Governor Murphy Vetoes A3677, NJ’s Invasive Species Bill

We have a disappointing update to A3677, the NJ Bill to prohibit the sale and traffic of invasive species. Governor Phil Murphy has vetoed it under the rationale that the Department of Environmental Protection needs to be more involved in the drafting of the bill. For a bill of such critical importance to our state’s ecology, it is surprising that Murphy and the DEP did not work more closely with the Assembly and Senate and instead punted the work back to them for another year. Although an override is possible, as the bill had unanimous and bipartisan support in both houses, it is unlikely given the late date We will be advocating to send the bill back in front of both houses when the new session starts. Read his statement here.

2023 Advocacy Update and Call to Action on Invasives

The Advocacy Committee of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey is excited to report on our progress in 2023 to protect the native plants of New Jersey and to look ahead to new legislation. Your participation, by contacting the governor and legislators, will make a difference.

Bill to Ban Invasives – Finally on the Governor’s Desk

For the last two years, we have been working to pass New Jersey Bill A3677/S2186. This bill aims to prohibit the sale, distribution, or propagation of certain invasive plant species and establishes the NJ Invasive Species Council. It’s a crucial step toward controlling invasive species and protecting our native plant ecosystems. In the spring of 2022, we pushed to move this bill forward when few had faith in it. In December 2022, our committee co-chair Laura Bush testified about it before the NJ Senate Environment and Energy Committee and again before the Assembly Agriculture and Food Security Committee in May 2023. The bill finally passed both houses with unanimous support last week and now we are delighted to announce that it is on Governor Murphy’s desk. Even though this bill had bipartisan support in both houses, this does not mean the governor is certain to sign it. Please reach out to the governor via the governor’s website, leave a voice mail at 1-609-292-6000 or send a text message to 1-732-605-5455 and encourage him to sign it. Letters are usually better, but there is no time!

There’s much more in our update here.

Receive 20 % off Tess Taylor’s new book Leaning Toward Light in time for the holidays!

This offer has ended. Members receive 20 % off Tess Taylor’s new book Leaning Toward Light in time for the holidays! Just log in and the code will be there on your member landing page. Caring for plants (much like reading a good poem) brings comfort, solace, and joy to many—offering an outlet in difficult times to slow down and steward growth. In Leaning toward Light, acclaimed poet and avid gardener Tess Taylor brings together a diverse range of contemporary voices to offer poems that celebrate that joyful connection to the natural world. This book reminds us how gardening is a healing practice, both for ourselves and the spaces we tend. The gorgeous hardcover package with ribbon bookmark makes this anthology a distinctive gift. Tess Taylor, an avid gardener, is the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry, including Work & Days, which was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Tin House, The Times Literary Supplement, CNN, and the New York Times. She has also served as on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. She will be featured in episode 8 of The WildStory Podcast.

Fall 2023 Conference Videos Online

The recording of our Fall 2023 Conference, Hidden in Plain Sight: the Outstanding Natural Diversity of New Jersey is now available for viewing on Youtube. Visit the Fall 2023 conference page here.

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Time to prepare for Spring

Red maple – Acer rubrum

Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring!
These deep red female flowers from way up in the tree canopy will be telling you spring is here. The trees usually bloom starting in late March or early April. Did you know that red maple trees are usually either male or female? Learn a little more about a tree that brings in spring with pollen and nectar to early insects and later is filled with vibrant fall colors

Read about Red Maple here

Winter Sunlight

Tipularia discolor – Cranefly Orchid

As you enjoy the cool winter and early spring air, keep your eyes open for these greenish leaves with a distinctive maroon underside. They belong to the very uncommon Tipularia discolor. Did you know that all orchids need fungi to grow from seeds. Also the Cranefly orchid needs them to supplement their leaves.
Make note of the location and revisit in early August to see the flowers.

Read about Cranefly Orchid here

A Christmas Wish

Castilleja coccinea – Scarlet Indian Paintbrush -New Page

Did you know that there is a indian paintbrush (Castilleja) in the east and is native to NJ?

At one time it was found in almost every county in NJ!

It has not been seen in NJ for years! It would be wonderful to see this showy plant again in NJ! 

Read about Scarlet Indian Paintbrush here

2023 Native Plant of the Year
Category: Backyard Perennial

Pycnanthemum muticum
Clustered Mountainmint
Learn more
2023 Native Plant of the Year
Category: Rare and Special

Claytonia virginica var hammondiae
Hammond’s Spring Beauty
Learn more