Native plants in a Jersey-Friendly yard
Native plants in a Jersey-Friendly front yard (photo by Becky Laboy)

Back to Basics: 8 Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard

This year’s webinar series reminds us that a Jersey-Friendly Yard doesn’t have to be a monumental task. Start small and start with the basics. Each program in this series ties to one of the 8 Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard. Join us as we incorporate these basic components into our landscaping practices, resulting in a beautiful and healthy Jersey-friendly Yard!

About the Webinars

Jersey-Friendly Yards webinars are free and provided via WebEx Events. They are on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm. The live sessions are an hour long including time for questions. To join the webinars, you will need either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. After each webinar and with presenter permission, we will add a link to a video recording of the webinar to the Webinar Details section below.

You must register separately for each webinar you wish to attend. Webinar titles and descriptions are listed below. To register for a webinar, click on the title and complete the WebEx registration form. If you have any questions about the webinar series or how to register, please contact Karen Walzer at

2022 Webinars

To register for a webinar, click on the title.

June 14 at 7 pm
Minimize Risks When Managing Pests

Join us as we learn how to manage pests while protecting pollinators in home landscapes. Along with providing flowering plants and undisturbed places to nest, home gardens also need to be protected from pesticides. This webinar will discuss some of the key pesticide concerns for pollinators, offer simple pest management tips for home landscapes, give you ideas of how to make your garden more resilient to pest pressure, and help you identify and respond to any pests that do arrive.
Presenter: Emily May, Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

May 10
Fertilize Less: Rely More on Nature

View a recording of this webinar.

Learn the basic principles of how to rely less on fertilizer and more on nature. We will discuss how to manage soil and optimize plant growth in your yard using an organic, holistic approach. By building on a foundation of biologically active soil with proper plant selection, you can grow healthy plants and reduce dependency on fertilizers.
Presenter: Chris Adams, Owner, Eastbound LLC

April 12
Water Wisely

View a recording of this webinar.
Download a PDF of the presentation.

Over 750 million gallons of water are used in NJ every day to irrigate our yards. Up to 50% of the water used outdoors is wasted from inefficient watering methods and systems. This excess water from inefficient watering runs off yards and down storm drains, and picks up fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants and carries them into local rivers, lakes, and bays. You’ll learn ways to conserve water and restore the cycle of water moving through our environment.  ‘Water’ you doing right and wrong with your yard?
Presenter: Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Agent/Associate Professor with Ocean and Atlantic Counties

March 8
Start with Healthy Soil

View a recording of this webinar.

A healthy garden starts with healthy soil. We will explore the basics about the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil as they pertain to the foundation of a successful Jersey-Friendly garden. We’ll showcase some of our favorite Jersey-Friendly flowers, vines, grasses, shrubs and trees and discuss the soil texture, soil pH and soil moisture content these plants need to be happy and healthy!
Presenter: Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District

February 8
Plan Before You Plant

View a recording of this webinar.
There’s a lot to think about before putting your shovel in the ground to create a Jersey-Friendly garden, including the purpose for your garden, conditions at your site, and selection of the appropriate plants.  Whether planning a garden at home or at a community location, join us for some pointers on how to properly “Plan Before You Plant.” 
Presenter: Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District

About the Presenters

Chris Adams
A passion for nature and the outdoors led Chris to obtain a B.S. in Agronomy & Environmental Science, with a concentration in Soil Science, as well as a minor in Horticulture, from Delaware Valley College in 2013. Chris has worked for the USDA-NRCS as a subaqueous soil scientist, managed two organic vegetable farms in Ocean County, and worked as an agronomist for a large landscaping company. He now owns and operates his own business, Eastbound LLC, specializing in edible landscapes, organic gardens and organic plant health care. Chris is passionate about managing the home landscape in an organic way, to minimize harm to our local watersheds, and to support local ecology by incorporating native plants, pollinator habitat and also edible plants, trees and vegetable gardens

Becky Laboy
Becky is the full-time Education Outreach Specialist with the Ocean County Soil Conservation District. She has over 20 years of experience as a formal classroom teacher and informal environmental educator. Becky also serves as a co-leader for the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. In her spare time, Becky can usually be found behind a pair of binoculars as an avid and devoted birder.

Emily May
Emily is a Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society’s Pesticide Program. She received a master’s of science in entomology from Michigan State University, and has studied pollinator habitat restoration, bee nesting habits, and the effects of pest management practices on wild bee communities. Her work with Xerces since 2015 has focused on supporting crop pollinators through habitat creation and protecting bees and other beneficial insects from pesticides.

Dr. Steve Yergeau
Dr. Yergeau is the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Agent/Associate Professor with Ocean and Atlantic Counties where he conducts education programs and research addressing water resource protection and management. He works with homeowners, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations to implement programs to support sustainable environmental management.  Steve received a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University in 2010 and has over 25 years of experience in coastal water quality management.