Press Releases

Join the Master Tree Stewards this Fall


Trees are all around us in Union County, and the Master Tree Stewards program lets you find out just how much there is to know about our tall co-habitants while participating in fun community service projects, too. Become a Master Tree Steward this year and immerse yourself in knowledge, tree conservation and community outreach.

“The Master Tree Steward program is available to any Union County resident interested in conserving our trees and passing the conservation message along to young people,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen. “It’s a unique intergenerational community service that promotes respect for our environment and teaches children about the diverse natural wonders on this planet we call home.”

Trees are well-documented for their environmental roles in reducing pollutants, providing habitat for birds and other animals and controlling soil erosion. Trees are linked to cleaner air, and improved public health and safety.

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Each volunteer Master Tree Steward is trained and certified by experts from Rutgers University. The training begins on September 6 and consists mainly of guided walks through local nature preserves, including Cheesequake State Park and Hacklebarney State Park, and a visit to the New Jersey Forestry Service. Classroom exercises supplement the guided walks.

The program’s signature volunteer effort is the countywide “tree blitz” each spring, when the Master Tree Stewards fan out to schools in Union County to provide classrooms lesson on the importance of trees in our environment.

The lesson is based on the popular “Tree Jeopardy” games and other fun activities that help students understand the importance of tree conservation.

No previous experience with trees or classroom instruction is necessary. The Extension provides a lesson kit and other support including classroom training.

Master Tree Stewards also engage in other tree-related community service projects throughout the year.

The Master Tree Stewards is a program of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, supported in part by the Freeholder Board. More information on all Extension programs, including 4-H and Master Gardeners, is available at

Applications are due by August 31. For an application or more information, contact Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at the Extension offices in Westfield at 908-654-9854 or email

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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Union Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Fatally Stabbing Father

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – The Union man accused of stabbing his father to death and setting the home on fire last May has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison, announced acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan on Monday.

Jeffrey Adams, 21, must serve at least 85 percent of that term before the possibility of parole, in accordance with New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, under the ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice


Sun, March 25, 11:00 AM

Shackamaxon Country Club, Scotch Plains

Hear Our Voices: MemoryCare Plays

Health & Wellness

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Walk the INDIE Red Carpet

March 20, 2018

Wardlaw+Hartridge student filmmakers graced the red carpet in style before showcasing their wonderful productions in the fifth annual INDIE Film Festival at the Berry Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 10.

The afternoon included separate screenings for Middle School and Upper School films and receptions following each session. All filmmakers, actors, families and friends enjoyed the ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Gratitude Goes to the Girls! Mindful Monday Series - # 1

March 19, 2018

I am thrilled to launch our first edition of "Mindful Mondays" today!  Why Mindful Mondays? After several years of working with individuals in a variety of settings, many have asked me: "What's all this mindfulness about anyway?"  I often respond with, "It's different for everyone," but in general I begin with this definition ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

Profit from Recent Volatility with Stock Market Bargains

Markets retreated in February, the worst down month in two years. A record surge in volatility caused several ETFs designed as leveraged bets on low volatility to plunge, with at least one being forced to liquidate and hand its investors a near total loss.

The Causes of February’s Market Retreat

The initial catalyst for the sell off was inflation. The January jobs report showed ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
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Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...