Green

Volunteers Brave Icy Blast to Build Home for Butterflies

5f1d501e602e191b49bd_volunteer_large_group.JPG
723b494946f7327a4ed0_hay_bale.JPG
8d3ef7037da131772270_volunteers_with_dog.JPG
32e866d42a5e03f501a6_seeds.JPG
f927551b85a5a7293f42_volunteer_1.JPG
a661a19d643aa10f3a02_volunteer_2.JPG
d8a1207b6553f7338783_volunteer_3.JPG
1cc9f5aaf0612d935842_volunteer_small_group.JPG
d7740dfb955b9706b541_volunteer_4.JPG
e6e6ba275f5fc4d870f0_dog.JPG
5f1d501e602e191b49bd_volunteer_large_group.JPG

A group of Union County Adopt-a-Park volunteers went far, far beyond the call of duty last weekend, when they came together in freezing cold weather to work on a new butterfly meadow in the County’s Watchung Reservation.

The large, half-acre site is located near the grounds of the Trailside Nature and Science Center, at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

“Every year hundreds of volunteers work to improve wildlife habitats in our County parks, and this group certainly stands out for their willingness to get the job done even in the middle of a snow storm,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.

Sign Up for E-News

The wintery work was undertaken to ensure that the meadow enjoys a successful first season this year.

For some plants, seeds that are sown on frost-hardened ground and exposed to below-freezing weather are better able to germinate properly. When the ground warms up the seeds fall into cracks that form in the soil, which also helps the meadow get off to an early start.

After spreading the seeds, the volunteers put down a layer of hay to prevent birds from eating the seeds, and to reduce erosion.

“Pollinators play an invaluable role in the environment and in agriculture. The Freeholder Board is very proud that our Union County community is playing a part in creating and preserving our pollinator population, one meadow at a time,” said Bergen.

The new Watchung Reservation butterfly meadow will also become part of the educational programming at Trailside.

Other recent pollinator projects undertaken by Union County include a large meadow along the shores of the lake in Warinanco Park in Roselle, and provisions for pollinator-attracting plants in local community gardens that received grants from Chairman Bergen’s 2016 Community Garden Grants initiative.

The Trailside seeding is the latest step in a long term project organized by a local Girl Scout, Maeve Casey, who had previously worked on installing a butterfly garden at the entrance to the Trailside Nature and Science Center in 2014.

Ms. Casey enlisted fellow Girl Scouts to help begin the new project last fall, when they planted more than 400 milkweed seedlings with County personnel and other volunteers. The Mountainside Fire Department also provided key assistance by trucking water to the site. The seedlings were provided by Monsanto through a grant obtained by Ms. Casey.

Last weekend’s volunteer group included Ms. Casey and family members along with Adopt-a-Park and Adopt-a-Trail volunteers.

The seeds were purchased from Toadshade Wildflower Farm of Frenchtown with funds donated by the Trailside Museum Association, which provides volunteer and financial support for Trailside and its environs. Bartell Farm & Garden Supplies of Clark donated some of the hay.

Donations of additional hay are welcome by calling the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, 908-789-3683 (hay must be salt hay or clean straw to avoid weed seeds).

Individuals and groups are welcome to join Union County’s Adopt-a-Park and Adopt-a-Trail volunteer groups for additional work on the new meadow this spring, and other nature conservation projects throughout the year.

To sign up, contact the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at 908-789-3683 or visit online at ucnj.org/adopt-a-park.

For more information about Union County environmental programs and volunteer opportunities visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

(All photos by Betty Ann Kelly, County of Union)

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

HOLD: Fellowship Helping Hands Receives Home Care Award

February 17, 2018

Fellowship Helping Hands, the home care agency operated by Fellowship Senior Living in Basking Ridge,  has received the 2018 Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse, announced Liz Fandel, vice president of Home Community Based Services at Fellowship Senior Living.

Fellowship Helping Hands is a New Jersey licensed home care service for older and ...

New Jersey Youth Symphony Announces Bring A Buddy Week March 4-8

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ—New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) invites young musicians in grades 3-11 to attend open rehearsals for Bring A Buddy Week, March 4-8 at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. Participating students will observe the first half of a rehearsal. Students can visit any ensemble based on their grade and experience level. Students who do not have a friend in an ensemble can still ...

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Will Meet on Tues, Feb. 20, at LaGrande Park Building

FANWOOD, NJ -- Following the mass shooting in Florida this week, the Union County Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7:00 p.m. at the LaGrande Park Building  in Fanwood.

"Every life cut short by gun violence -- that somehow becomes a statistic -- is tucked away in our hearts, never to be lost," wrote Patti ...

Register Now to Save! Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA Early Bird Registration until February 28

With summer just around the corner, it will be hard not to look out the window and dream of warmer days and cool, crystal clear pools that are ready for swimming and splashing. With the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA early bird registration currently open, signing up sooner will save money and give you something to look forward to once the summer sun hits! Since 1964, the Berkeley ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

February 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.

Mr.

No One Is More Qualified and Capable to be Our Next Democratic Committee Chair Than Colleen Mahr

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a pillar of consistency in Union County for the last 20 years, having devoted her life to public service. There is no one more qualified and capable to lead us as our next Union County Democratic Committee Chair.

Colleen has mentored, coached and supported countless candidates running for office in Union County, all across our 21 ...

Mayor Colleen Mahr Is a Strong and Capable Leader

Dear Editor:

In  all the years I’ve known Mayor Colleen Mahr, I’ve found her to be a strong and capable leader, completely dedicated to the needs and success of every municipality in Union County.

 As  Vice Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee for the past five years, she's earned the right to take her seat at the head of the ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 17

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 17, 3:00 PM

Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook

Memorial Concert for Hank Rosenthal

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Sun, February 18

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_ab8f5d9efb4317e5a445_hiawatha

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School , Summit

New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra Free ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 18, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...