The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents of all ages to take a self-guided stroll along Union County’s Sensory Friendly Trail on Saturday, October 17 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Enjoy nature in the beautiful Watchung Reservation during the Recycled Art Wildlife Walk at Trailside Nature & Science Center. As visitors make their way along the trail, they will encounter a dozen different pieces of colorful eco-art made from recycled plastic water bottles. 

“Through this unique event, visitors will have the opportunity to view these unique, creative art pieces as they learn about our natural environment and the importance of recycling,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Each piece of recycled art is made out of hundreds of recycled plastic bottles, with over four thousands used in total to complete the project. This free outdoor exhibit shows visitors how artists can use recycled or reused to make attractive pieces of art, turning every day trash into imaginative treasures.

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The Sensory Friendly Trail is a 0.3 mile ADA accessible loop with a central gazebo. The trail is designed to provide tactile experiences and create new opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while learning about natural heritage in Union County.

The trail winds gently through the woods with guide ropes and features multiple interpretive signs to learn about the local flora and fauna, with 3-D reliefs and Braille for the visually impaired.

The Sensory Friendly Trail also includes audio kiosks highlighting the natural and human history of the Watchung Reservation, the largest preserved park in Union County at 2,142 acres.

Raised garden beds also add seasonal color to this multi-dimensional experience, providing visitors with additional opportunities to use their senses of sight, smell and touch.

Masks are strongly recommended and social distancing guidelines will be in place.

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

Please visit ucnj.org/trailside or call 908-789-3670 for more information about the Recycled Art Wildlife Walk or other nature programs and activities for all ages.

For more information and updates on permitted activities in Union County parks, please visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

Trailside Nature and Science Center is located in the Watchung Reservation, at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside, and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

For more information and updates on all Union County services and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University, and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, please visit the new Union County COVID-19 website at ucnj.org/covid19.

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit 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.

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