Sussex Chapter

Pink Lady Slippers Photo by Alana Steib on a S.C. field trip to Trillium Farms

The Sussex Chapter is the northernmost chapter of NPSNJ in New Jersey. Begun in 2015 with a group of native plant enthusiasts, we have expanded to 41 members who enjoy observing native plant habitats in our county’s numerous state parks and gardens. Our members include people who are also passionate about birds, butterflies, moths, floral design, photography, and environmental issues, so there is abundant cross-fertilization and a lot of learning at our meetings.

The group is comprised of a number of Rutgers Master Gardeners and native plant enthusiasts of all experience levels. At our monthly meetings we plan field trips to various native plant gardens and parks both in and out of county. We share our personal garden experiences as well as do research and share topics of interest with the group.

We also believe in educating residents about native plants by actively reaching out into the county with educational programs, displays, a speakers bureau, and by participating in township plant swaps. Members also maintain several community gardens in Sussex County. Every year the Sussex Chapter staffs an educational table at the New Jersey State Fair in August.  

We welcome any and all folks interested in learning more about native plants to join our meetings where we feature various speakers and lively discussion. You are also invited to accompany us on our field trips here in beautiful Sussex County and beyond.  


The NPSNJ Sussex Chapter usually meets on the first Monday of every month at 7pm in person at the Sussex-Wantage Library, 69 County Road 639, Wantage. There is no meeting in December or January. 

Upcoming Sussex Chapter Events

Our June 10th meeting is cancelled.  The library is not available due to a scheduled maintenance project in our meeting room.

7/1/24 – July meeting will be Monday, July 1st at the Sussex-Wantage Library, 7pm. I hope we will see you all there!

Sussex Chapter Summer Events

6/1/24 – Farmside Garden Center’s Pollinators Day – Saturday, June 1, 2024 from 9am to 5pm. Native plant talks at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm.

5/18/24 – Woodbourne Park Plant Swap – Saturday, May 18, 2024 between 9am and noon. Our Chapter will be tabling at the pavilion.

Prior Projects

Nancy, Christine, and Don during the Lusscroft Farms Sister Moon Garden Spring Clean-up — photo provided by April Fisher

  • December 2023 – Chapter Members Kathy Baklarz and Nancy Caulfield designed and installed the main display case in the lobby of the Sussex Wantage Library, home of our regular monthly meetings. The display will run for the month of December and includes information about the Native Plant Society, many local native plant specimens, and suggested books for learning more about the value of growing natives. (Photo below taken 12/1/23 completing the cabinet.)
  • Our first in-person meeting of 2024 – Monday, 2/5/24 at 7pm at the Sussex-Wantage branch of the Sussex County Library. Guest speaker is Robert Somes, Senior Zoologist of NJDEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife discussing his group’s work with threatened and endangered species in NJ (Photo above).
  • March 2024 – The March 4th meeting of the Sussex chapter will feature a program given by NPS and NABA member, Sharon Wander, who will present, “Making Your Property Pollinator Friendly.”Join us at 7pm at the Sussex-Wantage Library. All are invited.
  • March 2024 – Spring Clean-up at the Sister Moon Garden at Lusscroft Farms. (Photo above)
  • April 2024 – The magic of the Monarch butterfly’s migration will be presented on April 1st. Diane Tassey, a  former naturalist and researcher for the Monarch Monitoring Project managed by NJ Audubon in Cape May, will speak about the tagging project as well as conservation, nectar, habitat, population status, life cycle, latest research, their Mexican winter  habitat, and spring migration. Find out more about these “royal”  insects at the Sussex Wantage library, 69 County Road 639, Wantage, at 7 PM.
Robert Somes speaking at NPS in Sussex County at our February 2024 Meeting –photo by member, Lynn Dubnoff

Introducing March Meeting speaker, Sharon Wander –photo by Lynn Dubnoff

— Sussex Chapter Members Kathy Baklarz & Nancy Caulfield finishing up the library display case.

Some Prior Year Chapter Activities

–April Fisher, S.C. Native Plant Society Leader & Chris Dunbar, Coordinator of the Paullins Kill Watershed at the October 2nd meeting. Photo by member, Lynn Dubnoff

NPS 2023 table in the Conservatory at the S.C. Farm & Horse Show – Photo by April Fisher
Members Kathy & Mary staffing the Sussex Chapter table on Green Day at the Fair – Photo by Lynn Dubnoff
–Photo by Lyne CiccarelliRockefeller State Park Preserve field trip
Lusscroft “Plant In” 6/25/23 – Photo by Johanna Bloomfield
Lusscroft temporary signage while permanent signs are designed and constructed – photo by Johanna Bloomfield
Mary, Alana, Donna, April, Mary, and Don beginning native plant “dig & divide” to be donated to Lusscroft –photo by Alan Spector
Planting followed at Lusscroft by the stalwart members of the Chapter at high noon. (They perked up after watering!)
Members during Tree ID Hike at Kittatinny Valley State Park led by Sharon Wander.

Alana, Mary, April, Bonnie, Johanna, and Sharon at Bowman’s.

Members Lyne & Mary at Sparta Earth Day 2023 table –photo by April Fisher
Johanna & Mary talking to participants at Sparta Earth Day 2023 –photo by April Fisher
April, Lyne, and Johanna answering questions from Earth Day attendees. –-Photo by Mary Kissane
Bob, Lynn, and Alana at the HPSP Earth Day table –photo by Rob Oleksy
Sussex Chapter members (April, Claudia, and Mary) at a Hackettstown 2015 Earth Day Celebration.
2022 Earth Day Table at High PointAlana, Lyne, Lynn, Bob, and Mary.
Photo by member Lynn Dubnoff during a Summer Field Trip to the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum in Short Hills
Cynthia Rauth & April Fisher, Co-leaders
Late Summer visiting Willow Wood 2019
Photo by Lynn Dubnoff

September 2020 field trip to White Lake
Photo by Tanya Stark
Sister Moon Garden renovation beginning Fall 2021 at Lusscroft Farms, located in High Point State Park. The project is a collaboration between the Sussex Chapter of NPSNJ and the Friends of Lusscroft.
Photo by Turner Striffler