Highland Park/Middlesex County Chapter

Our chapter was formed in February of 2010 to help serve the central New Jersey community, serving Middlesex County and is open to anyone interested in native plants. 

 We meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm in the Highland Park Environmental Center on River Road (Co. Rd. 622). Parking is available. For a map of the center click here. The Environmental Center is on a three acre site that comprises Highland Park’s Native Plant Sanctuary. The reserve offers our chapter and all visitors opportunities to appreciate, protect and study New Jersey’s native flora and fauna.

Among our onsite events are removal of non-native species, establishment of native plants of New Jersey, creation of specialized gardens, river trail restoration, bird watching, nature walks, and native plant/seed exchanges. Offsite events have included garden tours, joint meetings with other environmental groups, foraging for edible plants, and nature walks in other protected lands. Monthly presentations have taught us about spring ephemerals, legislation to protect native plants, transforming a backyard into a wildlife sanctuary, foraging for native and non-native edibles and medicinal herbs, urban farming (beekeeping and chicken raising), and maple sugaring.

Belinda Beecham

Mary Denver

Co-leaders are Mary Denver, Belinda Beecham, and Hervé Barrier. You can reach them at .

Mary and Belinda have been active at the (HP NPS) Highland Park Native Plant Sanctuary (Reserve) from almost inception.

More about the: Highland Park Native Plant Sanctuary    Botanical Blitz 2014 at the HP NPS

Highland Park Chapter Events

Upcoming 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).