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Fairview Arboretum Tour

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Continuing Education, News and Events

There will be a tour of the Fairview Cemetery, Westfield,  lead by Dr. Tom Ombrello, Professor Union County College, on Sunday, October 23 at 2pm.  Please see flyer below for more detail and registration information.  1 CEU for this educational tour.




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October Newsletter

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in News and Events

Sorry for the delay – but Fall is a very busy time here at RCE.

Enjoy your October Newsletter – and the cooler days………………


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2016 June Executive Board Motions

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Administrative, Board Mtg Motions/Minutes, The Executive Board


Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by David Regal and seconded by Debbie DiMaggio to accept the minutes of May 4, 2016 with a correction on the 2nd page under Unfinished Business, to insert “tentatively” for the dates of the PIN Party and Holiday Party. The motion was unanimously approved.

Motion made by Mary Stewart and seconded by Althea Llewellyn to repair the two pergola
posts at a cost of $675. Vote was unanimously in favor of this motion.

A motion was made by Dave Regal and second by Mary Stewart to increase the 4H and
Vo-Tech Scholarships this year to $300 each. The vote was unanimously in favor.

A motion was made by David Regal and seconded by Debbie DiMaggio to purchase the new microscope for $850 with the Exxon Mobil gift. The vote was unanimously in favor of this motion.

A motion was also made by David Regal and seconded by Mary Stewart to send a letter to Libby Reiss from the Board recognizing her MG volunteer hours that made receiving this grant possible. The vote was unanimously in favor.
Motion made by David Regal and seconded by Mary Stewart to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m. Vote was unanimously in favor.

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2016 October 5 Proposed MG Executive Board Agenda

Posted by on Oct 2, 2016 in Administrative, Board Mtg Agenda, The Executive Board

Our next meeting is Wednesday, October 5, 2016, in Westfield. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00 PM. If you will not be attending the meeting, please advise the office and the president by 12:00 noon of the meeting date.


7:00 PM
• Approval of Minutes from Executive Board Meeting on September 7, 2016.
(Please review prior to meeting)
• Correspondence: Deborah DiMaggio
• Treasurer’s Report: Teresa Gibbons
• Historian’s Report: Mary Stewart
• State Representative’s Report: Caryl Hannemann, Dolores Batz-Culp, Dennis Lenahan


• First VP Althea Llewellyn: Community Projects, Environmental Matters, Garden Preservation, Publicity, Helpline, Newsletter, Website
• Second VP David Regal: Spring Fair, All Demo Garden Committees, Arts & Crafts, Intro. to Hort Therapy
• Third VP Tina Helmstetter: Continuing Education (inc. summer events), Speakers Bureau, Sunshine Committee, Children’s Programs, Annual MG Picnic, Holiday Party (Advisor).

• Budget for 2016-17
• Exec Board Schedule
• Pin Party on Thursday Sept 15 and the Holiday Party on Thursday December 15.
• Hours reporting
• Committees on web
• Vote on Garden plot

• Community Garden Request at Terry Lou Zoo

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The Next MG Communications Meeting is Wednesday, October 26

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Committees & Projects, News and Events

The next meeting of all Committee Chairs and the Executive Board will be held at 7 pm, Wednesday, October 26, in the meeting room of the RCE, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ. Everyone is invited to attend and discuss any concerns.



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MG October Continuing Education Meeting: The Green Heart of Beijing – Exploring its Imperial Gardens and Public Parks

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Please join us for our continuing education meeting, Wednesday October 19, 2016 from 7:30-9 pm in the RCE Meeting Room, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ 07090.

Fasten your seat belts for a tour of of Beijing’s green spaces! This densely populated city is home to 11.5 million residents and over 600 parks. Explore some of the most historic, popular, and widely used ones in this hour-long illustrated presentation by garden historian Lesley Parness.

Lesley Parness has served as Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission since 2001. She co-founded the Garden State Gardens Consortium, a public gardens alliance in 2006 and served as its Vice President and President. Lesley teaches at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and is a frequent lecturer to Garden Clubs and Plant Societies.  Her interests include garden history, garden travel and herbs.
You are welcome to bring a guest for this event!  RSVP by October 14 by emailing Judi Laganga, or calling(908) 654-9854, option 2.
Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
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School visit Tuesday, Sept 20 at Demo Garden – help needed

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Committees & Projects, Programs, The Gardens

Help encourage the next generation of gardeners!
Just a reminder that we’ll be hosting fifty 5th graders from the College Achieve Central Charter School on Tuesday, September 20th from 9:30 to noon.  Rain Date, the 22nd. PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE- Children will arrive 1/2 hour earlier.  If you can arrive at 9, we will have time to set-up and make assignments.
They will attend to learn about volunteerism and the effort that goes into gardening as they plan to start a garden in the Spring. The children will tour the garden and interview plot captains and then participate in three other activities. This will be a special time to engage and educate children about the wonders and rewards of gardening.We’ll be dividing the class into four groups, allowing each group 35 minutes.

Group 1- garden tour and questions for captains (Madeline)

Group 2- insect talk (James and Harry)

Group 3- bird talk (Maryanna)

Group 4- craft activity, half to make pizza pins and half to do “nature paints” (Deb and Nancy)

Of course we do need additional volunteers.  Please let me know that you received this message and whether or not you will attend to assist activity leaders.Thanks, Laurie Westra

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Proposal to Change a Planting Bed at the Demo Garden

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in News and Events

Inge Bossert and Tracy Criscitiello  have proposed transforming the Hardy Tropical Garden into a more maintenance-friendly
demonstration that shows how plants can serve as structural elements in the garden.
   Please see attached plan.
Our Bylaws state: “Significant proposed changes to the Demonstration Gardens such as new development, restructuring of the garden or other new MG programs/activities require a formal, written request submitted to the Executive Board for review. After Board review, a recommendation will be presented to the membership via email for comments.”

The Board has reviewed the request and will vote on its approval at the next Board meeting.

This post is a “call for comment” from the membership on the above request in accordance with the by-laws.  Please indicate whether you approve or disapprove of the above request in an email to the president, Richard Leister, at


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Registration Extended for Fall MG Conference

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in News and Events

The Rutgers Master Gardener Association of New Jersey (RMGANJ) will hold its Annual Conference on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at the Cook Student Center in New Brunswick.   The theme this year is “Food for Thought”.  Registration has been extended.

Here’s a link to the registration page with further details:

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Master Gardener Awards Ceremony on September 15

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in News and Events

All Master Gardeners are cordially invited to this event, which takes place
Thursday, September 15, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church, Assembly Hall, 140 Mountain Ave., Westfield.

We will be honoring Master Gardeners who have completed their 60 hours of volunteer service by August 31 to become Certified Master Gardeners and Master Gardeners who have reached increments of 500 hours of service (500, 1,000, 1,500 etc.) by August 31. We’ll also be celebrating the 10th and 20th  anniversaries of our members! James Keane is this year’s recipient of the Wesley Philo Award. Other awards include US Presidential Awards for volunteer service in 2015.

RSVP to OR call Judi 908-654-9854, ext. 2, no later than Tuesday, Sept. 13, if you are coming.

Volunteers are needed to help set up and clean up.  Please text or call Tina at 908-763-6774, or email her at

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