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.
In 2023, the Essex Chapter created a NPSNJ School Guide because helping kids learn about native plants is crucial to restoring local ecosystems.
Designed for parents and teachers, the 12-page Guide explains what native plants are, why they are important, and gives practical advice about how to plant and maintain a school garden that provides food and habitat for pollinators and birds.
The key feature of the Guide is a sample garden design for sun or part-sun conditions with 8 beautiful and easy-to-grow plants. In addition, the Guide gives detailed information for 17 other plants. All 25 featured plants were selected for their interest while students are in school and because of their high ecological value to wildlife throughout the year.
In the section “Bringing the Garden Outside,” the Guide lists lesson ideas for using the garden. Finally, the Guide contains practical tips for gardening best practices and school garden success.
Read it below, click here to download your free copy, or email for a printed copy.NPSNJ School Guide
The NPSNJ has just received pins celebrating our 40th anniversary. You can get these at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Harding Township, New Jersey. We encourage all of our members to explore the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Harding Township, New Jersey! The NPSNJ day at the Great Swamp will be held in conjunction with the Great Swamp Fall Festival – a fun filled day of adventure and discovery.
Be sure to visit the NPSNJ table near the refuge visitor center between 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM your free enamel pin celebrating our 40th Anniversary. If you aren’t a member yet, you can sign up on the spot with your smart phone.
Our new membership system is now in place and you may once again get memberships at https://npsnj.org/membership/. If you are a member and didn’t get an email from us, write
Native Plant Society of NJ Hudson County Chapter is asking for volunteers to help us build the pollinator garden at the St. Joseph’s Peace Care Healing Garden at the corner of Magnolia Ave and Baldwin Ave in Jersey City. We are looking to create a neighborhood task force of caring gardeners who can help us work quickly to prepare the ground for new native plants arriving in mid June. We will be removing invasive species and incorporating native plants to create a garden space that will attract birds, butterflies and other pollinators for the nursing home residents and their families to enjoy.
Also if anyone in the area has an old wheelbarrow they are not using we could use it for this project!
Garden Volunteer Days are:
Wednesdays 9:00am -11:00am
We will not meet on July 5th or July 8th
We would like to share “Gardening for Nature in New Jersey,” an insightful online piece published by The Nature Conservancy on native plants and their role in supporting local ecosystems. The piece outlines three garden types—Pollinator Gardens, Rain Gardens, and Container Gardens—that can be created using New Jersey native plants. It’s a resource that will be particularly helpful for introducing native gardening to your friends and those new to the concept.
This piece further encourages everyone, regardless of available space, to create pollinator-friendly habitats. It emphasizes that even small yards, patios, and porches can contribute to a broader ecological benefit. For our members who have been asking for guidance on container gardening, this blog post provides valuable insights that could help you get started.
The Conservancy also highlights the importance of Rain Gardens, an aspect of native plant gardening that our own society has extensively covered in the NPSNJ’s own Rain Garden Manual. These gardens not only beautify our landscapes but also effectively manage rainwater, reducing the risk of flooding and pollution run-off.
The Nature Conservancy’s work in New Jersey has contributed significantly to conservation efforts, particularly in supporting pollinator species. Their initiatives include transforming fallow fields into wildflower meadows and managing large milkweed habitats for monarch butterflies. A noteworthy mention is the Garrett Family Preserve, which is home to a thriving pollinator trail through a four-acre wildflower meadow, and the Lummis Ponds Preserve, boasting one of the largest stands of milkweed in the state. The Nature Conservancy manages a variety of preserves that offer unique opportunities for exploration and wildlife viewing. From the diverse habitats of South Cape May Meadows to the limestone wetlands of Johnsonburg Swamp Preserve, these areas provide a haven for our state’s native and migratory species. They also serve as vital conservation areas, protecting the habitat of species like the bobcat at Blair Creek Preserve and a variety of bird species at Maurice River Bluffs.
We get it, we all get too many e-mails. You moved and your chapter changed or you signed up for all the chapters and now you just want to subscribe to one. Either way, you’d like to pair down your e-mails from NPSNJ.
We use Constant Contact to manage our e-mail lists and while the service is great in many ways, it isn’t as easy to manage your newsletters as it could be. Here’s the key. Open up one of our e-mails. Don’t hit unsubscribe or you won’t get any more e-mails from us at all. Instead, right at the bottom of every e-mail from us is a link that says “Update Profile” (see below). Click on that and you’ll be taken to a page where you will be able to select which newsletters you want to subscribe to and which ones you don’t.
We’ve done a little housecleaning here at NPSNJ.org!
We cleaned up our menu structure and, in particular, improved the experience for mobile users. No more digging deep to find chapters.
We also have a news page at https://npsnj.org/news/. As always, the most recent news is posted on our front page, but you may want to bookmark the news page where you can read the stories in depth. Those of you who use an RSS reader can follow along with us at npsnj.org/feed
Since our statistics show that our guide to nurseries that sell native plants is very popular, we’ve updated that list for 2023.
We now have a chapter page and contact info for our latest chapter, Mercer County. Look for a news item about them in the coming months.
Hervé Barrier, co-leader of Highland Park NPSNJ Chapter, one of the curators of the Rutgers 2023 Personal Bioblitz project, and a passionate contributor to the iNaturalist project (id=hb2000) wrote to encourage us all to join the Rutgers 2023 Personal Bioblitz. Click here to join: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/personal-bioblitz-2023
Every spring, Rutgers organizes an online Bioblitz (a species survey) using INaturalist. This year’s Bioblitz just started and will continue until mid-May. This time window is particularly interesting because of the emergence of spring ephemerals. Rutgers students, faculty, alumni, and friends and nature lovers (which means you, NPSNJ members!) are invited to join the project.
What is Inaturalist.org?
Fun and educational, iNaturalist is a world-wide citizen-science tool used by universities, nature groups like ours, and individuals. Anybody, beginner or expert, can report observations (picture, audio) of plants, birds, insects, mushrooms, any organism, or evidence of it. The huge amount of collected data is used by scientists, land planners etc. In schools, it encourages students to observe nature, develop identification skills or do specific studies. You can use a smartphone (or a camera and a computer). If you don’t know the name of a species, other people will help. If a species should be protected, you can easily obscure its location. iNaturalist is also a great way to learn about species. It has a sophisticated identification algorithm and can help you identify species in the field, or at least make a good guess that other iNaturalist members can help narrow in.