Garwood Green Team Installs Wood Chip Path in Unami Park

(above) Unami Park Trails

Garwood Green Team Earth Day Project

Submitted by Bill Nierstedt

On Earth Day, April 22, 2023, the Garwood Green Team (GGT) worked up a sweat installing a 300+ foot wood chip path in Unami Park in furtherance of our Adopt-A-Park commitment. This 6’ wide path will allow park walkers to traverse an area that many times has been nothing more than mud. Dog walkers and others were forced to pick their way along dry hummocks to walk from the park athletic fields to Center Street. Now, all will have a clean dry path.

Working in partnership with the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation (UC) who supplied all of the wood chips, and who were able to remove a 30” caliper tree that fell across the path less than two weeks before Earth Day, the Green Team created this path as one of the first steps towards naturalization of this section of Unami Park. Previously mowed and maintained as befitting a parkscape, both parties have agreed to let this park section return to a state of natural succession. Native grasses are being allowed to ‘grow, not get mowed’ for food and cover for small herbivores, and fallen trees are left to return important nutrients to the ecosystem. Wildlife, including deer and fox, as well as owls and hawks roam freely through the wooded sections of Unami Park, and it is hoped that the provision of plant food, cover and water will keep the animals in the park and out of neighbor’s gardens!  UC and the GTT hope to add bird, bat and owl boxes, and create wildflower, butterfly and other pollinator areas in the future.

The GGT was also assisted by students from various science classes of Lincoln School. The students not only helped load wheelbarrows but were also peppered with science questions through the morning.  How old is that fallen tree? An anonymous neighbor also dropped off some snacks and drinks for the hard-working crew! 

The Garwood Green Team is always looking for new members. The Team undertakes various ‘greening’ projects throughout Garwood, and also works on Sustainable Jersey action items to make Garwood a more sustainable living environment for all. Anyone who is interested in joining us is asked to contact   

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