Somerset County


Upcoming Events

Beech Leaf Disease: What’s at Stake in NJ & Strategies to Mitigate Impacts

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at 7pm on Zoom

This talk covers the ecology of beech, their importance in NJ, and what attributes and ecological services are under threat. The basic pathogenesis will be reviewed. Then, importantly the talk focuses on steps land managers can make to mitigate negative impacts of BLD including treatment options with pesticides, cultural practices to reduce stress in beech trees, and vital steps to prepare for losses of beech canopy such as mass underplanting of indigenous tree cohorts and management for their success. 

The presenter, Jean Epiphan, is an Agriculture & Natural Resource Agent (Assistant Professor) of Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Morris County. She is a Licensed Tree Expert LTE#692 and Certified Arborist ISA NJ-1247A. Ms. Epiphan has her BS in Forestry and MS in Ecology. She has many years of practical experience working in developed and ornamental landscapes and strives to design and manage them to improve environmental sustainability as well as ecological function. 

Click here to register for the Zoom link.


Looking Ahead

Watch for more events coming soon in April!


About the Somerset County Chapter

Somerset County is located in the picturesque (and somewhat mythical) region of Central New Jersey, renowned for its historic towns, lush landscapes, and diverse ecosystems. Our goal as a chapter is to assemble individuals passionate about botany, ecology, native plant gardening, and environmental stewardship, in our collective endeavor to appreciate, conserve, and study New Jersey’s indigenous plants and their habitats.

We warmly welcome everyone, from novice gardeners to expert botanists, interested in enriching their landscapes with native plants, cultivating gardens that support local wildlife, and actively participating in our region’s unique botanical legacy. Our meetings, workshops, and special events will provide a platform for collaboration, learning, and celebration of the beauty and importance of New Jersey’s native plants. Join us in the Somerset County Chapter as we explore, protect, and celebrate the flora that defines our state, contributing to a greener and more sustainable New Jersey.

Leaders: Valerie Szkodny and Nancy Toro
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Steering Committee

Scott Breeman- Duke Farms- Conservation Coordinator

Shona Erlenborn- Rutgers Master Gardener, Rutgers Environmental Steward

Ellen Locker- Rutgers Master Gardener, Rutgers Environmental Steward

Stephanie Punnett- NJ Audubon-Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary Program Director

Dan Ross- Environmental Education Center- Environmental Stewardship Coordinator

Valerie Szkodny- Chapter Co-Leader, Rutgers Master Gardener and Rutgers Environmental Steward

Nancy Toro- Chapter Co-Leader, Rutgers Master Gardener and Rutgers Environmental Steward

Doug VornlockerSomerset County Park Commission- Manager of Park Rangers and Property Management

Lisa Weinstock- Rutgers Master Gardener and Rutgers Environmental Steward