July 2020 - update
Soil is the foundation of all life on Earth! Attend one of OCSCD's online educational programs, or engage with our many environmental education partners throughout Ocean County. Experience nature at its roots!
Creature Feature for Kids: "Shorebirds of New Jersey"
Tuesday, July 14, 9:30am
Hosted by Jacques Cousteau National Estuary Research Reserve
Shorebirds are a spectacle on the Jersey Shore every summer! This gregarious group of birds share interesting characteristics such as long bills used to probe deep into the soft sand in search of food, long thin legs perfect for wading and running, and each species has unique and beautiful plumage. Join Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist to learn about these beautiful creatures, and the local natural resources they depend on for their survival. This interactive webinar for kids will be entertaining for the whole family! Presented by Becky Laboy, OCSCD, and hosted by Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve ( JCNERR). Registration required. For questions contact Kaitlin Gannon at gannon@marine.rutgers.edu
"If You Plant It - They Will Come!"
July 21, 7:00-8:00pm
Hosted by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, OCSCD and RCE
Join Barnegat Bay Partnership , OCSCD and RCE for our new 2020 Jersey-Friendly Yards Webinar Series : "Wild About Jersey-Friendly Yards"  Our next webinar is, "If You Plant It, They Will Come", on July 21, at 7:00pm. Butterflies, pollinators, birds, and other wildlife rely on native plants to survive. Dr. Randi Eckel of Toadshade Wildflower Farm , will discuss the importance of supporting our native wildlife within our gardens, show examples of some creatures that rely upon specific plants, and discuss the complexities of attracting rare wildlife (rare butterflies, for example) to our gardens.  Registration required . F or more information contact Karen Walzer kwalzer@ocean.edu.
"Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard"
July 23, 10:00-11:00am
Hosted by the Pinelands Commission
As climate change manifests across the planet you may be experiencing gardening challenges in your own backyard. Becky Laboy, OCSCD's Education Outreach Specialist, and Karen Walzer, Public Outreach Coordinator for Barnegat Bay Partnership, will show you how to use the Jersey-Friendly Yards website, tools and resources to select appropriate plants for your sandy soil, turn your yard into a sponge and provide habitat for wildlife. Hosted by the NJ Pinelands Commission for their weekly Pinelands Speaker Series. Watch "live" via the Pinelands Commission's YouTube page. For questions contact Paul Leakan info@pinelands.nj.gov.
Virtual Evenings at the Reservoir
August 27, September 10
Hosted by the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority (BTMUA)
Since it's not possible to meet in person for BTMUA's "Weekend at the Reservoir" events this summer, BTMUA is bringing these programs to your home - through free monthly summer webinars. Join BTMUA virtually on select Thursday evenings in August and September, from 7:00-8:00pm. Program topics focus on creating and maintaining a healthy, water efficient and environmentally friendly landscape based on Jersey-Friendly Yards principles and practices.
  • August 27: Secrets of Low Maintenance Landscaping
  • September 10: Fall Putting Your Garden to Sleep
For questions and to register, contact Shari Kondrup at skondrup@brickmua.com
"Introduction to Jersey-Friendly Yards"
Live Webinar Recording Available
In case you missed our program, Introduction to Jersey-Friendly Yards, on July 7, hosted by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, you can click to access a live recording, and watch it at your leisure. Password: Wildwebinar1
"Don't Treat your Soil Like Dirt!"
Live Webinar Recording Available
In case you missed our program, Don't Treat Your Soil Like Dirt! on June 25, hosted by the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, you can click to access a live recording, and watch it at your leisure. Password: 0a.78+!8
Summer Blooming Beauties
for Moist Gardens in New Jersey
Pink Tickseed (Coreopsis rosea) Small, pink-purple, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers bloom all summer, June-September. It needs consistent moisture and does not tolerate clay soils. It may self-seed to form a dense groundcover. Use Pink Tickseed in borders, along walkways, in your native plant garden, and in moist meadows.
Photo credit: Becky Laboy
Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) Bright p urple-blue, tubular flowers bloom July-September in whorled clusters atop tall, erect stems. This plant’s nectar is a food source for bees and hummingbirds. It prefers part-shade, but will tolerate full sun in cooler climates. Plant it in rain gardens, woodland gardens, and moist areas of your yard.
Photo credit: Becky Laboy
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) Cardinal Flower is one of the most attractive native wildflowers in New Jersey! The showy, scarlet-red flowers are a hummingbird magnet, blooming July through September. It requires moist-wet, humus-rich soil to ensure optimum growth. It prefers partly shady areas, but it can tolerate full shade.
Photo credit: Becky Laboy

For more information about education programs and events pertaining to soil, water, conservation and native gardening, please contact Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District: education@soildistrict.org .