If you are looking for an enjoyable volunteer opportunity that puts you in touch with nature and helps “grow” environmental awareness in Union County, join the Master Tree Stewards of Union County.

Master Tree Stewards train each fall by participating in guided walks at nature preserves in the Union County area. Each spring they fan out across Union County to share their knowledge of trees with fourth grade students.

“Over the years, our Tree Stewards have helped thousands of Union County children learn how important it is to preserve and protect our urban and suburban treescapes,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “They make an invaluable contribution to the health of our environment, and the Freeholder Board is proud to support them.”

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The Master Tree Steward program is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, which brings local residents together with experts from Rutgers University.

No previous teaching experience is needed. Volunteers who complete the fall training achieve Master Tree Steward certification and are qualified to present the Extension’s tree lesson to fourth grade students. They also receive lesson kits and ongoing guidance from Rutgers staff.

“It’s no wonder that children love the Master Tree Steward classroom visits,” said Bergen. “The lesson consists of games and hands-on activities that make learning fun.”

Master Tree Stewards also participate in tree plantings and other outdoor conservation activities in Union County.

To obtain a Master Tree Steward application, contact Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at 908-654-9854 ext.3 or jnichnadowicz@ucnj.org.

Applications must be submitted by August 31.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County is supported in part with funding from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and is headquartered at the Colleen Fraser Building at the county services complex in Westfield, at 300 North Avenue East.

For more information about the Extension and all Union County environmental programs and activities, including 4-H youth clubs and the Master Gardeners program, visit The Green Connection online at 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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