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. 

Sussex Chapter Events

  • February 2023 – Our first meeting of 2023: a Zoom presentation on February 6th at 7pm by member Sharon Wander: “Barking Up The Right Tree.” See the PDF from this meeting here (or take a look at it at the bottom of the page).
  • March 2023 – Resuming in-person meetings at the S-W Library at 7pm. This month: a Member’s “Show n’ Tell,” bringing their favorite gardening tool and information on where they got it.
  • 3/16/23 – A special Zoom presentation Thursday, March 16 at 7pm by Lynn Groves, Naturalist at Kittatinny Valley State Park – “Spring Ephemerals: They’re Not Just Pretty Faces.”
  • 4/3/23 – Our monthly Chapter Meeting will take place at at the Sussex-Wantage Library at 69 Loomis Avenue, Sussex at 7pm. Come and join us in the discussion of our “wins and losses” of the past season. Looking ahead: what are you planning to add to your garden this season?
  • April 2023 – 4/15/23 at 10am: CANCELLED due to forecast for thunderstorms.A Wildflower Walk with Lynn Groves, Naturalist at Kittatinny Valley State Park. We’ll join Lynn for a walk around KVSP looking for Spring Ephemerals in the state park. Contact Sussex Chapter Co-Leader April Fisher for details:
  • April 22, 2023 – Earth Day. The Sussex Chapter had been invited to exhibit at two different Earth Day Celebrations. We did both, with several members staffing a table in Sparta and several staffing a table at High Point State Park. (photos are below.)
  • 5/1/23 – May Chapter Meeting – We’re talking “deer” at our May meeting. Bring your recipes for success with your neighborhood deer and we’ll review the deer resistant native plant list. Monday, May 1st, 7 p.m. at the Sussex Wantage library, 69 County Road 639, Wantage (aka 69 Loomis Avenue, Sussex). 
  • 5/4/23 – Lusscroft Farm Clean up Day set for this Thursday, 5/4 at 9:30am. Bring buckets, weed removal tools. If it’s raining, we will cancel. April will check with Donna Wednesday evening to confirm if the weather is dicey.
  • 5/12/23 – Field trip to Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope at 10am.
  • 5/23/23 – Chapter Members met at Mary’s gardens to dig and divide many native plants that Mary is donating to the Lusscroft Farms Sister Moon garden continuing renovation project. (Photos of both The Dig and The Planting, below.)
  • 5/27/23 – Hike with Sharon Wander for Tree ID at Kittatinny Valley State Park beginning at 9:30am (photo below).
  • 6/25/23 – Members planted the 75 donated native plants from the DEP, installed fencing, and mulched the parts that had been previously planted and put up a temporary sign while the details of the permanent signage is worked out with the Friends of Lusscroft and the state. (Photos below.)
  • 7/13/23 Field Trip to the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pleasantville, N&. Horticulturist Devyani led a walking tour around the park looking at native plants. Members also saw the native plant/butterfly garden donated by a village in Japan tin honor of 9-11. (Photo below.)
  • 8/4/23 – 8/12/23 – Members will again be staffing a Native Plants Table at the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show (photos below).
  • 10/02/23 – October meeting with a presentation by Chris Dunbar, Coordinator of the Paulins Kill Watershed. The Native Plant Society of NJ is supporting their effort to include the Paulins Kill as a National Wild and Scenic River. that preserve certain rivers “with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.” The Pauins Kill is a tributary that runs to the Delaware, as one of those rivers. (photo below)
  • 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.)
— Sussex Chapter Members Kathy Baklarz & Nancy Caulfield finishing up the library display case.
–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

A few of the Sussex Chapter’s Field Trips & projects:

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