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Annual Report 2013 (Adobe PDF)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
David Smela
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service
(732) 398-5268

 

County’s EARTH Center Offers
Day of Gardening Programs

APRIL 15, 2014 -- 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.

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. The workshop will also discuss which garden plants can serve as pollen sources in late summer when naturally occurring sources are not easy to find 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.

 

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Smela
732-398-5268

County to Host Workshop on Mastering
Organic Gardening and Landscaping

March 10, 2014 -- As warmer weather approaches, many Middlesex County residents are eager to return to gardening. However, many people want their gardens to be free of synthetic pesticides as they grow food or care for landscaping.

If you want your garden and landscape plants to be healthy with little or no pesticides, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is offering a garden workshop entitled Mastering Organic Gardening and Landscaping.

This free workshop is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

The workshop will introduce the concept of Integrated Pest Management and examine how simple practices, such as monitoring for pests and providing adequate moisture, will keep your plants healthy. Interpreting soil sample results and light requirements for various species will also be examined.

The recent interest in alternative approaches to gardening comes from the idea of leading a more “green” lifestyle and lessening one’s impact on the environment. This workshop will address concepts and techniques important to the foundation of this style of gardening.

To register, call 732-398-5262 by March 28.

Middlesex County Agricultural Agent Bill Hlubik, a professor at Rutgers University, will be the class instructor and explain the values of these planting practices.

“I encourage residents to attend this informative workshop,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.  “Learning to garden without the use of pesticides will ensure that the County remains a beautiful and healthy place to live.”  

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents don’t only learn about greener approaches to gardening, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

The County’s Extension Office is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the State land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The EARTH Center is located in one of Middlesex County’s most beautiful parks, Davidson’s Mill Pond Park. The Center’s 300-plus acres feature ponds, wooded trails and open fields. Educational displays at the park include a demonstration vegetable garden, hard-scaped herb garden, and a water-conserving rain garden. These displays are used to spark conversation about earth-friendly gardening techniques, local agriculture, and topics that are the focus of Extension’s Agriculture & Natural Resource Management Department. 

Visitors can also find out more about the Center and its events by calling 732-398- 5262.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

- END PRESS RELEASE -

 

 

Middlesex County’s Solid Waste and Extension Services Offices Present Composting Workshops

FEBRUARY 27, 2014 -- If you are a Middlesex County resident who is concerned about the environment, now is the time to learn how to reduce waste and improve soil, right in your own backyard.

New workshops are being offered to show residents how to cut down on trash and give back to the land, just by composting yard waste and kitchen scraps.

Two free composting seminars are being held at the Middlesex County EARTH Center in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick. Classes run about 2 hours and feature an overview and explanation of two composting techniques:

Backyard Composting                             Vermi-Composting (using worms)
10 a.m. Saturday, April 5                           6:30 p.m. Monday, April 7

Please call the Middlesex County Office of Solid Waste Management at 732-745-4170 or e-mail solidwaste@co.middlesex.nj.us to register for the free workshops.

Workshop attendees may also pick up pre-purchased compost bins at the workshops. Call the Solid Waste Office before the workshop for a list of available compost bins.

The Backyard Composting seminar will introduce the basics of composting kitchen scraps and yard waste. Any backyard area will do, as long as there is organic matter from your kitchen or garden trimmings and a compost bin.

Perhaps you don’t have a backyard of your own, because you live in a condo or apartment. You can still learn about composting and benefit from it at the second workshop, which teaches vermi-composting.

This technique is notable for having the actual breakdown of waste performed by worms in the soil.

“I encourage residents to attend one of these informative events,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.  “Keeping conservation in mind today will ensure that the County remains a beautiful and healthy place to live.”  

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents can not only learn about composting, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

For more information on programs offered by the Middlesex County’s Cooperative Extension call 732-398-5260.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

- END PRESS RELEASE -

 

1/20/14
Contact: David Smela
Telephone: 732-398-5268

 

EARTH Center Invites You to Birdcount

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Middlesex County invite you to take part in the “Great Backyard Bird Count” on Saturday, February 15, in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park 42 Riva Ave. South Brunswick, NJ (raindate Sunday Feb. 16). Master Gardeners will offer hot coffee for bird counters from Noon to 2:30 PM, within the park at the EARTH Center, home to Middlesex County’s Extension office.

The event will be held simultaneously with the Audubon Society and Cornell University Labs "Great Backyard Birdcount". Please bring your own binoculars and field guides and dress for the appropriately for outdoor hiking. A tour guide may be provided or you can strike off on your own. Please let the organizer know you are interested in attending by e-mailing evans@aesop.rutgers.edu.

Beginning birders, and experts are encouraged to attend. The start time is not formal. Rather, the Master Gardeners encourage people to use the park of over 300 acres (including wooded trails and open fields), for their count and will host guests by providing coffee and light snacks during the listed time. 

“I encourage residents to attend this wonderful and informative event in beautiful Davidson Mill Pond Park,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Help make this the biggest GBBC ever!  Davidson Mill Pond Park has recorded 100 bird species to date!  Be a part of helping scientists record migration patterns.”

“The more people who participate, the more scientists will know about  bird populations growth or decline over time due to habitat loss, disease, or other factors,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. 

For more detailed information visit  www.birdsource.org/gbbc/

If you are not familiar with your local Extension office, it is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the state land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by; the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University- New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Contact: Middlesex Co. Extension Office 

- END PRESS RELEASE -