Evening “Dusk to Dark” Programs Offered at Trailside

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Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center is offering Dusk to Dark family programs that explore the unique beauty of the Watchung Reservation in the early evening, starting with the Dusk Hike on May 16. Fun with Frogs and the Nature Trail Ride on horseback are among the other offerings. (photo: Karen Inzillo)

Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center is offering Dusk to Dark family programs that explore the unique beauty of the Watchung Reservation in the early evening, starting with the Dusk Hike on May 16. Fun with Frogs and the Nature Trail Ride on horseback are among the other offerings. (photo: Karen Inzillo)

UNION COUNTY – Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center will showcase creatures of the night during a series of evening family programs this spring. The popular “Evening Dusk to Dark” programs are presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Community Renewal.

Pre-registration is required for each program.

Wednesday, May 16, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Participate in a Dusk Hike, where everyone will be encouraged to use their “owl eyes” to look for homes and hideouts of the local wildlife.

Search for tree houses, burrows and nests while exploring the fields and forests for crepuscular or nocturnal animal neighbors. This is recommended for families with children ages 5 and up, with an adult. The fee is $6.00 per person for in-county residents and $7.00 per person for out-of-county residents.

Wednesday, May 30, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.: Frogs will reign supreme in a program titled Fun with Frogs. Families who attend this program will watch a brief slide presentation about these amazing amphibians that breathe through their skin and sing at night. Wear shoes that can get wet! Learn to identify spring peepers, green frogs, wood frogs and American toads by sound and then carpool to a nearby wetland to search for frogs, tadpoles and toads using special dip nets.

This program is for families with children ages 6 and older with an adult. Younger siblings will not be permitted to attend this program. The fee is $7.00 for in-county residents and $8.00 for out-of-county residents.

Thursday, June 7, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.: Delight in the wonders of the Watchung Reservation on horseback. Meet at the nearby Watchung Stable and join a Trailside Park Naturalist to learn all about the plants and animals that inhabit the Reservation. Then saddle up and meander through the woods and fields to visit Lake Surprise on a walking trail ride.

A Park Naturalist from Trailside Nature & Science Center will interpret sights and sounds of nature and identify interesting trees, plants and wildlife along the way. No riding experience is necessary. This program is for children ages 9 and up, with an adult. The fee is $45.00 for in-county residents and $56.00 for out-of-county residents.

To pre-register or to get additional information about Dusk to Dark or any other programs at Trailside, call 1-908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at www.ucnj.org/trailside.

Trailside Nature & Science center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.


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