Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore Chapter was formed in 2012, in response to Superstorm Sandy that destroyed many natural areas and home landscapes along the Jersey Shore. Residents were looking to replace and augment their property with natives and reached out to the NPSNJ for suggestions. Our chapter is supported by the Barnegat Bay Partnership and embraces the Jersey-Friendly Yards initiative as a way to create healthy landscapes for a healthy environment. 

Four native plant enthusiasts co-lead the Jersey Shore Chapter. We offer a calendar of monthly activities that include in-person plant walks & talks, workshops and garden tours, as well as online webinars. We can be reached at 

Karen Walzer  

A long-time gardener and nature enthusiast, Karen enjoys the native plant and animal wildlife in her home state of New Jersey and especially in her own yard. She works as the Public Outreach Coordinator for the Barnegat Bay Partnership, a National Estuary Program working to protect and restore clean water and healthy wildlife habitat in the Barnegat Bay watershed. Karen helped to create and now manages the content for Jersey-Friendly Yards, a website with resources and tools that New Jersey property owners can use to landscape for a healthy environment. She is also an Ocean County Master Gardener and member of a trail preservation group in Jackson, NJ. Karen is a founding member of the Jersey Shore Chapter. 

Becky Laboy

Becky Laboy  

Becky is the full-time Education Outreach Specialist with Ocean County Soil Conservation District. She holds an MA in Education, BS in Biology, and a BA in International Relations. Becky is an adjunct professor at Kean University, she also instructs the Barnegat Bay Volunteer Master Naturalist course through the Barnegat Bay Partnership, and she leads birding tours as a naturalist with Ocean County Parks and Recreation. Becky has over 25 years of experience as both a formal classroom teacher and informal environmental educator. Becky is co-author of ‘The Kid’s Guide to Exploring Nature’, published by Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She enjoys birding, hiking and landscaping her own yard to attract and support birds and wildlife, and strives to inspire others to make small but positive changes at home, to help create a healthier planet.

Kelly Balon 

Kelly works as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst by day and by evenings and weekends, she is an aspiring landscape designer and avid wildlife habitat restorer. As many of us were, Kelly was introduced to the world of native plants and their importance by one of the environments’ contemporary heroes, Doug Tallamy. Luckily, this introduction happened only a year into her first homeownership and it shows! Kelly and her husband, Peter, have planted over 140 native (to NJ and a few stretches from nearby areas) species on their .6 acre property in northern Brick. She loves teaching others about native plants, their value, how to incorporate a variety of habitats into the landscape, and of course, getting her hands dirty! She is thrilled to be a part of our team!

Pamela Almeida

Pam is a member of the National Butterfly Association and Monarch Watch Foundation, in addition to being a co-leader for the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. She is a Barnegat Bay Master Naturalist, gardener, and wildlife and entomology enthusiast. She educates adults and children alike in the appreciation of fauna and flora in New Jersey. Her experiences include public outreach, education, and creation & design of pollinator gardens. Her yard is a Certified Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Way-Station and she has been successfully rearing Monarch butterflies for over 15 years. 

Jersey Shore Chapter Events

Upcoming Events