Public Info

Union County Programs Educate Residents on Gardening and the Environment During COVID-19

As gardening season comes into full swing, Union County residents can get remote assistance improving their yards and raising backyard vegetable gardens while protecting the environment, too. Residents with yard and garden questions can contact the free Garden Helpline at (908) 654-9852 or

The Garden Helpline is a service of the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County, run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County and supported in part by the Freeholder Board.

“The Freeholder Board is proud to support the  Rutgers Extension and the Master Gardeners. During the COVID-19 outbreak the Helpline continues to be available to provide remote assistance to Union County residents,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Other Rutgers Cooperative Extension remote learning services are also available to gardeners during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Earth Day at Home is a new interactive webinar series about eco-friendly yard and garden care, and related topics, continuing through May and into June.

New gardeners can learn how to start vegetable seeds indoors, and how to find an appropriate location to start a backyard garden.

The Plant This, Not That guide assists residents in selecting native plants for the garden. Plant This, Not That was created by a local Girl Scout with assistance from the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, to show how to use colorful native plants instead of invasive species.

The Master Gardeners program is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. It is supported by the Freeholder Board as part of a national county-based community agriculture program under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Extension offices are located in the County’s Colleen Fraser Building in Westfield, and the Demonstration Garden is located in the County’s Watchung Reservation near the Trailside Nature and Science Center.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, visit The Green Connection online at

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For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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