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Join the Union County Environmental Stewards and Make a Positive Impact in Your Community

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Are you concerned about the environment and want to learn how to make a difference? For the first time, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension will offer its Environmental Steward Program in Union County.

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

“The Freeholder Board strongly supports the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in its mission of connecting the public with scientific research,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “As a sister program to the Extension’s popular Master Gardener and Tree Steward programs, the new Environmental Steward course will enable residents to learn valuable skills and insights from the experts, and apply their knowledge to help create more healthful, sustainable communities.”

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Participants in the Environmental Stewards program will attend classroom training sessions taught by experts from Rutgers University and non-profit organizations.

The series of classes begins on Friday, January 26. All sessions will be held on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County offices, located in the Colleen Fraser Building at the county services complex in Westfield, at 300 North Avenue East.

Class topics include climate change, soil health, energy conservation, water resource protection, invasive species and open space management, habitat conservation, protecting pollinators, and environmental policy. Optional fieldtrips to environmentally significant sites around the state are included as part of the program.

To become a certified Rutgers Environmental Steward, graduates of the class portion of the program complete a 60-hour volunteer internship of their choosing. Internships are unique and intended to align with the passion of the individual, the needs of the program, and the community.

Applications are now being accepted to join the program. The application deadline is Wednesday, January 24.

Applications and more details are available online at envirostewards.rutgers.edu. For additional assistance contact Michele Bakacs at Rutgers, bakacs@njaes.rutgers.edu or 732-398-5274.

Environmental Stewards of Union County is an all-volunteer program run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, supported in part by the Freeholder Board. The Extension joins Union County in a nationwide system designed to deliver science-based information to local communities, under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information about Union County Extension programs, including 4-H, visit ucnj.org/RCE.

Quick links to all environmental programs and activities in Union County are available at 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.

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