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Native Plant Themed Continuing Ed Happenings!

Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

There are two events you may be interested in attending that pertain to using native plants in the home landscape.

The first is on Saturday May 12 at 1 pm at Caldwell University, 120 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, NJ .  Dr. Doug Tallamy, University of Delaware, will be speaking on “Bringing Nature Home” .  This program is 1.5 CEU’s.  Please see the flyer.

RF Dr. Doug Tallamy FINAL (_)

The second is a 2 part county parks event.  “Good Plants & Bad Plants” May 16 at 6:30 pm at Trailside Nature Center Dr. Mike VanClef will be the speaker.  This presentation will discuss invasive plants species and using native plants.  1.5 CEU’s for this presentation.   The second part of the program is a “Plant Swap” in our Demonstration Garden at Trailside, on Thursday June 7 from 6:00 pm- 8:30 pm.  Participants can bring invasive plants from their yard and trade them in for a native plant.  Pre-registration with the county parks department for the plant swap program is required.  Please see this flyer for details.

plant talk & swap final


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Community Gardening “Train-the Trainer” program April 19

Posted by on Mar 29, 2018 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Master Gardener Coordinators are offering regional Community Gardening “Train the Trainer” programs.  Our goal is to provide Master Gardeners with community gardening curriculum that can be used to educate community and school groups about the many aspects of vegetable community gardening.  Each participant will be given the curriculum on a jump drive.  In Union County, we use this curriculum for our summer evening “Community Gardening Series” at Trailside and when we get requests for speakers from community organizations.

The program for Northern New Jersey will be on Thursday, April 19 at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township.  5.5 Continuing Education credits will be offered for this program. Please register by Friday April 13.  Please see the flyer for registration information:


The workshop will also be offered on April 18 in Atlantic County and June 14 in Ocean County. Master Gardeners are welcome to attend any of the training programs.

Hope to see you there!



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Monthly Meeting Feb 21 – Change in Topic: The Trailside Sensory Trail

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

We be having a different topic for our February 21 monthly meeting. Patty Bertch, the Director of Trailside Nature and Science Center, will be speaking about the new Sensory Trail at Trailside.    The new trail will feature sensory gardens, ADA accessible trails, a Braille Trail with guidelines, musical components and nature themed-sensory play areas.  1.5 CEU credits will be offered for this program.  Hope to see  you there!  The meeting will begin at 7:30 at the RCE office.


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Continuing Education Programs

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Happy New Continuing Education Year!

One of the requirements for maintaining your status as an active Master Gardener is to attend 10 hours of continuing education over the calendar year, starting the January after you graduate from the MG class.  So, Master Gardeners who graduated in Spring of 2017, would start to keep track of their continuing education hours this 2018  calendar year.  MG students currently enrolled in the class, are not required to participate in continuing education programs until after January of 2019.   New class members are welcome at programs.

Many programs that are approved for continuing education credits are free of charge.  Please do not feel that you have to pay for continuing education credits.  Some examples of free programs are our monthly meetings, joining us for MG class on Tuesday mornings, and workshops at our demonstration garden.  Tina Helmstetter is our continuing education chair.  If you have a program you think may qualify for continuing education please provide Tina with the information such as date, time , place, speaker and program description to have it added to the list:  Tina collates a list of programs, Madeline assigns CEU credits.  Not all programs qualify for CEUs.

Here are some upcoming events in Feb/March and early spring you may be interested in. (Please not that not all programs are approved for CEU’s, but you might be interested in attending)

CEU Classes Feb-Mar 2018


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MG Class Tentative Schedule for 2017-2018

Posted by on Oct 26, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Here is our class of 2017-2018 class schedule – our 30th Master Gardener class here in Union County!

2017-18 Tentative MG Class Syllabus

You are welcome to attend the classes for continuing education units.  Full lectures count for 2.5 continuing education units (CEU) and the classes at the demonstration garden and committee chair presentations count for 1 hour of CEUs.  Please check with the office to confirm the topic.  Sometimes due to weather or changes in the speaker’s schedule we need to switch topics.

Hope to see you in class!



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Upcoming Sept. Events at the Demo Garden

Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in Committees & Projects, Continuing Education, News and Events, SpringFair, The Gardens

The Demo Garden will be open every Tuesday and Thursday (weather permitting) by 9am until approx. 12pm. We also have these upcoming special events:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL COMPOSTING – The new Vegetable Gardening Series ends with a Sharing Garden tour and then a lecture in the TMA room from 6 pm – 8pm. Contact Madeline to volunteer or to register to attend the lecture.

TIME TO DIVIDE! PERENNIALS WILL BE ACCEPTED THIS FALL FOR THE 2018 SPRING GARDEN FAIR – Saturday, September 16, 9am – 12pm and Saturday, September 30, 9am – 12pm

August and September is the perfect time to divide your iris, daylilies and hosta. We will be accepting your potted plants in September at the Demo Garden. We will be open two Saturdays this fall for your donations and we can also use help these days digging up perennials out of the garden and potting them up. We will have soil, pots and plant labels if you want to bring your clumps and divide them at the demo garden.  The September newsletter contains a list of plants we accept in the fall. Contact Joanne if you have any questions.

DEMO GARDEN OPEN DURING ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL – WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! – Sunday, September 24, 2017 – 11 am – 5 pm, Rain or Shine

Master Gardener volunteers are needed to staff a table at the entrance to our garden during this event. This is a very easy job – just meet and greet the public, keep track of attendance and give out some brochures on the Master Gardener program. We will also be offering free Children’s Activities – helping the children pot up baby plants to take home and making bird feeders, so your help is needed! We had over 100 children take home a plant last year. Help is also needed to set up and clean up at the end.

Contact Joanne Krueger or 908-313-2734 if you can volunteer. Thank you for your help keeping our garden beautiful!

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Continuing Education Events

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Here is a list of upcoming events you might be interested in attending.   Thanks to Tina Helmsetter for compiling the list.

CEUs Aug thr Dec2017

Remember, we do have free continuing education events through-out the year, such as most of our monthly meetings and demo garden talks.  Recent MG graduates do not need to acquire continuing education hours until after the new year, January 2018.



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“Treasure Our Trees” the 2017 State Master Gardener Conference Oct 7, 2017

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Hope you are enjoying the summer.

When fall arrives and the leaves are changing color, what a perfect time to “Treasure Our Trees,” which happens to be the theme of this year’s Annual State Master Gardener conference! This year during the state MG program’s  “Awards for Excellence” ceremony,  we will be honoring Mary Krauss with the individual award for excellence and the Gardening with Children committee for the team award for excellence.

The conference is on Saturday, October 7 at the Cook Campus Center at Rutgers University.  A link to the program information is below.

2017 RMGANJ Reg Form

You have 2 options to register, one is to use the online registration the other is to print the form and mail it to the NJAES Office of Continuing Education with a check or credit card information.  I suggest registering soon, as this event often fills to room capacity.

Hope to see you there – it’s a great way to meet Master Gardeners from around the state.


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Rutgers Vegetable Gardening Series at Trailside

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

We will be offering a series of Vegetable Gardening Talks to the public at our “Sharing Garden” this summer.  The programs will start a 6 pm with a tour of the garden followed by a lecture given by your fellow Master Gardeners in the TMA classroom, located in the brown building just outside the back garden gate and the amphitheater.  The program will end at 8 pm.

Please see the flyer below for dates,  topics and registration information. Each program is eligible for 2 CEU’s.   Bring your friends and neighbors!

Rutgers Vegetable Gardening Series Rutgers Vegetable Gardening Series



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Rain Garden Green Infrastructure Tour – Space Still Available

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners:

Space is still available on the RCE & Rahway River Association Bus Tour of Rain Garden and Green Infrastructure Projects in Union County on Saturday June 17 from 9:30am – 1:00 pm.  For the flyer and registration information please click below:

Union 2017 RAIN GARDEN TOUR Flyer

This program is eligible for 3.5 CEU’s.


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Summer Solstice MG Program at Rutgers

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Rutgers is having a special Summer Solstice training program for Master Gardeners on Wednesday June 21 on campus.  The program will feature Extension Specialists, Agents, Program Coordinators  and the Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Lab team presenting talks on  Basic Entomology & Pathology; Vegetable and Ornamental Pathology and Pests; and Common problems on Home Lawns !  Continuing Education credits are being offered for this program.  There is no charge for the training program and you are invited to a Jazz Concert   that evening in the Rutgers Display gardens ($5.00 admission) , so bring a bag lunch and picnic dinner for a fun day on campus!

Here are the details and registration information:

RMG Summer Solstice Program



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Change in MG Class Schedule for March 7 and 14

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

We have a change in our MG class schedule for the next 2 weeks.  On Tuesday March 7 our topic will be Insect Pests of Ornamentals with Rich Weidman and on Tuesday March 14 our topic is pesticides and I will be the speaker.


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Continuing Education Opportunities

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Happy New Year Master Gardeners!

As we begin a new year, here are some continuing education opportunities.  Please note that there will be plenty of opportunities for continuing education opportunities  that do not have registration fees.  Most of our monthly meetings and MG classes are a good example of free programs.  If a program requests proof of Master Gardener membership, your current MG membership card  is good till June of 2017.  Please contact Judi Laganga if you misplaced your card.

Thanks to our Vice President, Tina Helmstetter,  for putting the list together for us. If you have any suggestions for continuing ed programs, please forward them to Tina at

CEUs for beginning January

Rutgers MG Class Spring 2017 Tentative Schedule



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MG November Continuing Education Meeting: Viticulture, a Highly Researched, Labor-Intensive Crop

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Please join us for our continuing education meeting on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, from 7:30-9 pm in the RCE Meeting Room, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ 07090.

Mike Beneduce will talk about viticulture, the science of grape growing. Grapes are among the most labor intensive crops on the planet. Due to their potential value as wine, grapes are also one of the most highly researched and carefully bred crops in modern agriculture. 

Mike graduated from Cornell University with degrees in plant sciences and viticulture/enology.  The recently introduced major in viticulture focuses on techniques specific to cool-climate grape growing.  Most classes were taught at one of the local vineyards or Cornell’s student winery.  He also gained experience in the arts of pruning and canopy management, working under a fourth generation grape grower at the Sawmill Creek Vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  He is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers.  In addition, he volunteers on the Board of Trustees for Valley Crest preserve, a nonprofit farm dedicated to growing and donating fresh produce to people in need.  He has served as chairman of the Garden State Winegrowers Association and continues to advocate for an increase in the quality of wine made in New Jersey.



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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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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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State Master Gardener Conference October 1 at Rutgers

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

It’s time to register for the annual State Master Gardener conference on Saturday October 1, 2016 at the Cook Campus Student Center at Rutgers University.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Food for Thought” and features speakers on “Bringing the World to Your Food Garden”,  “Hazelnuts: Developing an Old Crop for a New Region” and “The Chocolate Tree: From Ancient Food to Modern Medicine.”  (3 CEU) During the Awards for Excellence ceremony we will be honoring Master Gardener Bridget Mracek and the Rose Garden Committee.

Please click on the link below for the Program Flyer with includes registration information.

2016 RMGANJ Reg Form

Postal registration is due Sept 2 and online registration is open until Sept. 4.  Please note that this conference usually sells out, so register early.

Hope to see you there!





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Trees, Right Plant Right Place and Lawns – Summer Continuing Ed Opportunties

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Here are some summer continuing education opportunities you may be interested in attending:

Mercer County Master Gardener Programs

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm Right Plants for Right Places, Mercer Educational Gardens Pennington, NJ   1.5 CEU

Thursday, August 9, 2016 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm Lawn Renovation and Establishment, RCE of Mercer County Office, Trenton 1.5 CEU

For registration information please visit the Mercer County MG Website:

Tree Care Helpline Training

July 20, 2016   County College of Morris, Sponsored by RCE of Morris and Essex Counties  4 CEU

MG Helpline Training- Trees in NJ

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CEU Classes from May to November 2016

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners:

Here is a list of approved Continuing Education opportunities.  Some programs have registration fees, but remember there are many free programs that are approved for continuing education hours over the course of the year.

CEU Classes May to Nov

Thanks to Tina Helmstetter for compiling the list and to Vivian Hsu for serving as chair.   If you have suggestions for continuing education programs please share the details with Tina, or if you are interested in volunteering to  prepare the monthly/seasonal lists of  programs , please contact Tina at



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Buckley Boot Camp – Continuing Ed Opportunity

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Morris County has invited Rich Buckley and Sabrina Tirpak from the Rutgers Plant Diagnosis Lab To present their “Buckley Bootcamp: Lepidoptera in the lawn and landscape” on Thursday, June 30 10 a.m. – 1 the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morristown, NJ.

The event is open with no charge to all Rutgers Master Gardeners and is eligible for 3 CEUs.  Coffee, tea and water will be provided.

To register, call 973-285-8302 or e-mail: Suzanne Levenbach at

Directions to the Frelinghuysen Arboretum

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