NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -- Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County invites you to participate in a series of workshops aimed at creating pollinator-friendly habitats.  

These free workshops will take place on Saturday, May 17 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick. Pre-registration is required by calling 732-398-5262

A Beginner Beekeeping program will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. 

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The Attracting Birds & Butterflies workshop will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

Participants in Beginner Beekeeping will learn the basics of establishing a hive on their own property.  It has been stated that with the pressures leading up to the recent “Colony Collapse disorder” outbreak, hobbyist beekeepers have made a positive impact on the honeybee population. Middlesex County’s EARTH Center would like to help spark residents’ interest in this age-old environmental practice. Also discussed will be garden plants that can serve as pollen sources in our area.

The lecture will be followed by a brief walk outside, weather permitting. This workshop is free with advance registration. No “walk-ins” will be permitted. 

“This is another outstanding and informative workshop from Rutgers Cooperative Extension,” says Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “All County residents should be aware of the benefits these pollinators can bring to their gardens, and by extension, the County.”   

Attracting Birds & Butterflies will teach participants about plants and features that can be added to a backyard, making it more desirable to birds and butterflies. Attendees will learn the value of native plants for attracting wildlife as well as for cutting down on chemical inputs. Many experts believe that the public can be of great help in slowing the current decline of Monarch butterfly populations, due to eradication of Milkweed, its larvae’s host plant. This practical workshop is designed for the beginner or intermediate gardener who is looking to minimize their environmental impact. This workshop is free with advance registration. No “walk-ins” will be permitted.

“Animals, plants and insects are instrumental in maintaining our climate,” noted Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios, “but if their environment is not habitable, nature cannot take its course as it normally would. People must consider that their environmental impact affects all forms of life, and this workshop will help them to make a space for healthy flora and fauna.”  

For information and registration, call 732-398-5262.

 If you can’t visit the EARTH Center this season, you can still get great gardening tips by calling the Master Gardner Helpline at 732-398-5220.