Green

Volunteers Brave Icy Blast to Build Home for Butterflies

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- 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 wintry 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 ConnectionFor 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.

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

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Grace Park Stepping Down as Union County Prosecutor; Thomas Isenhour to Take Over Role

September 12, 2017

ELIZABETH, NJ — Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park is going to work for PSEG after more than four years of public service, she announced Friday. Thomas K. Isenhour, a 33-year veteran of the office who formerly served as first assistant prosecutor under Park, has been appointed to take her place.

“With over three decades of experience prosecuting defendants and ...

It Really Doesn't Pay to Wait to Buy or Sell a Home

There will always be those who try to "time the market," but there's one factor you can't know — when buying a home will become more expensive.

Certainly you can tell from recent trends whether or not prices and mortgage interest rates are in your favor. Monthly prices have risen year-over-year for three years. Mortgage interest rates are slowly rising, but remain at ...

Raiders Logo Should Remove Ties to Indigenous People

September 23, 2017

To Whom This May Concern:

 

Our names are Diamond Terrell and Matthew Skolar, and we are students at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.

 

Our school has a very enthusiastic fan group, called Raider Nation whose purpose is to go to games and cheer on our team, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Raiders. Last Saturday, this group had on Instagram and Twitter a derogatory picture ...

Caring for a Chronically Ill Child Impact the Entire Family

September 14, 2017

September is Pain Awareness Month. It’s not easy balancing your care giving role and other parts of your life when you care for someone with a chronic health condition. Taking care of a chronically ill child, parent, spouse, or friend can be one of the most draining and difficult tasks we can face.

I have experienced chronic pain through my adult daughter’s illness; ...

Blessing of the Animals at All Saints

September 24, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Do you have a beloved companion that just happens to be a non-human?

Many of us have friends of all shapes, sizes, and species--and they deserve our gratitude and a special blessing! Bring them to the front lawn of All Saints' Episcopal Church on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 12:00 p.m. for a great celebration. Special treats will be on hand for our ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e95d1c2b632f235ddced_susan_devaney

Wed, September 27, 6:00 PM

Keller Wiliams, Westfield

Helping Your Parents Move

Business & Finance

Sat, September 30, 2:00 PM

Bowcraft Amusement Park, Scotch Plains

Fayla Family Fun Day

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back