Watchung Reservation Sensory Trail will be accessible to all and allow residents to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside. Credits: Jim Lowney/County of Union
6c9f9280e462a282a854_9AC0A1C4-F98E-4BB5-9CA3-47DFCA81D3BF.jpeg

 

 

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders broke ground on the Watchung Reservation Sensory Trail last week, the first of its kind in the county, that will be accessible to all and allow residents to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings at the Trailside Nature and Science Center.

“Access to the outdoors and nature is important to the health, well-being and education of all individuals regardless of age, location or physical capabilities,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen. “The Freeholder Board is proud to support this project and others that provide equal access.”

Freeholder Vice Chairman Sergio Granados, who is the Freeholder liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, said: “The sensory trail is specially designed for all park visitors and provides a way to safely experience the outdoors and provide opportunities to interact with nature. The Freeholder Board is committed to providing children and adults of all abilities access to recreational opportunities.”

Sign Up for E-News

The Watchung Reservation Sensory Trail is a 0.3 mile loop with a central gazebo.  The interpretive signage includes two talking kiosks highlighting the natural and human history of the Watchung Reservation.  

In addition, the 0.2 mile braille trail loop with guide ropes features multiple stops to learn about the local flora and fauna.  The central gazebo offers a sensory play area to attract children and encourage exploration and discovery. 

Sensory stimulation is provided through sensory gardens, musical components and nature-themed play structures designed to meet the physical, social and cognitive needs of different age groups. These areas provide tactile experiences and create opportunities to enjoy the touch, sound and smells of the outdoors.  

Trailside Nature & Science Center will utilize the new Sensory Trail and offer educational programs to allow students and families an opportunity to explore nature and gain a better understanding of the natural world around them.

The trail stretches from the Trailside Center and into fields surrounding the center and will be two outdoor classrooms along the trail (log and acorn searing) where naturalists can gather groups and/or make presentations.

The project was designed by CME Associates Consulting and Municipal Engineers, which is based out of six offices in New Jersey. The project contractor is Pavelec Brothers from Nutley, NJ. The cost of the project is $652,000 and construction is expected to begin shortly with completion by the end of February.

Over the past few years, the Freeholder Board has supported both sensory friendly productions at the Union County Performing Arts Center and the creation of the County’s first inclusive playground at Mattano Park in Elizabeth. The Freeholder Board is currently planning to support the creation of more inclusive playgrounds through the Open Space Trust Fund later this year. Additionally, the County continues to provide recreational programs that promote inclusion and social events for people with special needs through the Office of the County Parks Director.

Taking part in the ground breaking in the photo, were: Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen, Vice Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholders Linda Carter and Alexander Mirabella joined Union County Manager Alfred Faella, Deputy County Manager Amy Wagner, Union County Parks and Recreation Director Ron Zuber and Trailside Nature & Science Center Director Patricia Bertsch.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

April 19, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Softball: Justina Benvenuto Named Union Catholic's Girls Conference Athlete of Week

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- After bursting on the scene with a fabulous freshman softball season at Union Catholic last year, there was a lot of hype surrounding Justina Benvenuto as she entered her sophomore season.

Benvenuto has more than lived up to all the lofty expectations, both on the mound and at the plate as she has sparked the Vikings to a 6-1 record this spring.

Benvenuto has been ...

Lunch & Learn: 'Israel at 70: Its Meaning and Value in Jewish Identity' with Professor Kenneth W. Stein Apr. 22

SUMMIT, NJ - For four decades, Kenneth W. Stein has taught Middle Eastern History and Political Science at Emory University. His scholarship focuses on the politics of the modern Arab world, American foreign policy toward the Middle East, modern Israel, and the Arab-Israeli negotiating process. Stein earned awards at Emory for excellence in teaching and life-long mentorship of ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

New Providence Borough Council to Cultivate Relationships with County Officials

April 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Robert Robinson touted the importance of personal relationships with Union County representatives at the Monday, April 9 council meeting.

Union County Freeholders Angel Estrada and Bette Jane Kowalski attended the Street Smart campaign kick-off event prior to the meeting providing the council members with the opportunity to chat face-to-face with the two ...

Chatham Township Committee Unanimously Adopts Ordinance to Ban Marijuana Retail Sales; Cannabis Advocates Disagree

April 13, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter began the new year by pledging to oppose Gov. Phil Murphy's plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and Thursday night he followed through by voting to adopt an ordinance that prohibits "marijuana cultivation, production testing, manufacturing facilities and retail stores' in the township.

The Chatham Township Committee ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_11433c9e92ddbc063eae_103a27776b9f3cdaaab1_img_2579

Sat, April 21, 11:00 AM

Our Lady of Peace , New Providence

Our Lady of the Peace Church Holds Healing & ...

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Other

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Education Other

Getting Real About Retirement – Will You Have Enough Money to Remain Comfortable?

Let’s get real about retirement. Will you have enough to remain comfortable in retirement for 30 years or more?  Studies show this is a recurring fear many Americans have - and for good reason. Many Americans are completely unprepared to fund a comfortable retirement, and remain naive about the actual costs involved.  As a Fee-Only financial advisor, my number one priority is ...