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!
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.
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.
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 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 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.
It’s here! #HudsonGives 2023 and part of our mission of the NPSNJ Hudson County Chapter is to help others to plant native plants and educate our community about the vital role these plants play in our environment.
We are now accepting submissions from local Hudson County volunteer organizations, schools, individuals and groups working to create pollinator gardens and wildlife habitat in open community gardens and public green spaces. Our chapter will choose up to ten groups to join our 2023 #HudsonGives campaign. Following the event the NPSNJ Hudson County Chapter will support the local projects by advising on native species and providing plants.
We get it, we all get too many e-mails. You moved and your chapter changed or you signed up for all the chapters and now you just want to subscribe to one. Either way, you’d like to pair down your e-mails from NPSNJ.
We use Constant Contact to manage our e-mail lists and while the service is great in many ways, it isn’t as easy to manage your newsletters as it could be. Here’s the key. Open up one of our e-mails. Don’t hit unsubscribe or you won’t get any more e-mails from us at all. Instead, right at the bottom of every e-mail from us is a link that says “Update Profile” (see below). Click on that and you’ll be taken to a page where you will be able to select which newsletters you want to subscribe to and which ones you don’t.
We’ve done a little housecleaning here at NPSNJ.org!
We cleaned up our menu structure and, in particular, improved the experience for mobile users. No more digging deep to find chapters.
We also have a news page at https://npsnj.org/news/. As always, the most recent news is posted on our front page, but you may want to bookmark the news page where you can read the stories in depth. Those of you who use an RSS reader can follow along with us at npsnj.org/feed
Since our statistics show that our guide to nurseries that sell native plants is very popular, we’ve updated that list for 2023.
We now have a chapter page and contact info for our latest chapter, Mercer County. Look for a news item about them in the coming months.
Hervé Barrier, co-leader of Highland Park NPSNJ Chapter, one of the curators of the Rutgers 2023 Personal Bioblitz project, and a passionate contributor to the iNaturalist project (id=hb2000) wrote to encourage us all to join the Rutgers 2023 Personal Bioblitz. Click here to join: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/personal-bioblitz-2023
Every spring, Rutgers organizes an online Bioblitz (a species survey) using INaturalist. This year’s Bioblitz just started and will continue until mid-May. This time window is particularly interesting because of the emergence of spring ephemerals. Rutgers students, faculty, alumni, and friends and nature lovers (which means you, NPSNJ members!) are invited to join the project.
Fun and educational, iNaturalist is a world-wide citizen-science tool used by universities, nature groups like ours, and individuals. Anybody, beginner or expert, can report observations (picture, audio) of plants, birds, insects, mushrooms, any organism, or evidence of it. The huge amount of collected data is used by scientists, land planners etc. In schools, it encourages students to observe nature, develop identification skills or do specific studies. You can use a smartphone (or a camera and a computer). If you don’t know the name of a species, other people will help. If a species should be protected, you can easily obscure its location. iNaturalist is also a great way to learn about species. It has a sophisticated identification algorithm and can help you identify species in the field, or at least make a good guess that other iNaturalist members can help narrow in.
NPSNJ President Randi Eckel has been in the news lately, quoted on how to properly clean up your garden (and not throw all the pollinators away!) in the Washington Post and talking with Shannon Trimboli in the Backyard Ecology Podcast.
Learn all about flowers and pollinators, how to make your garden beautiful while making it a positive place for wildlife, and how Randi’s search for a red oak to plant led her to found Toadshade Wildflower Farm.