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See for Yourself: New Tour Demonstrates Money Saving “Green” Landscaping in Union County


Union County residents can get a first-hand look at local examples of rain gardens, rainwater harvesting and porous pavement by joining a half-day bus tour organized by experts from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County and the Rahway River Watershed Association.

“Union County is now home to some good examples of strategies that save money while helping to conserve water and reduce runoff,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The bus tour is a good opportunity to walk through these sites and get a feel for how they can enhance a property and benefit the bottom line.”

The tour takes place on Saturday, June 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., visiting five sites in Summit, Springfield, Clark, Rahway and Mountainside.

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Attendance is open to municipal agencies, environmental groups and other organizations, property owners and managers, businesses including landscapers and builders, and members of the general public.

Public works employees who attend the tour can qualify for three technical Certified Public Works Manager (CPWM) credits.

The tour is designed to demonstrate the ways in which green infrastructure can help prevent excess runoff from storms and melting snow. Green infrastructure can also cut maintenance costs while adding attractive features to a property.

“In addition to its bottom line benefits, green infrastructure helps to keep water-borne pollutants out of our rivers and streams,” said Bergen. “It’s a win-win for the property and our environment.”

The rain-or-shine tour will visit green infrastructure at schools, libraries, public works yards, and private homes. Attendees will view and learn about rain gardens that use special soil and native plantings to reduce excess stormwater, porous asphalt surfaces that enable excess rain and snowmelt to seep into the ground, and cisterns for rainwater harvesting.

The cost of the tour is $20.00 per person. The bus will leave from Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside, at 9:30 a.m. and return at 1:00 p.m. Free parking is located on site.

Online registration is available at tinyurl.com/raingardentour.

For more information about the green infrastructure tour contact Michele Bakacs, County Environmental Agent, at (732) 398-5274 or mbakacs@rutgers.edu.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County is a program of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, supported in part by the Freeholder Board. To learn more about its programs and services visit ucnj.org/rce or call 908-654-9854.

For quick links to all Union County programs and activities related to conservation, the environment and sustainability visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.  

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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