Our chapter was formed in 2010 in Highland Park to serve the Middlesex County area. Mary Denver, who founded the chapter, recently passed away; we miss her; she was a passionate nature lover and wonderful motivator.
Our chapter’s main activities are lectures and nature walks.
Our latest lecture in November, about invasive plants, was presented by Hubert Ling, former president of the NPSNJ. This presentation drew an amazing number of 250 attendees (both in person and on zoom). The event was given in collaboration with a local group, the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission.
Our philosophy is ‘Every nature walk is a bioblitz’. We use Inaturalist.org to record the observations from our walks. Inaturalist is a worldwide citizen scientist project extensively used by universities. It has a built-in capability that obscures the exact location when we report rare or sensitive specimens.
Our recent meetings have taken place in the East Brunswick library which is an excellent resource for meeting spaces and presentations.
Highland Park Chapter Events
Some Past Events
In February, 2020, our Highland Park Chapter, lead by Mary Denver & Belinda Beetham celebrated its 10 year anniversary with champagne toast and cake The Highland park chapter is one of the first chapters and is the longest active chapter, bringing together people who love native plants or want to learn about them with interesting speakers and hospitality.
In addition, Mary and Belinda are the primary volunteer stewards of the Native Plant Sanctuary of Highland Park, not only hands on, but working with Highland Park Borough, planning, winning funding grants, and recruiting volunteers. Volunteers included helpers from Rutgers & 4-H Club. With these volunteers, they have removed tons (literally) of Amur honeysuckle shrubs, Japanese knotweed, and other invasive plants and have planted many hundreds of native trees, shrubs, and forbs, ferns, and grasses.
Mary and Belinda, along with another organization, were just awarded the $2000 Park Partners Grant from Highland Park Borough for the NP Sanctuary for 2020.
Our first meeting was February 23, 2010. Our chapter was formed to help serve the central New Jersey community. Eight of us gathered at the Highland Park Environmental Center (seven in the photo plus the photographer).