'Workshop in the Woods'' for Residents of All Ages - October 7, 2023
Join Woods & Wayside International in Passaic River Park on Saturday, October 7, as we explore ways to restore our trails and forests.
A Forestry Management Workshop will be held in Passaic River Park on Saturday, October 7 at noon. Led by Dr. Patricia Shanley of Woods & Wayside International (as well as some of her students from Princeton), the hands-on workshop will include a brief introduction to local invasive plants and removal techniques will be followed by hands-on work along the Passaic River. Other topics to be covered include:
- Ecological "literacy"
- Training youth to remove invasive species that choke and kill native trees and plants in our forests, and invite ticks and other harmful insects
- Maintaining trails
- How forests promote personal wellbeing
Each workshop includes hands-on work of restoring sections of our Passaic River trails, which includes pulling out and/or cutting invasive species threatening our forests, and identifying similar threats.
Mosquitos numbers are low, temperatures are good. Wear long pants, long sleeves and bring gloves! If you have good shearers or loopers, bring them! Feel free to walk in but sign up is recommended.
Tools will be provided. Liability waivers will need to be signed on site. If you can't make the workshop, you are still welcome to help with an organized clean up or even contribute at your own liking by cleaning any public space with your family!
Welcome to the Berkeley Heights Township trail system.
Whether tracing along the Passaic River, or connecting neighborhood streets through wooded tracts, there are multiple trails and pathways for residents and visitors of all ages to enjoy. Points of interest include multiple Berkeley Heights parks, the historic Littel-Lord Farmstead and nearby Watchung Reservation. New trails are being constructed to connect existing sections in Passaic River Park, and to provide greater access to the area. The township had a total area of 6.26 square miles, including 6.22 square miles of land and 0.04 square miles of water. Certain portions of Berkeley Heights are located in various flood zones. The township is located partially on the crest of the Second Watchung Mountain and in the Passaic River Valley; the Passaic River forms the township’s northern border. The township is also located partially in the Raritan Valley region, in which the Green Brook forms the township’s eastern border near the Watchung Reservation. Berkeley Heights is located in northwestern Union County.
The map below shows the existing and planned or conceptual future trails in Berkeley Heights, as well as notable landmarks such as our Downtown, parks, Municipal Complex, library and parking. Thanks to a grant from AARP, the Township was able to construct 4 new wooden kiosks at Snyder Park, Lower Columbia, the YMCA and Passaic River Park, which now house beautiful new large-print versions of these maps, as well as smaller, portable versions. The AARP grant is helping us promote walking and pedestrian activity not only among our residents ages 55 and over, but among residents of all ages.
The trail user surveys is designed to provide feedback on how we can best improve upon and expand our trail program. Your input will help us gain insight on how our residents are using the trails.
Trail Score Card Program
The Trails Score Card is a simple means to collect feedback on Township walkability from residents. The intent is to identify trails that need improvements or maintenance. All input is welcomed. Residents are encouraged to score the trails or simply provide feedback via email to the Environmental Commission. We are working on creating a digital scorecard that residents can fill out and submit online. The information will be used to help us guide our future trail/path improvements.
Related Links & Information
- Berkeley Heights Master Plan (Adopted April 2022)
- Union County Nears Final Acquisition of Berkeley Caterers to Preserve as Open Space (press release)
- Union County Parks & Recreation
- Union County Connects - Mobilizes trail supporters and the public to advocate in their own communities for safe walking and biking infrastructure.
- Passaic River Access Maps
- NJ Trails Action - Collaboratively advances opportunities for funding, construction, maintenance, promotion, and the use of trails in New Jersey.
Interested in Volunteering?
Here's a list of current and ongoing trail projects we could use your help with! Whether you're in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts and need service hours, or whether you just want to help improve our trail network, or clean up our walking paths, we can always use help!
- Adopt a Trail!
- Trail Cleanings and Litter Pick ups (monitor Township e-newsletter for Environmental Commission litter cleanups)
- Workshop in the Woods - Invasive species removal/management with Woods & Wayside International
- Join the Union County Chainsaw crew
- "Trailblazing" - providing standard trail markings along trails
- Add or repair trail features such as pick-nick tables and benches
- Refurbish a Bird Blind on Passaic Trail
- Refurbish Deer Exclusions (fenced areas omitting deer)
- Turnpike Development & Maintenance (see below)
- Grant writing
- Trail map kiosks management and revisions
If interested, please email John Leo of the Environmental Commission.