The recording of our Fall 2023 Conference, Hidden in Plain Sight: the Outstanding Natural Diversity of New Jersey is now available for viewing on Youtube. Visit the Fall 2023 conference page here.
In 2023, the Essex Chapter created a NPSNJ School Guide because helping kids learn about native plants is crucial to restoring local ecosystems.
Designed for parents and teachers, the 12-page Guide explains what native plants are, why they are important, and gives practical advice about how to plant and maintain a school garden that provides food and habitat for pollinators and birds.
The key feature of the Guide is a sample garden design for sun or part-sun conditions with 8 beautiful and easy-to-grow plants. In addition, the Guide gives detailed information for 17 other plants. All 25 featured plants were selected for their interest while students are in school and because of their high ecological value to wildlife throughout the year.
In the section “Bringing the Garden Outside,” the Guide lists lesson ideas for using the garden. Finally, the Guide contains practical tips for gardening best practices and school garden success.
Read it below, click here to download your free copy, or email for a printed copy.NPSNJ School Guide
The NPSNJ has just received pins celebrating our 40th anniversary. You can get these at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Harding Township, New Jersey. We encourage all of our members to explore the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Harding Township, New Jersey! The NPSNJ day at the Great Swamp will be held in conjunction with the Great Swamp Fall Festival – a fun filled day of adventure and discovery.
Be sure to visit the NPSNJ table near the refuge visitor center between 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM your free enamel pin celebrating our 40th Anniversary. If you aren’t a member yet, you can sign up on the spot with your smart phone.
Our new membership system is now in place and you may once again get memberships at https://npsnj.org/membership/. If you are a member and didn’t get an email from us, write
Native Plant Society of NJ Hudson County Chapter is asking for volunteers to help us build the pollinator garden at the St. Joseph’s Peace Care Healing Garden at the corner of Magnolia Ave and Baldwin Ave in Jersey City. We are looking to create a neighborhood task force of caring gardeners who can help us work quickly to prepare the ground for new native plants arriving in mid June. We will be removing invasive species and incorporating native plants to create a garden space that will attract birds, butterflies and other pollinators for the nursing home residents and their families to enjoy.
Also if anyone in the area has an old wheelbarrow they are not using we could use it for this project!
Garden Volunteer Days are:
Wednesdays 9:00am -11:00am
We will not meet on July 5th or July 8th
Update: this bill passed the Assembly on a vote of (74-0-0).
We just learned that the New Jersey Assembly is scheduled to vote this Thursday, May 25 on a bill to ban the sale of invasive species in our state. A NJ Senate vote should follow in the coming weeks. We have a real chance of banning the sale of invasive species in our state.
Please ask your NJ Assembly and Senate representatives to vote YES on bill S2186/A3677, which would regulate the sale of invasive plant species and establish an Invasive Species Council that will develop an invasive species management strategy.
Last December, NPSNJ endorsed a New Jersey Forest Stewardship Task Force Invasives Species Subgroup proposal to strengthen the original version of this bill, and the NJ Senate Environment and Energy Committee advanced the bill out of committee with amendments, including to reinstate the NJ Invasive Species Council. But the revised text of the bill still did not address key concerns.
Since then, the Invasives Subcommittee and collaborating stakeholders—including the NJ Nursery and Landscaping Association (NJNLA) and the NJ Farm Bureau—have achieved agreement to request further amendments to:
- Expand the strategic intent to include all invasive taxa, not only plants
- Clarify the role and functioning of the Invasive Species Council
- Include a clear role for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (in addition to the NJ Department of Agriculture, already named in the bill), for implementation and enforcement
- Seek a clearer process to regularly add to the initial list of banned species—so that emerging species can be addressed.
- Include regulatory exemptions for specific non-invasive cultivars of certain regulated plant species.
Politics involves compromise and negotiation and while many of our members may be unhappy with #5, this is a compromise that was worked out with NJNLA.
Please let your legislators know that you support this bill. Spread the word! Share this message with your friends, family, and social networks, encouraging them to join our cause.
Find your representatives for your district here: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/district-map
You can personalize the following text to email your representatives, although it’s even more effective to call them, write them a postcard, or write them an e-mail you have crafted yourself
Dear [Senator/Representative’s Name],
I am a constituent and urge you to vote “Yes” to enact S2186/A3677 that “Prohibits purchase, sale, distribution, import, export, or propagation of certain invasive species without permit from Department of Agriculture or Department of Environmental Protection; establishes NJ Invasive Species Council.”
Invasive species are considered the second greatest threat to biodiversity after outright habitat destruction. New Jersey has been severely impacted by a wide variety of invasive species causing harm to agricultural, forest and natural lands, leading to economic and ecological losses.
Enactment of this legislation will make New Jersey the 46th state to regulate invasive plants and establish a permanent council of qualified and experienced stakeholders to evaluate, develop strategy, and make management recommendations to manage the serious and growing threat of invasive species of all kinds more effectively and efficiently.
This law will be effective, efficient, flexible, and fair. It incorporates amendments developed by the New Jersey Forest Task Force (co-chaired by NJ Audubon, the NJ Conservation Foundation, NJ Sierra Club, and the NJ Forestry Association) in collaboration with the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association and the New Jersey Farm Bureau, in consultation with NJDEP, NJDA, and the NJ Board of Agriculture.
More than 40 conservation organizations across all of New Jersey cosigned a May 15, 2023, request to legislative leaders and bill sponsors to move this forward.
Thank you for your consideration and action,
Dear Members and Friends of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey,
The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S.1149) is before Congress again. In 2022, it passed the House 231-190, but didn’t make it through the Senate due to disagreements about funding. As a rare bill with bipartisan support, it has a real possibility of passing both houses this year, but we need your help to ensure its passage. This transformative bill, widely considered the biggest piece of environmental legislation since the Endangered Species Act of 1973, aims to protect and restore both native wildlife and plants, with a particular focus on those of greatest conservation need, including endangered or threatened species.
We need your help to make this vision a reality on this go around.
Contact your Senators and urge them to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2022. Find their contact information here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm.
Contact your House Representative and ask them to support this bill Find Your Members in the U.S. Congress | Congress.gov | Library of Congress. Be sure to thank them if they supported it on the first go around (you can see their vote here: https://clerk.house.gov/Votes/2022262).
Spread the word! Share this message with your friends, family, and social networks, encouraging them to join our cause and contact their Senators.
You can personalize the following text to email your representatives, although it’s even more effective to call them, write them a postcard, or write them an e-mail you have crafted yourself.
Dear [Senator/Representative’s Name],
I am a constituent and urge your support for the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S.1149).
This transformative bill, considered the biggest piece of environmental legislation since the Endangered Species Act of 1973, aims to protect and restore both native wildlife and plants, with a particular focus on those of greatest conservation need, including endangered or threatened species.
The legislation will provide significant funding for states, territories, and tribal nations to develop and implement conservation and restoration programs. By supporting innovative recovery efforts, we can protect the native plants that serve as the foundation for our state’s diverse ecosystems, ensuring their survival for future generations.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a game-changer for both the country and New Jersey’s native plants and the countless species that depend on them. With its passage we can expect up to $1.4 billion of funding annually for:
Improved habitats for native plants, promoting biodiversity and supporting the intricate relationships between plants, pollinators, and other wildlife.
Increased populations of endangered or threatened plant species, securing their future in our state and contributing to the overall health of our ecosystems.
Greater collaboration among state agencies, tribal nations, and nonprofit organizations, fostering a unified approach to conservation and restoration efforts.
A vast number of organizations support this bill (according to the Senate summary of the bill, over 1,500 organizations and 60 Tribes support it), including the National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Society, the National Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited, Sierra Club, and the American Fisheries Society.
This bill is in the best interest of not only NJ but the whole country. I hope you will agree and take action to ensure it passes.
We would like to share “Gardening for Nature in New Jersey,” an insightful online piece published by The Nature Conservancy on native plants and their role in supporting local ecosystems. The piece outlines three garden types—Pollinator Gardens, Rain Gardens, and Container Gardens—that can be created using New Jersey native plants. It’s a resource that will be particularly helpful for introducing native gardening to your friends and those new to the concept.
This piece further encourages everyone, regardless of available space, to create pollinator-friendly habitats. It emphasizes that even small yards, patios, and porches can contribute to a broader ecological benefit. For our members who have been asking for guidance on container gardening, this blog post provides valuable insights that could help you get started.
The Conservancy also highlights the importance of Rain Gardens, an aspect of native plant gardening that our own society has extensively covered in the NPSNJ’s own Rain Garden Manual. These gardens not only beautify our landscapes but also effectively manage rainwater, reducing the risk of flooding and pollution run-off.
The Nature Conservancy’s work in New Jersey has contributed significantly to conservation efforts, particularly in supporting pollinator species. Their initiatives include transforming fallow fields into wildflower meadows and managing large milkweed habitats for monarch butterflies. A noteworthy mention is the Garrett Family Preserve, which is home to a thriving pollinator trail through a four-acre wildflower meadow, and the Lummis Ponds Preserve, boasting one of the largest stands of milkweed in the state. The Nature Conservancy manages a variety of preserves that offer unique opportunities for exploration and wildlife viewing. From the diverse habitats of South Cape May Meadows to the limestone wetlands of Johnsonburg Swamp Preserve, these areas provide a haven for our state’s native and migratory species. They also serve as vital conservation areas, protecting the habitat of species like the bobcat at Blair Creek Preserve and a variety of bird species at Maurice River Bluffs.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is seeking public comments (see the request here: https://publicaccess.bpu.state.nj.us/DocumentHandler.ashx?document_id=1294000) by March 29 on PSE&G replacing streetlights to LEDs. In principle, this is good as it reduces energy use and thus mitigates climate change.
The Native Plant Society of New Jersey is concerned about the color temperature of the proposed LED lights and requests that future installations of LED street lights have temperatures of 3000K or lower.
Existing Sodium-vapor street lights have a temperature of around 2200K whereas new LED street lights are around 4000K, a “cooler” temperature much closer to daylight. There is scientific evidence that this is bad for pollinators, for example, https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abi8322, which in turn will be bad for native plants. Although the direct impact of these cooler color temperatures on nearby plant life is under-researched, evidence suggests that there are adverse effects from street lights on plants, which need darkness to anticipate the seasons, for example, to anticipate that fall and winter are coming and that it is time to lose their leaves and cooler lights, which are closer to “daylight” temperatures are more likely to impact this process. The American Medical Association also notes the disruption cooler temperature LEDs have on human health: https://policysearch.ama-assn.org/councilreports/downloadreport?uri=/councilreports/a16_csaph2.pdf.
You can make comments at this page. Select the comments tab: https://publicaccess.bpu.state.nj.us/CaseSummary.aspx?case_id=2111607