Trail steward orientation to be held Oct. 31 at Trailside

UNION COUNTY, NJ — Union County’s volunteer trail stewards are hikers, bird watchers, nature lovers, equestrians and just about anyone else who enjoys being outdoors and giving back to the community. Join in the fun and camaraderie by coming to the Trail Steward/Adopt-a-Trail orientation meeting on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Trailside Nature and Science Center, in the Watchung Reservation at 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside.

The trail steward orientation meeting begins with light refreshments and a special beginner session from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. A hands-on workshop immediately follows the beginner session, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This event is also open to current trail stewards, who are asked not to arrive before 10:30. Among the topics, workshop participants will learn about the factors that help trails resist erosion, misuse and deterioration from Ama Koenigshof, a noted trail restoration expert with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, who has worked on various trail projects in 14 different states.

Union County Trail Stewards volunteer to “adopt” a section of trail for two years or more, as desired. They remove litter, do minor pruning, remove invasive vegetation, clear drainage pipes and re-mark trails as needed. Volunteers who can’t make a two-year commitment are welcome to join a Trail Work Day. These are one-day work parties conducted by the Union County Adopt-a-Trail program, generally held on the first Saturday morning of each month from March through December.

Pre-registration for the orientation meeting is required by contacting the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at 908-789-3683 or Weather permitting, part of the meeting may be conducted outdoors and participants are advised to dress accordingly.