Green

Volunteers Brave Icy Blast to Build Home for Butterflies

January 10, 2017 at 9:34 AM

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:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Holy Trinity School Spotlight - 6th Grade

Sixth grade is a transitional year for students as they enter middle school.  Holy Trinity School embraces this change through its continued commitment to creating an environment in which its students can grow and develop academically, socially, and spiritually. 

In sixth grade, the curriculum becomes more departmentalized with students rotating classes for various subjects and ...

Pedestrian Killed on Route 22 in Union Friday Identified

January 20, 2017

UNION, NJ – The man struck and killed by a motor vehicle as he attempted to cross Route 22 Friday morning has been identified as Edgard Cruz of Union.

According to Union Police, the accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. Friday near the Point Condos and Chick-fil-A.

Cruz, 67, was attempting to cross three lanes of Route 22 East from the Point Condos to the 7-Eleven on the ...

Free Public Wi-Fi in Union County Parks and Facilities in Plainfield Area

January 17, 2017

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Okay, Plainfield, you already know some of the benefits of getting off the couch and stepping away from that television.  Now there is one more reason to head outside, and strive for those 10K steps per day. 

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced the additional park areas that will have free public Wi-Fi, so you can map out your route and post ...

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 11, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address two of the major themes.

(Q) The election is ...

February Book Clubs at the Scotch Plains Public Library

January 20, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains Library has announced its book club dates for February 2017.

On Monday, Feb. 6 at 7:00 PM, the Evening Book Club will be meeting to discuss Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.  A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. Every story has two sides. Every ...

Tears Are Good, They Let The Sadness Out

January 16, 2017

Jackie Kennedy and Coretta Scott King were our nation’s role models for mourning in the 1960’s and in the decades since. They were praised for their strength and stoicism, their courage and grace, and rightly so. They were great role models for our nation at a time of great unrest and anxiety, but I would say they were not the role models we needed when it came to grieving our ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.

 

I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.

 

This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.

 

It is not really ...

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

Having just passed the winter solstice, dreams of summer, warm beaches, suntan lotion, and the shussh of the ocean lapping the shore are very much on the minds of beach lovers. It is only five months until Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. If you are looking for a novel to titillate your summer musings, Mary ...

Holy Trinity School Spotlight - 6th Grade

Sixth grade is a transitional year for students as they enter middle school.  Holy Trinity School embraces this change through its continued commitment to creating an environment in which its students can grow and develop academically, socially, and spiritually. 

In sixth grade, the curriculum becomes more departmentalized with students rotating classes for various subjects and ...

Pedestrian Killed on Route 22 in Union Friday Identified

January 20, 2017

UNION, NJ – The man struck and killed by a motor vehicle as he attempted to cross Route 22 Friday morning has been identified as Edgard Cruz of Union.

According to Union Police, the accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. Friday near the Point Condos and Chick-fil-A.

Cruz, 67, was attempting to cross three lanes of Route 22 East from the Point Condos to the 7-Eleven on the ...

Free Public Wi-Fi in Union County Parks and Facilities in Plainfield Area

January 17, 2017

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Okay, Plainfield, you already know some of the benefits of getting off the couch and stepping away from that television.  Now there is one more reason to head outside, and strive for those 10K steps per day. 

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced the additional park areas that will have free public Wi-Fi, so you can map out your route and post ...

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 11, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address two of the major themes.

(Q) The election is ...

February Book Clubs at the Scotch Plains Public Library

January 20, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains Library has announced its book club dates for February 2017.

On Monday, Feb. 6 at 7:00 PM, the Evening Book Club will be meeting to discuss Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.  A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. Every story has two sides. Every ...

Tears Are Good, They Let The Sadness Out

January 16, 2017

Jackie Kennedy and Coretta Scott King were our nation’s role models for mourning in the 1960’s and in the decades since. They were praised for their strength and stoicism, their courage and grace, and rightly so. They were great role models for our nation at a time of great unrest and anxiety, but I would say they were not the role models we needed when it came to grieving our ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.

 

I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.

 

This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.

 

It is not really ...

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

Having just passed the winter solstice, dreams of summer, warm beaches, suntan lotion, and the shussh of the ocean lapping the shore are very much on the minds of beach lovers. It is only five months until Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. If you are looking for a novel to titillate your summer musings, Mary ...