Staff Directory   908-654-9854Extension + NJAES logo
300 North Avenue East, Westfield NJ 07990
The national Extension system was established more than 100 years ago to help improve rural communities. Today the Extension embraces urban and suburban life, youth development and family health.  In New Jersey, Rutgers University runs Extension programs in each county through its New Jersey Agricultural Experiment StationThe Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County is partly funded by the Freeholder Board through administrative support and office space in Westfield, land for the Demonstration Garden in the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside, and funding for special projects.
Community Garden Grants Available Now
Grow your community garden this spring with an assist from the Union County Means Green Community Garden Grants program. The one-to-one matching grant program is available to non-profit civic organizations on a pilot basis. A total of $30,000 in funding is available from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders under Chairman Bruce H. Bergen’s 2016 Union County Means Green initiative. The deadline is May 15.  More details and downloadable application forms.
Photo 1 Rutgers250Contact our free Garden Helpline for expert guidance on plants, insects and other garden topics:
908-654-9852 or
Garden Fair logo

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.

Find out more about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Garden Month and the Peoples’ Garden Initiative.
Recent projects4-H Cedar Brook collage Union County NJ
flourishMany thanks to 35 students from Union County’s 4-H youth clubs, who teamed up with the Master Tree Stewards in November to help spruce up Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield. Together they planted new trees and protected older trees with mulch around the base. To join a 4-H club, lead a club or become a certified Master Tree Steward (no previous tree experience needed!) contact 4-H Agent Jim Nichnadowicz, 908-654-9854 or
Open Call for Master Tree Stewards…
The Master Tree Stewards of Union County are volunteers whose wonderful influence is felt throughout our communities. Their mission is to help us appreciate and conserve our valuable urban and suburban treescapes.
Master Tree Stewards Union County NJ

Union County Master Tree Stewards celebrate an environmental award with friends at the annual Wild Earth Festival in Mountainside.

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

View brochure.


Union County 4-H Clubs 

ThUnion County NJ archery rangee 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 A sample list of clubs is available here (list is subject to change for next year).

lineRutgers Master Gardeners of Union County

Master Gardeners of Union County, NJ

Download Application Packet

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 or call the Extension office, 908-654-9854.



Small Steps to Health and Wealth

Union County NJ small steps to health and wealthSmall 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:

     Rain barrels Union County NJUnion County NJ 4-H Dog Lovers Club
      Household Budgeting
      Healthy Living
      Community Gardening
      Stormwater Management
      Master Gardeners
      Master Tree Stewards
      4-H Club Leader
      Community Nutrition
      Rain Barrel Instructors
      Rain Gardens 





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.