A group of student volunteers from the Mitzvah Mania youth community service program visited the Deserted Village of Feltville last month, but not to search for ghosts. They were there to plant spruce trees and pine trees as part of a Union County Adopt-a-Park project.
“Our Adopt-a-Park volunteers play a big role in our County parks, and the Mitzvah Mania students worked hard to plant trees, remove weeds and invasive species, and prune back vegetation in the area around Masker’s Barn,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “They did a great job giving back to the community, and thanks to their efforts this popular site will continue to be an attractive haven for visitors and for nature conservation, too.”
Mitzvah Mania is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metro West NJ. It provides students from age 12 to 16 with opportunities to organize and lead hands-on community service projects in Union, Essex, Morris, Northern Somerset and Sussex counties.
The Deserted Village of Feltville is a 19th century mill town located within Union County’s Watchung Reservation. It was largely abandoned throughout much of the 20th century, leading to local speculation about ghosts and spirits. Restoration work in recent years includes the renovation of Masker’s Barn, which has become a popular setting for weddings and other events.
Each year, hundreds of Adopt-a-Park volunteers work on beautification and nature conservation projects in the Watchung Reservation and other Union County parks. Any individual or group can join. For more information visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation or call 908-7899-3683. To book an event at Maskers’ Barn visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation/deserted-village.
Photo caption: Student volunteers planted trees and cleared invasive species for a nature conservation project in Union County’s Watchung Reservation last month, organized through Union County Adopt-a-Park and the Mitzvah Mania program of Jewish Federation of Greater Metro West NJ. Credit: Jewish Federation of Greater Metro West NJ.