Native Plant Society of New Jersey

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The Atlantic Cape May Sustainable Jersey Hub invites local green team members and the public to learn how to adopt landscaping practices that save time and resources while creating environmental benefits regardless of where you live.

The free event will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 7 at the Egg Harbor Township Community Center, 5045 English Creek Ave.  To register, see

The tentative list of table topics for the workshop are:

  • Water conservation
  • Native plants/gardening for wildlife
  • What not to plant – invasive species
  • Trees
  • Backyard Composting
  • Permaculture, and
  • Reducing the impact of today’s lawncare practices

Lawns are an American obsession. A lot of effort and resources go into creating and maintaining green carpets of turf, but unfortunately, lawns offer little for nature. Maintenance can produce more greenhouse gases than lawns absorb, and they do little to support important insect populations. Residential lawns require more irrigation than any agricultural crop grown in the country. Moving away from a turfgrass monoculture can not only boost biodiversity but can cut water and gas consumption and reduce the use of lawn chemicals.

“There are a lot of opportunities for people to adopt more beneficial practices in their home landscapes that will not only offer an environmental boost but can also save money, water and other resources,” Hub Co-chair Amy Menzel said in a release. “You don’t need to make drastic changes to start to bring benefits. Adding trees and native plants, composting food scraps to create soil building humus, capturing rainwater for irrigation or reducing lawn size are all steps to take toward a more sustainable landscape at home.”

The Atlantic Cape May Sustainable Jersey Hub has invited more than a dozen local resource providers, including environmental organizations and local businesses that can offer guidance to attendees.

Sustainable Princeton’s Christine Symington will share what their community has done to work with local landscapers to help them to understand the value of offering these services to customers. Jesse Connor, co-chair of the local chapter of the NJ Native Plant Society will share information on the many benefits of incorporating native plants into the home garden.

Resource providers will have a chance to introduce themselves and attendees will have the opportunity to visit tables to lean more from the resources of the greatest interest to them.

“While we’ve got a lot of excellent local resources we are eager to introduce people to, when we were planning for this event we had trouble identifying landscaping professionals who advertise an expertise in sustainable practices,” Hub Co-chair Ralph Cooper said. “We hope that they too will participate; there’s an opportunity for them to provide services to a growing customer base.”

Cooper said sustainable landscaping is not just for homeowners, but also for municipalities and schools that often manage large tracts of land that can benefit from small or large changes to their landscaping practices.

Some of the resource providers who will be tabling at the event include: Atlantic Cape Conservation District, Surfrider, the Greater Hammonton Permaculture Club, The NJ Native Plant Society, Arborist Mickey Riggin, the NJ Shade Tree Federation, SustainableEHC, Earth First Native Plant Nursery, Atlantic County Master Composter Program, and others.

The meeting is open to the public. You don’t need to belong to a green team to attend, everyone is welcome and there is no cost. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is requested at

Watch the A-CM Regional Hub website for additional information at

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.