April’s chilly winds are making way for balmier weather, just in time for the 27th annual Union County Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale. This year the event takes place on Sunday May 15, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Demonstration Garden by the Union County Trailside Nature and Science Center in the Watchung Reservation, at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.
As always, admission and parking are free. All sales are cash only. All proceeds from the sale go to fund community service projects of the Master Gardeners of Union County.
Special this year: a limited supply of the all-new “Rutgers 250” tomato variety, a modern re-invention of the classic Jersey tomato first introduced by Rutgers in 1934.
The centerpiece of the Master Tree Stewards’ efforts is a countywide “tree blitz” each spring, when they fan out to provide hundreds of 4th-grade students with a classroom lesson on the importance of trees in our environment. No previous experience with trees — or with children — is necessary. Extension staff will provide you with a lesson kit and other support.
Training and certification begins each fall, consisting mainly of guided walks through nearby nature preserves.
To get more information or to sign up contact Jim Nichnadowicz at the Extension, 908-654-9854 or Nichnadowicz@njaes.rutgers.edu.
Union County 4-H Clubs
The historic 4-H youth activity program is alive and living in Union County! Students in grades 1-12 can join the fun while developing their skills at public speaking, organization, leadership, and teamwork. Archery, Lego Robotics, Cooking, Engineering, and Fashion Design are just some of the topics to explore in small groups headed up by local volunteers.
Union County 4-H runs concurrently with the school year, so plan ahead now come to the annual 4-H Open House in mid-September, where you can meet the club leaders and sign up for clubs for the 2016-17 school year.
For more information, to get on the 4-H mailing list, or to find out about leading a club, contact Judi LaGanga at the Extension, 908-654-9854 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A sample list of clubs is available here (list is subject to change for next year).
Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County
If you love getting your hands dirty, this is the volunteer program for you! No previous horticultural experience is necessary — experts from Rutgers University will train you and certify you as a Master Gardener.
The Master Gardeners are one of Union County’s most beloved volunteer organizations and their beneficial touch is felt in communities everywhere. For many more details, gardening tips, and information on joining visit mastergardeners-uc.org or call the Extension office, 908-654-9854.
Small Steps to Health and Wealth
Small Steps to Health and Wealth is a nationally recognized program developed by Extension experts at Rutgers University. The aim is to help you identify — and act on — modest behavior changes that lead to better health and financial stability.
Let the experts show you how small steps can add up to big improvements. You can read the Small Steps to Health and Wealth book for free on line at Rutgers University’s SSHW website.
If you don’t have time for a whole book you can check out the site’s monthly health and finance messages, take a quick personal assessment quiz, or pick from a list of 25 behavior strategies (we recommend starting with #1, Track Your Current Behavior).
Are you looking for more programs?
Links to all Union County Extension programs are at the top of the left column on this page including:
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County belongs to a national network of more than 3,100 county offices and research institutions, including Rutgers University, organized under the U.S. Department of Agriculture to foster youth development and community health.