The Rahway River Watershed Association’s Environmental Education Program
Events, Activities, Workshops & Outings


Take a fresh look at the Rahway River Watershed. Each of the watershed’s twenty-four towns contributes rainfall and snow-melt to the Rahway River and its tributaries and each town offers unique ways to enjoy the outdoors. 

From Edison in Middlesex County to the Oranges of Essex County with Union County in between, residents are awakening to the area’s natural beauty and diverse cultural fabric.

The Rahway River Watershed Association partners with community groups to educate and inspire residents to protect open spaces, increase access to the meandering waterway, improve water quality, and discover the gifts of its rich fauna and flora. We invite you to join us in these endeavors.



Celebrate the Rahway River: 24 Towns, One Watershed


JANURARY~ Create a Rain Garden In Your Own Yard

Thursday January 26th
7pm – 9pm

Springfield Public Library
66 Mountain Avenue, Springfield

Rain gardens are visually pleasing landscape features that help manage stormwater runoff which leads to less flooding.

Toby Horton, Landscape Architect and Rutgers Cooperative Extension Specialist, has designed dozens of beautiful rain gardens for New Jersey residents. Toby will be joined by RRWA President, Seton Hall University Professor Marian Glenn, to host this informative lecture. They will explain what a rain garden is, describe their many benefits, and tell you how you can create one in your own yard.

Cost:    FREE

Our Rain Garden Workshop made the paper! Click to check out the article in the Union News Daily.


FEBRUARY ~ Green is the New Grey: Living Shorelines

Wednesday February 22nd
6pm – 8pm

Rahway Library
2 City Hall Plaza, Rahway

Dr. Jon K. Miller is Research Associate Professor of Coastal Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr. Miller’s research is focused on living shoreline projects and the application to shoreline stabilization and ecosystem restoration in the northeast. 

This workshop by Dr. Miller will explain what a living shoreline is and talk about how living shorelines benefit our coastal communities.

Cost:  $10 (Become a member and attend the workshop for free!)

Dr. Miller's bio can be viewed here.

Click to view or download event flyer. Feel free to print and distribute to anyone who might be interested.

Jon gave a very interesting and informative presentation. You can view it HERE!


MARCH ~ Green Film Festival

Saturday March 18th
Trailside Museum
452 New Providence Rd, Mountainside

2pm – 6:30pm

(The Lorax)
(Living Downstream)

The Lorax – “I am the Lorax,” says the creature Seuss describes as sharpish and bossy, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” Ahead of its time, visionary, or just stating the obvious, Dr. Seuss’s story of the Lorax and the Once-ler is not too far off from what we could soon face.

Living Downstream – This poetic film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links. After a routine cancer screening, Sandra receives some worrying results and is thrust into a period of medical uncertainty. Thus, we begin two journeys with Sandra: her private struggles with cancer and her public quest to bring attention to the urgent human rights issue of cancer prevention.

Cost:    $10  (Kids and members FREE. Become a member on the spot and get in for FREE!)

Click to view or download flyer

Click to view or download schedule


APRIL ~ Insect, Reptile, & Bird Expedition at Ash Brook Reservation

Saturday April 29th
8:30am – 11am

Meet at the Center for Hope
1900 Raritan Rd, Scotch Plains

Join us for an adventurous expedition catching, observing and identifying the animals of Ash Brook Reservation. This biodiverse reserve can be described as a mysterious wooded swamp comprised of scenic streams and wildlife surrounded by the residential towns of Scotch Plains and Clark. The area contains a diversity of habitats including forested wetlands, open marshes and streams.

This naturalist field trip will be led by Rahway River Watershed Association Board member and National Biodiversity Parks President Fred Virrazzi. Fred is a zoologist who has many years of experience tracking, observing, cataloging and photographing animals.

Expect some mild bushwhacking. Wear waterproof shoes.

Limited to 14.  Registration required.

Cost:    FREE

Click to view or download flyer


MAY ~ The Path to Biodiversity

Sunday May 21
10am – 12pm

Trailside Museum
452 New Providence Rd, Mountainside

Emile DeVito, Manager of Science and Stewardship for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and RRWA Vice President, will lead you on a trip through Watchung Reservation to talk about forest ecology and biodiversity. 

Biodiversity is defined as the number, variety and variability of all living organisms on Earth. Emile will talk about how natural and human activities affect the condition of various ecosystems and the types and amounts of animal and plant species found in them. Emile’s unusual style and vast knowledge of our local flora and fauna always makes for an entertaining event.

Cost:    FREE


JUNE ~ Rain Garden Bus Tour

Saturday June 17th
9:30am – 1pm

Trailside Museum
452 New Providence Rd, Mountainside

Join Michele Bakacs with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union Counties and Toby Horton,  Rutgers Extension Specialist in Landscape Architecture on a bus tour to learn how rain gardens and other green infrastructure cut landscaping costs, reduce and filter runoff and beautify your property.

We will visit a variety of green infrastructure installations including rain gardens, systems for rainwater harvesting and porous pavement.

Register at
For more info call 732-398-5274 or email

Cost:    $20


JULY ~ Nature Walk at Ask Brook Reservation

Saturday July 15th
9:30am – 12:30pm

Ash Brook Reservation
1776 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains

Join long-time Trail Steward Marc Grobman and amble across a forested hill of maple, beech, and sassafras, down through swampland thick with skunk cabbage and spicebush, to the dry, sandy meadows of Red Hill’s blueberry, pines, and pin oaks. Come learn about skunk cabbage’s thermogenesis and other odd characteristics, how early inhabitants used various plants, and how the park’s “corduroy” trail bed was built solely with locally-sourced materials.

Cost:    FREE


SEPTEMBER ~ Kayak the Tidal Marshes of the Lower Rahway River

Saturday September 23rd
9am – 11am

Rahway Yacht Club
1706 Paterson St, Rahway

Join NY/NJ Baykeeper Executive Director Debbie Mans on a kayaking trip through the lower Rahway. The salt marshes, brush and mudflats are high priority habitats and span four communities: Carteret, Linden, Woodbridge and Rahway.

Encompassing over 1,000 acres, this unique ecosystem is home to an abundance of birds and reptiles including some threatened and endangered species. We will be accompanied by RRWA Trustee Fred Virrazzi, a zoologist with specialties in ornithology, herpetology, entomology, endangered species and ecology.

Kayak provided. Limited availability.

Register by calling Heather at NY/NJ Baykeeper - 732-888-9870  x1

Meet at the Rahway Yacht Club at 8:30am

Cost:    $30      (BYO Kayak $20)   


SEPTEMBER~ Wild Edible Walk with Debbie Naha

Saturday September 16th
10am – 1pm

Lenape Park
78 Nomahegan Drive, Springfield (meet at the gate)

High School Teacher Debbie Naha is a Master Gardener, Registered Dietitian, and Licensed Nutritionist with a specialty in wild edible plants. She has been foraging local woods and fields for decades.

Debbie has lead field trips and conducted programs for Morris County Parks, Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, NJ Mycological Association, Hanson Park Conservancy, NJ Native Plant Society, Highlands Coalition, and Sierra Club, as well as municipal environmental commissions and other organizations.

Cost:    $10


OCTOBER ~ Nature Photography: Little Known Gems of Union County’s Warinanco Park

Saturday October  14th
9am – 11:30am

Join Betty Ann Kelly, Union County Parks & Recreation’s Environmental Specialist and Jacki Dickert, local nature photographer and instructor on this photo tour of Warinanco Park.  Kelly will provide insight into the park’s landscape architectural and environmental features while Dickert will give tips on composition, optimum camera settings, and working with light.

Emphasis on “the art of seeing” and creative interpretation will inspire you to get compelling images without having to go too far from home.  See to read Jacki’s bio and see examples of her work. 

Open to all levels and camera type.  This is a walking photo tour to include stops at historic and newly renovated Chatfield Garden, a shoreline restoration planting and other important park features. Please note that we may caravan to one or two sites by car.

All types and smart phones welcome.

Meet at the boathouse parking lot in Warinanco Park. The park entrance is located off Saint Georges Ave and Park Ave in Roselle.  Turn right onto Park Loop Drive. The boathouse is on the left, parking is on the right.

Cost:    FREE


NOVEMBER ~ Rahway River Watershed Day

Date and meeting place TBD

Join the RRWA Board, members, friends and partners in a day long watershed-wide festival celebrating the gifts of the Rahway River. Enjoy music, food and family fun activities with the great people of the Rahway River Watershed Association and meet new people!

Cost:    FREE


DECEMBER ~ Holiday Party

Date and venue TBD

Join the RRWA board for a festive Holiday Party. Take this opportunity to do some green networking as you spend an enjoyable evening chatting with like minded people who are also concerned about the health of the environment and the Rahway River Watershed.

Cost:    FREE



Annual Watershed Conferences

NJ Land Conservation Rally: This annual full-day conference, held in March, is organized by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, in partnership with many other NJ environmental groups.

ANJEE Environmental Education Conference: This annual conference, held each January, is geared towards both formal and non-formal environmental educators.

ANJEC Environmental Congress: This annual conference is geared towards environmental commissions, but is often relevant to watershed groups.

Land Ethics Symposium: This annual, full-day conference focuses on ways to create low-maintenance, economical and ecologically balanced landscapes with native plants and restoration techniques.

River Rally: This annual national conference, organized by River Network, focuses on both nonprofit management and river conservation.

NJ Invasive Species Conference: This conference, hosted by the New Jersey Invasive Species STRIKE Team, offers expert presentations about emerging invasive species science & management issues in the Garden State.

Environmental Events

Union County Bio-Blitz

Sustainable Jersey

Duke Farms

The Watershed Institute

NJ Audubon Hawk Rise Sanctuary