UNION COUNTY, NJ - Union County residents can make a New Year’s resolution that will have a lasting impact by joining the Rutgers Environmental Stewards of Union County. The all-volunteer Environmental Stewards program helps members of the public learn how to take specific steps leading to improvements in the environmental health of their communities. 

“The Environmental Stewards program equips residents who have a passion and desire to improve the quality of the environment locally, with the knowledge and tools to be effective,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski.

The Environmental Stewards program is designed to help non-scientists learn more about the science behind the environmental issues impacting their communities.

Sign Up for Linden Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

The Environmental Stewards hold weekly classroom training sessions on Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. beginning January 30th through early June. Classes are held at the Extension offices in the Union County complex, located at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. Registration for the program ends on January 30th.

The training sessions include classes on habitat conservation, pollinator preservation, climate change and its impacts on the Union County region, protection of the Rahway River watershed, and much more. Field trips are part of the interactive experience.

Participants also work on environmental internship projects of their choice. 

Previous Environmental Stewards have applied their knowledge in Union County with projects such assisting in the effort to combat the destructive Ash borer beetle. The Stewards identified hundreds of Ash trees in County parks, collecting data that will help guide the effort.

Stewards have also created programs in multiple municipalities throughout the County. A program was developed by a steward through the New Providence Recreation Department to help children spend more time in the outdoors and learn how to care for their environment.

The Rutgers Environmental Stewards program is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, part of the national Extension system, established more than 100 years ago under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In New Jersey, Rutgers University runs Extension programs in each county through the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

The Freeholder Board supports the Union County Extension with administrative assistance and office space in Westfield, land for the Demonstration Garden in the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside, and funding for special projects.

For more information about the Rutgers Environmental Stewards program, visit envirostewards.rutgers.edu or contact Michele Bakacs, County Agent and Associate Professor for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County at bakacs@njaes.rutgers.edu or 732-398-5274.

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities are available at The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connect.

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.

Sign up for TAPinto Linden E-News alerts to be the first to read about all things Linden!

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS for breaking news, traffic/weather alerts and special offers.

Know a story we should share with readers? Email Us and tell us about it.

Looking for marketing opportunities for your business? Click here.