Home & Garden

Press Releases

Share Your Love of Gardening with the Union County Community


Have you ever wanted to take your gardening hobby to the next level? Here is your chance. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County will train and certify you as part of their Master Gardener Program. Refine your gardening skills and channel your inner green thumb by applying for this program by Aug. 31.

“If you are looking for expert guidance on community, school, and home gardening, I encourage you to consider participating in the Master Gardeners program,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen. “The Master Gardeners program offers a fun and exciting experience to share your passion for gardening and help build a stronger Union County.”

Almost 900 Union County residents have become certified Master Gardener volunteers since the program began 30 years ago.

Sign Up for E-News

The volunteers plan and run community service projects throughout Union County.

The centerpiece of the Master Gardeners community service efforts is the Union County Demonstration Garden, an elaborate complex that provides a platform for the group’s educational programs, summer camp visits and many other projects and services. It includes a large vegetable garden that yields thousands of pounds of fresh produce for donation to local food pantries.

Once accepted into the Master Gardener program, trainees commit to attending class every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning in early October and ending next May.

The training course is taught by Rutgers University faculty. It includes basic botany, entomology, flower gardening, integrated pest management, pesticide safety, plant pathology, soil testing and fertilizers, tree maintenance, turf management, vegetable gardening and wildlife management.

As part of the training requirement, participants provide 60 hours of volunteer service working in with one of the Master Gardeners gardening committees. Successful graduates become Certified Rutgers Master Gardeners upon completion of their volunteer commitment, which may be fulfilled within a 12-18 month period.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County is funded in part by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Master Gardner classroom session will be held at the Extension offices at the Colleen Fraser Building in the county services complex in Westfield, at 300 North Avenue East.

The Freeholders Board supports the extension with funding for administrative support and office space, and for special projects. The Demonstration Garden is located on County property in the Watchung Reservation, by the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside.

To become a Certified Rutgers Master Gardener and request an application, email Judi Laganga at jlaganga@ucnj.org or call the Extension at 908-654-9854 (ext. 2).

Applications are due to the Extension Office by August 31. A materials fee of $200 is payable upon acceptance into the program.

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.

Connect with Union County on social media.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union High School Class of 1998 Planning 20th Reunion

March 23, 2018

UNION, NJ - Has it really been almost 20 years since you graduated from high school?

The Union High School class of 1998 will be celebrating their 20 Year Reunion on July 13 and are looking for former classmates to help spread the word.

The event will be at the Galloping Hill Golf Course, 3 Golf Dr, Kenilworth.  Tickets are $105.00 per person, which includes dinner and ...

Scavenger Hunt in Union Center

UNION, NJ - Can you solve the puzzle?

Join us on a scavenger hunt throughout Union Center on Saturday, March 31, from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.  Stop by the Special Improvement District's 'Welcome Station', located at 1000A Stuyvesant Ave, for your scavenger hunt map, first egg clue and more!

Additional Stops for more clues:
Norma's Flowers Magic Fountain Union ...

Union Police Law Enforcement Explorer Program Seeks Students

UNION, NJ – The Union Police Department is looking for a few good students.

Union students, ages 14-18 in grades 8-12, interested in a law enforcement career, can apply for the Law Enforcement Explorer Program.

Explorers receive training in CPR, traffic control, accidents, crime prevention, and communications. Explorers also assist the Township with community events such as the ...

Union High School's February Female Athlete of the Month: Lacey Beall

March 23, 2018

UNION, NJ – Union High School senior Lacey Beall, a member of the school’s bowling team, has been selected February’s Female Athlete of the Month.

What’s your favorite part of being a high school athlete?. 

The Team, it is like one big family. Traveling all over New Jersey every Saturday morning and spending the afternoon celebrating our win. If we do not win, ...

Union High School's February Male Athlete of the Month: Elijah Waldron

UNION, NJ – Union High School senior Elijah Waldron, a member of the school’s wrestling team, has been selected February’s Male Athlete of the Month.

What’s your favorite part of being a high school athlete?. 

I love the team aspect of it.  Most of my closest friends come from wrestling, and I perform better when I have to do it for a team. 

Who is ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burnet Middle School, Union

March for our Lives


Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Union Center, Union

EGGstravaganza Scavenger Hunt in Union Center


Sat, March 24, 1:00 PM

Vauxhall Branch Library, Vauxhall

Women Entrepreneur Information Session

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Education


Sat, March 24, 2:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Family M.E.S.S. (Math, Engineering, and Science ...


Information on Parking and Traffic for Saturday's 'March for Our Lives' Event

March 23, 2018

UNION, NJ – It is anticipated that several hundred people or more will participate in the Union County March for Our Lives event on Saturday morning in Union.

Students, teachers, parents, clergy and public officials from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall in an anti-gun violence march.

Parking will be available in the following ...

Springfield Fire Department Delivers Baby on West I-78

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - On March 20, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. the Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to Route 78 Westbound near milepost 50.2 for a report of a woman in labor on the side of the road.  

Captain Mastroeni (Unit 2) & Chief Palumbo (Unit 1) were the first units to arrive on scene, and quickly recognized that the woman would be unable to make it to the hospital in time for ...

Margaret Salisbury of Union Receives Women of Excellence Award

GARWOOD, NJ – Union resident Margaret Salisbury was one of several Union County women honored with a 2018 Women of Excellence Award at an event Friday night.

The event, hosted by the Commission on the Status of Women and sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, honors women in different fields.  Salisbury received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to ...

Rummage Sale

March 11, 2018

UNION, NJ - A rummage sale is scheduled for Saturday, March 17, to benefit Union Abroad's Trip to Iceland.

The sale will be held at Union High School, 2350 N. Third Street, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Shoppers should enter through the "Rock" to Cafeteria A.


Man Dies from South Orange House Fire on Sunday

March 18, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A man has died from a house fire on Warwick Avenue in South Orange on Sunday afternoon, stated Thomas Fennelly, Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

The fire, which began about 2 p.m. was contained by about 5 p.m., and required mutual aid from fire departments in neighboring towns, according to firefighters at the scene.

UC Tech Student Volunteers Put Fun and Games to Work for Special Needs Learners

March 22, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Earlier this month, a group of 51 students in grades 9 to 11 from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH staged an indoor carnival for special needs learners. More than 140 participants from the community attended the event and enjoyed plinko, corn hole, dance revolution, hula hoop activities, a DJ, prizes and more.

UC TECH is part of the Union County ...

AARP Driver Safety Class at Union Public Library

The AARP Driver Safety Course teaches valuable defensive driving strategies and provides a refresher of the rules of the road by trained volunteer. Since 1979, the course has helped more than 15 million drivers learn research-based tips to adapt their driving to compensate for physical and cognitive changes that may occur with aging. Plus, you may qualify for a multi-year automobile ...

Check Out BCB Community Bank's High Rate CDs

Get the most out of your savings with BCB Community Bank's high rate CD.

Check out BCB's 18-month CD interest rate.  Invest early and watch your money soar.  For more information, just visit or call your local BCB branch today in Union, Maplewood or South Orange:

Union Branch

2000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083

Maplewood Branch

156 ...

Union County Celebrates Arbor Day 2018 with Free Trees for Schools

In recognition of Arbor Day 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again partnering with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board to sponsor the annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Program, which provides free trees for participating schools.

“The Arbor Day tree planting program is a Union County tradition that provides students with important hands-on lessons about the ...



AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

March 20, 2018

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Animal Control Officer

March 16, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Letters to the Editor