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PHONE: 908-234-1225, EXT. 104

Pinelands plant course to begin on May 11

10-week course includes classroom work and field trips


New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Photo by Terry Schmidt
Despite their sandy soils, the Pine Barrens are not barren at all. Hundreds of plant species are found in this unique region, including iconic plants like Pine Barrens gentians, bog asphodels and swamp pinks, as well as an array of wild orchids and carnivorous plants.

Plant enthusiasts are invited to learn all about Pine Barrens plants at a 10-week summer course co-sponsored by New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, beginning on Thursday, May 11.

The "Special Pinelands Plants Course - Fundamentals" will include weekly classroom workshops and field trips to the 11,379-acre Franklin Parker Preserve in Chatsworth, Burlington County. The course is geared toward beginners, although seasoned field botanists may enjoy deepening their knowledge of plant families and the intriguing variety of flower morphology.

The course will be taught by Russell Juelg, senior land steward and Pine Barrens educator for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, who has been the course instructor for more than 10 years.

"We'll focus on the natural relationships and modern classification of plants, using the Pine Barrens of New Jersey as our outdoor classroom," said Juelg. "By investigating, especially, plant families, and the characteristics that systematists use in trying to delineate them, we'll reinforce our understanding of plant morphology, which will greatly enhance our field botany skills."

Students will study live and pressed specimens during the 10 evening workshops, and will make nine weekend field trips to the Franklin Parker Preserve, paying close attention to plants and plant communities that are of conservation priority.
The classroom portion of the course will be held every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., from May 11 through July 13, at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance headquarters at 17 Pemberton Road in Southampton.

The course fee is $150, payable in advance, and registration is limited to 30 students. High school and college students with a valid ID are eligible for a 50 percent discount, at $75 per person.

To register online, go to
For more information or assistance in registering, contact Bill Lynch at 908-997-0725 or

Two texts are required for the course: The Illustrated Book of Wildflowers and Shrubs by William Carey Grimm (1993), and Guide to Flowering Plant Families by Wendy B. Zomlefer (1994). Students will also need a 10X lens, known as a pocket loupe.

The plant course is part of New Jersey Conservation's "Step Into Nature" series of walks, talks and outdoor events.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve land and natural resources throughout New Jersey. Since 1960, the Foundation has protected more than 125,000 acres of open space, farmland and parks. For more information about New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its programs and preserves, visit

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