PLAINFIELD, NJ - On two recent Fridays in October, a busload of Plainfield's Jefferson School students arrived at The Reeves Reed Arboretum in Summit to learn about nature, and the need to protect trees, plants, all animals, and insects, especially the pollinators.

The Hands to Nature program was hosted by the education center at the arboretum, and was funded by the Plainfield Garden Club. The students learned how to plant seeds, and each student went back to school with his or her own planted pot having learned how to manage it.

A tour of the grounds taught students how each tree has different leaves and types of bark; how certain herbs and plants are used in medicine and in food; and how to be better stewards of their environment.

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Following lunch the students were entertained and educated with a live animal show that included a native to New Jersey, the ring-necked dove, a skunk, and a snake and also a wallaby that is native to Australia.

Jefferson School teacher Melissa Logan has spearheaded this annual civic program with the Plainfield Garden Club over the past years.

Volunteer docents from the club included Mary Kent, Kathy Andrews, Mandy Zachariades, Diana Madsen, and Brenda Anderson, and Plainfield residents Jennifer Gregory and Tim O’Connor.

The Plainfield Garden Club members are from Summit, Mountainside, Westfield, Fanwood, North Plainfield and Plainfield. The club maintains the magnificent Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park, and welcomes any help in maintaining this Plainfield gem. Consider becoming a ‘Friend of the Shakespeare Garden’ and offer a few hours during the growing season to help. Learn more about the club at is Plainfield's free online daily newspaper for Plainfield, NJ news. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @PlainfieldTAP, and on Instagram @tapintoplainfield for all of your Plainfield local news.

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