New Jersey Conservation Foundation
New Jersey Conservation Foundation Menu
NJCF Homepage Contact Us Donate Events Search NJCF
New Jersey Land Conservation Organization
Donate to New Jersey Conservation Foundation
State We're In New Jersey Conservation Foundation Blog
Make your yard and garden 'Jersey-Friendly'
4/8/2016 Volume XLIX, No. 13

Spring is here, and garden centers are filled with a mind-boggling array of flowers, shrubs and trees. You are already envisioning how great your yard and garden will look.

But before you choose your plants, do your homework to make sure they’re “Jersey- Friendly.”

You may not realize this, but many garden center plants have been introduced from other continents and can be extremely harmful to our state’s native plants.

These “alien invasives” not only thrive in the Garden State, but can spread aggressively. Eventually, they crowd out native plants needed by wildlife and pollinators, resulting in a poorer environment with less animal and plant diversity.

So what to plant in your yard and garden … and what to avoid?

According to the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team, many of the worst offenders have been landscaping staples for years: Chinese and Japanese wisteria, Japanese clematis, English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, Porcelainberry, Norway maple, Callery/Bradford pear, Winged burning bush, Wintercreeper, Japanese barberry, Butterfly bush, Linden viburnum, Japanese meadowsweet and Chinese silvergrass. It’s best to avoid all use of them.

What to plant instead for a beautiful yard AND a healthy environment? A new program called Jersey-Friendly Yards makes it easy to decide. Its website – - has many helpful features, including an extensive plant database and an online tool to help you design a landscape plan.

The plant database lists hundreds of trees, shrubs and flowers that are native to New Jersey, as well as plants that are not native but aren’t harmful because they don’t aggressively spread.

Here are some examples of beneficial plants: Flowering dogwood, White fringetree, Persimmon, American holly, Spicebush, Serviceberry, Eastern columbine, Butterfly weed, Purple coneflower, Beebalm, Cardinal flower, Black-eyed Susan, Virginia bluebells and wild geranium.

The website’s “Interactive Yard” tool provides step-by-step instructions for making your property the healthiest possible environment. For instance, it provides advice on removing impervious surfaces, getting rid of invasive plants, adding beds around the house, harvesting rainwater, attracting pollinators and starting a vegetable garden.

The Jersey-Friendly Yards program was developed by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, with a grant from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

The Barnegat Bay Partnership, composed of more than 30 organizations and agencies, has been working for years to improve water quality in Barnegat Bay. The bay, like many rivers in New Jersey, is threatened by runoff water filled with fertilizers, sediment and trash.

A critical part of the Barnegat Bay Partnership’s efforts involves reducing “people pollution” carried from yards into waterways through stormwater runoff. Jersey-Friendly Yards is the latest of many initiatives designed to educate the public.

“In my mind, the future of conservation is going to be in our yards,” said Karen Walzer of the Barnegat Bay Partnership. “If we start with our own yards, it will go a long way for conservation in New Jersey.”

This spring, make sure your yard and garden are Jersey-Friendly! Visit the website at and take advantage of all the great advice assembled there.

And for more information on preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at or contact me at



Cowtown and rare grassland birds, perfect together

Fight light pollution during International Dark Sky Week

New film tells story of how Petty's Island was saved

Ten years of nipping invasive species in the bud

Welcome spring in a county park

Go for a walk and feel better!

Grab a friend and go outside

Recycle your way to zero waste!

Last call for winter wildlife watching on Jersey coast

Without its 'understory' layer, the forest will collapse

From whale songs to poetry, a remarkable journey

A cleaner, greener New Jersey

Let's keep New Jersey the Garden State, not the Pipeline State

New Jersey's winter hikes

'Trees don't vote' but Byrne saved Pine Barrens anyway

Governor-elect Murphy should set new course on the environment

Protect soils to keep the garden in our state

Clean, plentiful water is New Jersey's lifeblood

A breath of fresh air for New Jersey?

Keep Liberty State Park free and open

A green agenda for Governor-elect Murphy

Life, liberty ... and a clean environment

New Jersey's aging water infrastructure

The land before time: NJ's Kittatinny Ridge & Valley

While bats hibernate, scientists hope for survival

Natural Resource Damages fund new parks and preserves

Save menhaden, a humble but mighty fish

Ballot question approval would lock in environmental funds

Sandy Millspaugh: Conservation Trailblazer

Extreme hurricanes highlight concerns about climate change

'Head start' for corn snakes

Protecting the Highlands - it's the water

When you could walk from New Jersey to Morocco

A bold plan for the planet

New Jersey's energy future at a crossroads

Tiny insect will have a huge impact on New Jersey

Protect New Jersey's Pine Barrens

Enjoy New Jersey's forests!

Maine-to-Florida urban trail celebrates 25 years

Rare plants and animals need help!

Ban offshore drilling and seismic testing off NJ coast!

Summertime and the digging is easy

Is the elusive bobcat here to stay?

NJ water supply plan rings alarm bells

NJ's Piedmont: Formed by volcanoes and erosion

Defend public health and safety in state budget

'Magical' early 17-year cicadas

June and open space: Perfect together

Hit the trails on June 3, National Trails Day

Socializing with nature


April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011


New Jersey Conservation Foundation on FacebookNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on TwitterNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on FlickrNew Jersey Conservation Foundation YouTube ChannelShare      
New Jersey Conservation Foundation           Bamboo Brook, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931           908-234-1225 
home  | nj statewide eventscontact us  |  sitemap  |  privacy policy  |  DONATE