SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. — June of each year is designated as “Native Plant Appreciation Month” in order to celebrate the diversity and value of New Jersey’s native plants, recognize the critical role they play in the ecosystem and encourage citizens to learn more about these plants and how to protect them.
In observance of this event, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is offering two free seminars that will help residents care for their plants and identify and eliminate the invasive species that can threaten them.
The first seminar, “Invasive Species in Central Jersey,” is scheduled to be held 10 a.m. to noon on June 10 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, located at 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.
This seminar will discuss how invasive plants, insects and animals, not native to a given area, can cause harm to local ecosystems, human health and the economy. Learn how to identify these plants and how removing, or choosing not to plant them in the first place, will help make way for valuable, native flora and fauna.
The second seminar, “Plant This, Not That!” is scheduled to be held 6 to 8 a.m. June 14, also at the EARTH Center. Learn what native plant species can be added to a home landscape, in lieu of more common plants that home owners may not know are invasive.
“Invasive species threaten biodiversity and cause billions of dollars of economic loss and damage,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here in Middlesex County, we are always looking to maintain a balanced and healthy environment and ask residents to do the same in their own homes. Workshops like these are a great way to start.”
“I know all our residents appreciate the natural beauty and biodiversity of Middlesex County,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “That is why it is so important to be aware of factors that can threaten what we love most about our home, and to put a stop to dangers like invasive species before they cause serious damage.”
— Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County