MADISON, NJ—The borough’s community garden will open its doors to the public this July 15 and 16 for the Morris County Park Commission’s Open Gates Weekend.
Madison’s garden provides an “ideal place to plant a vegetable or flower garden and connect with the community in a relaxing setting,” said Michael Barrasso, chair of the Madison Community Garden Advisory Committee.
Though this is a countywide event, “we’re hoping to have great turnout from Madison residents who are not currently members of the garden,” said Geoffrey Anderson, member of the Madison Community Garden Advisory Committee.
Open Gates Weekend is a free, two-day event where community gardens across Morris County, including Madison’s own local garden inside the recreation complex off Ridgedale Avenue, will be open to the public on July 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and July 16, 1-5 p.m.
“This event showcases the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s community gardens and highlights the people, plants and planting techniques that make these gardens thrive,” said the Morris County Park Commission.
“Community gardens foster civic engagement, offer support to local food pantries, enhance quality of life for their participants and greatly reduce their carbon footprint.”
Madison Community Garden members will provide tours of the garden and offer information about the organization’s local initiatives throughout the weekend.
Visitors can explore the garden’s new pollinator meadow, the tree nursery or check out master gardener demonstration plots sponsored by Rutgers University, where they can learn various growing techniques.
The connection to local food pantries is an important feature of Madison’s garden, as well as many others in Morris County, according to the Morris County Park Commission.
“Each garden has found a unique way to help address the issues of food security here in Morris County,” said Cynthia Triolo, Morris County Park Commission’s community garden manager.
Yields from the Rutgers plots in Madison, as well as excess produce from other plots within the garden, are given to the food pantry. The Madison Community Garden has donated thousands of pounds of produce to food pantries in the area over the past few seasons.
The Madison Community Garden is a local amenity provided by the Borough of Madison.
Open Gates Weekend is a rain-or-shine event sponsored by the Friends of Frelinghuysen Arboretum. No registration is required.
For more information about the event and to view a map of participating Open Gates community gardens, visit arboretumfriends.org.