Putting Your Jersey-Friendly Yard Into Practice!

Third Annual Jersey-Friendly Yards Conference

Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Ocean County College (Gateway Building) in Toms River, NJ

Thank you to everyone who attended the conference and to our fantastic speakers, exhibitors, native plant vendors, and volunteers!  We hope you enjoyed the day and took home new ideas to put into practice in your own yard. Some of the presenters have generously shared information about their talks. Please see below for links.

Featured Speaker:  Bruce Crawford, Director of Rutgers Gardens

Designing Your Jersey-Friendly Garden

How often do you see pollinator-friendly and native plants that you would love to incorporate into your home landscape, but don’t know where or how to work them in?  Would you like to liven up your landscape with color, interesting and native plants while making the outdoor spaces more people-friendly?  Then learning about Jersey-Friendly Yard principles is for you!  Bruce will explore the fundamentals of landscape design, with a focus on native, unusual and fun plants.  Learn some of the design fundamentals and start your thoughts on how to make your home landscape more ecologically special.
Planning the Home Landscape — Delight or Disaster?

About Bruce Crawford

Bruce Crawford

Bruce is the Director of Rutgers Gardens and an adjunct professor in Landscape Architecture Department at Rutgers University. He is one of the foremost speakers and published writers on landscape design in New Jersey. In addition to managing, designing and developing the 180 acres of the Rutgers Gardens, Bruce teaches and shares his love of fun and unusual plants with students, garden clubs, Master Gardeners, community groups, and visitors to Rutgers Gardens.

Featured Speaker:  Pat Sutton, Naturalist and Educator

Backyard Habitat for Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies & More!

In the “Go Green” movement, all too often yards are forgotten and, in fact, many yards are the antithesis of green.  The first and most important step is to “Go Native,” to favor native plants and wildlife-friendly practices.  Pat Sutton will showcase native trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers, and even weeds that are most beneficial to birds and other wildlife.  From the perspective of a life-long naturalist intimate with the workings of the natural world, Sutton will share countless common-sense garden maintenance techniques that will help property owners avoid common practices that actually harm rather than benefit wildlife.  Learn how to create a wildlife refuge right out your own back door — a refuge for you and for all wildlife.
Gardening for Pollinators
New Jersey’s Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines That Are Beneficial to Birds

About Pat Sutton

Pat Sutton

Pat Sutton has keenly studied the natural world for 40 years, first as the naturalist at the Cape May Point State Park in the 1970s and 1980s and then for 21 years as the naturalist and program director at the Cape May Bird Observatory (1986 to 2007).  Pat is a passionate advocate and wildlife habitat gardener for pollinators, birds, dragonflies, frogs, toads, and other critters.  Pat has taught gardening for wildlife workshops and led tours of private wildlife gardens for over 30 years. Sutton’s own wildlife garden is a “teaching garden” featured in many programs, workshops, garden tours, and several books.
(Photo by Clay Sutton.)

Workshops at the Conference

Workshops will provide in-depth information and tools that you can use as you follow the “Eight Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard.” During registration, attendees will have the opportunity to choose which workshop they would like to attend during the afternoon session.

Start With Healthy Soil
Get a great overview of healthy soil practices in this interactive, hands-on workshop. Explore real-world examples of soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties, and learn how they are related to healthy soil function in your garden. The workshop will include a demonstration of infiltration of water into soil with a comparison of compacted and non-compacted soil surfaces.

Presenter: Fred C. Schoenagel III
Fred is a Resource Soil Scientist with the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). He has been with USDA-NRCS in New Jersey since 1996, where he has worked on updating soil surveys, evaluating soils for their suitability for different uses, and diagnosing problems within soils that are not functioning. (Photo by Laura Coover, USDA-NRCS)

Lose the Lawn, Create a Wildflower Meadow Instead
Many areas have lost meadows to subdivisions and corporate headquarters landscaped with acres and acres of sod lawn – monocultures that are green deserts for wildlife, offering no cover, no food (nectar, seeds, etc.), and no beauty (blooming wildflowers and lovely native grasses). If you have more lawn than you need and mowing gobbles up precious time and expensive gas, consider turning some of this lawn into a wildflower meadow. Even a small “pocket meadow” will make a big difference to wildlife. Learn how to convert lawn to meadow, how to maintain your meadow in a simple fashion over time, and how to make it acceptable and attractive to neighbors and visitors.
Wildflower Meadows
Wildflower Meadows: Recommended Native Plants & Other Resources

Presenter:  Pat Sutton
One of the featured speakers at the conference, Pat is also offering this workshop.  Scroll up to read more about Pat.

Your Climate-Resilient Suburban Grassland
Healthy turf grass can tolerate regular foot traffic, making it well-suited for certain areas of the yard, such as outdoor play and recreational spaces. Contrary to public opinion, turfgrass can have environmental benefits when low-maintenance practices are followed. This workshop will provide insight into how to create a suburban grassland in the most sustainable way possible.

Presenter: Richard Buckley
Rich is the Director of the Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, where he is responsible for laboratory operations and for the analysis of plant samples requiring insect pest and disease diagnosis. He is also an instructor in the Rutgers Department of Pathology and Plant Science, teaching courses in diseases and insect pests of turfgrass and ornamental plants. Rich is a frequent lecturer and invited speaker on disease and insect pest problems in turf and ornamentals, plant problem-solving, pesticide use, and pest management techniques throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Creating an Edible Native Garden and Food Forest
This workshop will focus on the principles of permaculture and how they are applied to the planning and development of a home or community food forest/forest garden. We will explore the use of native edible perennials in a forest garden.  Participants will come away with a an understanding of the benefits of perennial food forests on soil, pollinators, humans and the planet in general, and an understanding of the concepts of “carbon farming” and the importance of considering soil carbon sequestration as a gardener and food consumer.

Presenter:  Jeanine Cava
Jeanine founded Soil to Soul in 2018. The mission of Soil to Soul is to demonstrate edible landscaping and forest gardening, and inspire, mentor, educate, and support folks who wish to improve their health, and create resiliency through home-scale, sustainable food production. Jeanine’s professional roots have been firmly planted in sustainability and environmental restoration for more than twenty years.  Jeanine has a M.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Policy from NJIT, and she currently teaches Climate Science at Monmouth University.

Reusing Materials in Your Jersey-Friendly Yard
This workshop will focus on the reuse of materials by the home gardener, DIY maker, and builder. From leftover or surplus materials from other projects to things found on bulk rubbish day – there are plenty of opportunities for economical and sustainable reuse of materials in the garden and yard. We will troubleshoot common problems and barriers to reuse, such as building with a diversity of material types, processing/construction issues, and durability/longevity. Interspersed throughout the workshop will be inspiring and beautiful examples of reuse of materials.

Presenter: Tobiah Horton
In his 20-year career, Toby’s landscape work has focused on re-configuring places with a structure of green infrastructure and an expression of reused materials and native plants.  For the past seven years, as Extension Specialist in Landscape Architecture for Rutgers Cooperative Extension, he has designed and installed over 40 green infrastructure projects.  His current efforts involve working from funded installation projects towards overall sustainability master plans that leverage green infrastructure towards larger scale structural changes to the experience of public space.

Plant Vendors at the Conference

Steven Kristoph Nursery

Conference Sponsors

The conference is made possible through the generosity of our sponsors.  There are three sponsorship levels available – Red Oak, Highbush Blueberry, and Blue Meadow Violet.  All sponsors receive two complimentary registrations and their logo on the conference web page and other promotional materials.  Red Oak sponsors also have their logo included in the conference program and on the conference bag; Highbush Blueberry in the program.

Questions?  Email Karen Walzer, Barnegat Bay Partnership Public Outreach Coordinator, at kwalzer@ocean.edu or call her at 732-255-0472 x 2.

Thank you to the sponsors of the 2019 conference!