Green

Westfield Could Lead the Way as Laws Make Growing Environmentally Friendly Gardens Easier

29d5faaa4745405d79bd_DSC_1179.JPG
Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, Patricia Brentano and Kelly Mooij, vice president of government relations at New Jersey Auduban Society. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
aad63acf84f9721eb5aa_DSC_1184.JPG
Mayor Andy Skibitsky expresses his support. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
eac0a8fc9f76c5714d67_DSC_1187.JPG
Native wildflowers, considered weeds by some, buzz with bees in the backyard of Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and Patricia Brentano's home in Westfield. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
29d5faaa4745405d79bd_DSC_1179.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick held a press conference Friday at his home in Westfield to talk about legislation that encourages homeowners to provide native habitats for birds and other wildlife. The bi-partisan bill, which passed the New Jersey General Assembly in June with unanimous support (76-0), establishes a native species habitat certification program and would make it easier for homeowners to grow native grasses and other native plants.

“It’s not government getting in your face. It’s government getting out of your face,” said Bramnick.

Bramnick said that the bill was inspired by his wife, Patricia Brentano, who convinced him to help her transform their yard into habitat that supports local wildlife, including birds and pollinating insects. To demonstrate her point, Brentano later showed off native wildflowers in her backyard, audibly buzzing with bees. 

Sign Up for E-News

“I’m very concerned that my granddaughter will live in a sterile world with no food,” Brentano said.

In front of their home, Bramnick told the crowd, “It’s not, as you can see, a traditional front lawn,” pointing out the native grasses that grow there. Bramnick said he has never received complaints about what’s growing in their yard.

Brentano, an artist, runs the Facebook page Rescaping the Suburbs with the New Jersey Audubon Society about adding native plants to suburban properties. She has been growing plants that support wildlife for more than five years, she said, and she hopes that Westfield will lead the way in doing so in New Jersey. Plans are underway to use grant money to add native plantings to Mindwaskin Park, she noted.

Mayor Andy Skibitsky expressed his support.

“You can see how passionate Patricia is, and that’s why we put her on our Green Team,” said Skibitsky. “We do want to make Westfield a community to showcase this idea.”

In addition looking beautiful, Brentano said, native plantings need little maintenance and help reduce the amount of water and pesticides used. For more information about native plantings, she recommended visiting www.njaudubon.org.

The legislation was sponsored by Bramnick, Assembly Appropriations Chairman John Burzichelli and Deputy Republican Leader Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz. Before it can become law, it must next pass in the New Jersey Senate and be signed by Governor Chris Christie.

“I think it’s all part of a big package of non-regulatory things that people can do,” said Kelly Mooij, vice president of government relations at New Jersey Auduban Society. “It’s all about people taking an active role in their backyards.”

Brentano said she hopes that more consumer demand for native plants will lead to more availability, too.

“Small steps, big changes,” Brentano said. “It’s a mindset change.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Honoring Sacrifice and Service on Memorial Day

May 25, 2018

On Monday, May 28, 2018, our Nation celebrates our most solemn event, Memorial Day.  In Berkeley Heights tradition, we will honor those who sacrificed themselves so that we may continue to live in the greatest country on earth.  I invite all residents to join us for the parade festivities and, most importantly, gather at our Veteran’s Park for a brief ceremony.

America has ...

Logic and Sensible Spending Take Priority

Logic.  It's what people use when endeavoring to complete things in the most sensible order.  Everyone knows that "logic" means sequencing events in a formulaic, predictable manner.  We learned this at a young age, as we observed Star Trek on TV and came to understand why Captain James T. Kirk relied on Spock as his first officer because his strategic plans were ...

I will draw on my experience to deliver a great future for Berkeley Heights

I am impressed with the day-to-day leadership of our Mayor and Town Council and I hope to help them continue to do great work. As I have been doing my research since deciding to run for a seat on our Town Council, I have learned a few things about all the work that has been happening in recent years.  For example, while plans for the Stratton House development were recently announced, our ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

A Better Summer with the Y: Join by May 31 and Have Your Joiner Fee Waiver!

May 26, 2018

From now through the end of May, new members joining the Berkeley Heights YMCA will have their joiners fee waived, because at the Y we believe that everyone deserves to reach their health and wellness goals. With a savings of up to $95, you can focus on the perks of being a Berkeley Heights YMCA member:

Unlimited attendance to more than 100 group fitness classes a week
• State of ...

The New Providence 2018 Memorial Day Parade Begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 28

The Borough of New Providence and American Legion Post #433 invite all to attend this year’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, 2018.   The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m., rain or shine, at Springfield and Central avenues. Post 433 and the New Providence Community Activities Department have co-sponsored the town’s Memorial Day Parade for more than 65 years. The parade, ...

A Better Summer with the Y: Join by May 31 and Have Your Joiner Fee Waiver!

From now through the end of May, new members joining the Berkeley Heights YMCA will have their joiners fee waived, because at the Y we believe that everyone deserves to reach their health and wellness goals. With a savings of up to $95, you can focus on the perks of being a Berkeley Heights YMCA member:

Unlimited attendance to more than 100 group fitness classes a week
• State of ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Cycling Champ Laura Van Gilder Returns to Somerville Memorial Day to Defend Race Title

May 26, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Laura Van Gilder, 54-year-old cycling champion from Cresco, Pa., will return to defend her title at the 75th annual Tour of Somerville on Memorial Day, attempting an unprecedented fifth win in the 25-mile women's race, just one of several races that begin at 10:30 a.m..

The Kugler-Anderson Tour of Somerville, often referred to as the Kentucky Derby of ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale

Giving Back Other

Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Recue, Berkeley Heights,

Dog Adoption

Other

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_69a5db118db45d8f5de0_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

The Evaluation of the College Search

It’s is a bizarre time of year as a college counselor as I find myself at both the beginning and end of this process.  Sophomores and juniors are excitedly and idealistically starting to consider what will be important to them in a school.  At the same time, while only separated by a year or two, my seniors have all committed within the past month to a school and have spent the ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...