Press Releases

“Trailside Talks” this Winter

Cedar Waxwing

A series of Trailside Talks and a Teacher Training Workshop for adults will be part of as part of the winter educational programs at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside. A new online registration system designed to make access to County Parks and Recreation services easy and convenient has been adopted.  Register online at and create an account and password.  Pre-registration is recommended.   Walk-ins are welcome as space permits.

“Trailside is a great destination throughout the year and these educational programs provide the perfect opportunity to experience nature in winter,” notes Freeholder Chairman, Bruce H. Bergen.

On Tuesday, March 14 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., The American Historical Theatre offers a compelling theatrical re-enactment, made possible in part by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.   “Theodore Roosevelt: American in the Arena” recreates the time when President McKinley was assassinated in 1901, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt bounded into Washington, D. C as the youngest President in history.   His vigorous persona helped catapult the U.S. into the new century.  His accomplishments were plentiful and diverse: War hero to Nobel Peace Prize winner, naturalist to imperialist.  This is a free program, donations are appreciated.

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An early spring lecture entitled, “Public Gardens of New Jersey,” is planned for Tuesday March 21, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.  This power point tour of more than 20 public gardens in New Jersey, is an inviting glimpse into the Garden State Gardens Consortium.   Michael Gross, Director of the Sister Mary Grace Burns Arboretum, offers commentary on each garden, covering their location, history, highlights of their plant collections and featured programs.    The gardens in the consortium include former estates, national historic landmarks, county and municipal parks, museums and universities.  The fee is $10 for Union County residents and $12 for out of county residents.     

In addition, a special program of interest for bird lovers entitled “The World of Birds Around Us” is offered for families on Saturday, March 25 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  Pete Bacinski, a retired NJ Audubon Birds Program Director, introduces his audience to the world of backyard birds here in New Jersey, and explains how you get hooked on bird watching, along with its benefits and challenges.   A power point presentation illustrates the variety and beauty of our local avian population.  The program is recommended for adults with children ages 10 and older.  The fee is $10 for Union County residents and $12 for out of county residents.  

“Healthy Water, Healthy People,” a teacher training workshop will be offered on Thursday, March 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The workshop encourages the investigation of the connections between water quality, the environment and human health.  This advanced workshop is best suited for educators teaching grades 6 -12, who have taken a Project WET workshop and who have basic water chemistry background.  Participants receive six NJDOE professional development credits.  Morning refreshments are provided.  Bring lunch. This program is for adults 18 years and older.  The fee is $20 and the curriculum guide is included.                

For more information about these programs or other activities at Trailside, please call 908-789-3670 or visit    Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a facility of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation.

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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