Historical photos of Union County parks on view in Union County parks

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UNION COUNTY, NJ — Visitors to Union County parks can take a walk back through history, as a traveling display of historical photographs makes its way from one park to another this summer. The unique outdoor exhibit celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the Union County park system.

The exhibit is currently on display at Warinanco Park in Roselle and will next visit Oak Ridge Park in Clark.

“These photographs document the tremendous effort that has gone into preserving land for public recreation and nature conservation in our community, ever since the first county-owned parks were established 100 years ago,” said commissioner board Chairperson Alexander Mirabella. “We hope the exhibit inspires visitors to carry on this legacy and help preserve and protect our parks for the next generation.”

The first parks in Union County’s park system were constructed in the 1920s, as local conservationists became alarmed over the impacts of rapid development in the area. The initial plans called for five parks and 2,000 acres of preserved land, a number that quickly grew to more than 4,000 acres by 1930.

Since then, generations of Union County voters have approved a series of measures to create new parks and add more land to the park system.

The Union County park system today consists of 36 parks totaling almost 6,200 acres, containing lakes and streams for fishing and boating, along with hiking trails, paved multiuse paths, athletic fields, golf courses and many other features, including an Olympic-scale archery range, the Watchung public riding stables, the Trailside Nature and Science Center, and the Deserted Village of Feltville.

For more information about Union County parks, including information about the Adopt-a-Park volunteer program, visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation or call the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at 908-527-4900.

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities are available at the Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

Photos Courtesy of Union County