Masks are required and must be worn by all participants, and social distancing guidelines must be observed.

The Union County Board of Commissioners invites residents of all ages to meet live animals, celebrate wildlife and embrace environmental conservation at a fun and educational event in honor of Earth Day at Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, located in the Watchung Reservation at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. The event takes place outdoors on the grounds of the Trailside Center on Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“Our Earth Day event provides residents and visitors of all ages with an opportunity to celebrate the Earth as a community while enjoying the outdoors with family and friends,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.  

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Among other activities, Earth Day at Trailside features three live animal experiences:

  • In Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery, visitors will meet live snakes, turtles and an alligator as they learn about the characteristics of these cold-blooded creatures. This show is offered at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • Enjoy an amazing and comical presentation featuring live mammals and birds from around the world with Eyes of the Wild at 12:30 p.m.
  • Listen for the sounds of spring and have fun looking for wildflowers, young leaves, bird nests and baby animals by taking part in a guided Spring Nature Walk. The walks are offered at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is required for all programs. To register, visit ucnj.org/trailside.

A fee per person per program of $7.00 applies for Union County residents. The fee is $8.00 for non-county residents.

As part of the Earth Day Every Day, event visitors can take a self-guided stroll along Union County’s Sensory Friendly Trail and enjoy a Recycled Art Wildlife Walk. Residents will learn about the importance of recycling as they encounter colorful eco-art made from more than 4,000 recycled plastic bottles as part of this free outdoor exhibit. No pre-registration is required for this activity.

Masks are required and must be worn by all participants, and social distancing guidelines must be observed.

Earth Day is officially recognized worldwide each year on April 22. For more information visit earthday.org.

For more information about the special programs offered for Earth Day and upcoming programs for seniors, families and children at Trailside, visit ucnj.org/trailside or call 908-789-3670.

In-person activities in Union County parks are limited during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with statewide public health guidelines, and Trailside is closed to the public until further notice.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, including online resources during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connect

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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.