The Hilltop Conservancy had 100 trees to plant around Prisoner’s Pond last weekend and, despite the blistering heat, the volunteers who showed up managed to plant 70 of them. So the Conservancy, which has worked to restore the ecosystem across the Hilltop Reservation for the past decade, needs a few more volunteers to finish the work this Saturday.
If you can help, go to the area just uphill from Verona’s Freedom and Liberty youth athletic fields on White Rock Road at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Wear tough shoes and work gloves, and bring drinking water and a spade.
The Hilltop Reservation, located on Verona’s western ridge, was forest and farmland until it became the site of an Essex County jail, tuberculosis sanatorium, and mental hospital in the early 20th century. When the county closed its facilities, some land was sold to developers and some set aside for passive recreation. There are now trails for both walking and biking on the Hilltop.