CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346


Opportunity for professional landscapers


Elizabeth, NJ – Landscapers searching for new ways to grow their business can take a free course in rain garden installation offered by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in conjunction with Union County.

Rain gardens are designed to filter stormwater runoff from rooftops, driveways and parking lots. They feature attractive native plants that thrive in wet and dry conditions. The plants help keep pollutants out of the runoff.

The benefits of rain gardens include reducing utility bills; reducing the use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer; adding curb appeal with attractive shrubs and flowers; and enhancing natural storm drainage to help prevent local flooding.

“Rain gardens are a great example of how the emerging green economy can benefit our local business owners, conserve natural resources, keep toxic chemicals out of our neighborhoods, and help property owners manage their costs,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Municipal and county personnel are also invited to attend the two-day program. The first day is scheduled for Friday, February 27 at Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside. The full day of workshops will cover all aspects of rain garden planning, installation, and maintenance.

The second day is scheduled for Thursday morning, March 26. It will consist of a hands-on rain garden installation at a Union County site.

Participants will receive a certificate upon completing the course. They will also be listed in a Rutgers Extension online directory of certified landscapers. The directory will be posted at

For registration information, call the Union County Rutgers Extension at 908-654-9854, x2240.

The training program is funded through a USDA National Water Quality Program grant.

For more information on many other budget-wise ways to go green in Union County, visit