Marielle Anzelone, a contributing writer to the New York Times and the founder of New York City Wildflower week, will give a talk on “Native Flora in the Urban Landscape” at Union County’s Trailside Nature & Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16. Admission is $2.
The event is sponsored by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County, a program of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, supported in part by the Freeholder Board.
“The focus on native plants is an important one for Union County, so this promises to be a very interesting and informative discussion,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “I encourage everyone with an interest in a healthy urban greenscape to attend.”
A graduate of Rutgers, Ms. Anzelone’s work with native plants has been featured in The New York Times, BBC, and The Huffington Post. Her current research includes the NYC Native Plant Conservation Initiative in partnership with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
Ms. Anzelone has also been instrumental in focusing New York City on planting native species in city parks and other public properties.
Non-native plants can overrun native species, creating a ripple effect that also has a negative impact on native animals, including birds, insects and aquatic species.
The Master Gardeners of Union County program encourages Union County residents to plant native species. They are drought hardy and low maintenance, requiring little or no yard care chemicals to thrive.
In addition to support of the Master Gardeners, the Freeholder Board is responsible for key urban greenscape programs including the care and replacement of thousands of trees in County parks and right-of-ways.
Other programs include shoreline restoration projects and the Rahway Rain Garden project, both of which involve native plantings. The County’s Adopt-a-Park program also includes native plantings and the removal of non-native species with the help of hundreds of volunteers.
The County’s long running Greening Union County initiative also provides matching grants to municipalities for planting trees along streets and in public areas. The County also participates regularly in Arbor Day activities.
Last month Union County participated in a giveaway of native dogwood and willow oak saplings in partnership with the New Jersey Tree Foundation, to help replace trees lost during Hurricane Sandy.
For more information about the Native Flora in the Urban Landscape event and all Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County programs, contact the Extension at 908- 654-9854 or visit ucnj.org/rce.