Tuesday, February 24, 2015

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

It is National Invasive Species Awareness Week!

Please visit the National Invasive Species Awareness Week Website to learn more:  http://www.nisaw.org/

Here Are Nine Ways You Can Help (from nisaw.org)
  1. Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
  2. Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
  3. Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
  4. Don't move firewood - instead, buy it where you'll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org
  5. Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as "weed free."
  6. Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
  7. Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities. Here is a state-by-state list of contacts
  8. Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
  9. Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.
More great websites to visit for additional information about invasive species:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rain Garden Rebate Program 2015 for Residents of Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville

Rain Garden Rebate Program 2015: For Bridgewater, Raritan, and Somerville Residents

What is a rain garden and why do I want one?

As the rain falls to the earth, some of it evaporates, some is used by plants and some goes down into the soil as groundwater.  The rest of the rain flows across the land surface collecting pollutants and carrying them into rivers and reservoirs that are the sources of our drinking water.
Rain Gardens are shallow depressions planted with native plants that live well in wet areas.  They are designed to collect water primarily from roof tops, but also from driveways and patios.   They look like regular flower gardens, but when it rains, a rain garden will hold a few inches of water and allow it to slowly seep in to the ground instead of running into storm drains, streams and gullies.  This can help prevent erosion and allows the water to be filtered naturally.  Rain gardens also provide wildlife habitat and add beautiful flowers to your yard and neighborhood.   

Rain gardens are a perfect way to add beauty to your landscape and make a difference in water quality for your community.

And I can get some money back if I do this in my yard?

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program has partnered with the New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA) Watershed Protection Program to offer rebates to homeowners that build rain gardens. Since 2013, more than 60 area residents have attended these workshops, and more than 10 rain gardens were installed in 2014 through this rebate program.

The Rain Garden Rebate Program is being offered again for 2015!

This program is open to residents of Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville to learn the basics of rain garden installation and design a rain garden for your home. At the workshop, attendees will be offered the opportunity to sign up for free rain garden design sessions with Rutgers landscape professionals.  With detailed guidance in hand, rebates of up to $450 may be awarded to participating residents who install a rain garden on their property.

Your garden must be created from an approved design to qualify for the rebate.  So please join us at one of these informative workshops!

Workshops will be held on Thursday, March 12, 6pm-8pm and Saturday, March 14, 10am-12pm at the Duke Farms Coach Barn, Dukes Parkway East, Hillsborough, NJ.

To register, contact Michelle at mrollman@raritanbasin.org or 908-730-0270 x223, or visit www.raritanbasin.org.