Public Info

Swap your “Bad” Plants for Native Species that Add Color and Variety to the Garden

native plant swap and shopUnion County, NJ — The County of Union invites all Union County gardeners to a “Native Plant Swap and Shop” event where they can trade an invasive plant from their yard for a colorful native plant. This free event will take place at the Union County Scout Camping Area in the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside on Thursday evening, June 10 from 5:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Pre-registration is required by filling out the online form at

Pink, lavender, white, red, blue, and yellow flowering native plants are available for swap including swamp milkweed, beebalm, creeping phlox, wild senna, and hummingbird-friendly calico beardtongue and cardinal flower.

“The Native Plant Swap and Shop event makes it fun and easy for gardeners to replace invasive species with native plants that support biodiversity in our community and help create a more healthful environment,” said County Commission Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Attendees can come at any time during the event and stay for as long as they like. They may bring any number of invasive plants from their yards to the event, and will receive up to three native plants per household in their place.

Attendees who plan to bring invasive plants to swap should dig up the entire plant, including the roots, and bring it to the event in a box or bag that is tied up or taped.

Toadshade Wildflower Farm will be on site with additional native plants to purchase. Preorders from Toadshade are encouraged through Attendees are welcome to purchase additional plants even if they do not bring plants to swap.

The Scout Camping Area is located on the grounds of the Demonstration Gardens at Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. Ample free parking is available on site. Signs for the event will direct attendees upon their arrival.

The Native Plant Swap and Shop event is hosted by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with the NJDEP Watershed Ambassador Program. For additional information, contact the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation at 908-789-3683 or email

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, such as the Adopt-a-Trail and Adopt-a-Park programs and the popular Peregrine Falcon Camera, are available at The Green Connection,

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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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