Newark’s Cherry Blossoms Thrive with Rutgers’ Help

Paul Cowie demonstrates proper pruning protocol during the Master Gardener training.

Paul Cowie demonstrates proper pruning protocol while training Rutgers Master Gardeners.

Arborist Paul Cowie (CC ’85) and Jan Zientek (CC’82), senior program coordinator of Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Essex County, play key roles in maintaining the nation’s largest collection of flowering cherry trees in Essex County’s Branch Brook Park, leading a group of dedicated Rutgers Master Gardeners from Essex County. Branch Brook was the first county park in the nation, conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for his work on Central Park, and was designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm after he retired. The current collection of 4,300 trees, an expansion of the original 2,000 planted in the 1920s, is a testament to the efforts to restore the park to its former glory.  Read more at Rutgers Today.

Newark’s Cherry Blossoms Thrive with Rutgers’ Help

New Jersey is known for the industrial landscape along the turnpike and the landmarks of the Jersey Shore. But one of the state’s greatest treasures may be its least well known- the nation’s largest collection of flowering cherry trees in Essex County’s Branch Brook Park… For the last decade, Rutgers alumnus Paul Cowie has been part of an effort to restore and expand the collection that erupts with striking pink blossoms each spring… Rutgers’ connection to the state’s hidden treasure runs deep. A crew of volunteers trained through the Rutgers Master Gardeners Program works with Cowie throughout the year to prune, maintain and monitor the health of the cherry trees… The master gardeners started volunteering in the park after they took a pruning class with Cowie. The volunteers receive training through the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station as part of a national program to increase environmental awareness and share university research with the public. Their work in Branch Brook Park helps fulfill their mission of public outreach and education, said Jan Zientek, a department head for the experiment station who advises the master gardeners in Essex County.

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Rutgers 4-H Salutes NJ Volunteers during National Volunteer Week April 12-18

4-H logo.

4-H logo.

Each year, thousands of volunteers in New Jersey donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers will be among the millions across the country who will be spotlighted during National Volunteer Week, April 12-18.

One group that relies heavily on volunteers is the New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program, which is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. New Jersey 4-H has nearly 3,748 adult volunteers who serve as club leaders, project leaders, resource leaders and judges across the state over the past year.

“Volunteers are the backbone of the 4-H program. They provide the guidance and support that helps 4-H boys and girls in grades K-13 (one year out of high school) develop confidence and valuable life skills,” says Jeannette Rea Keywood, state 4-H Agent, Department of 4-H Youth Development at Rutgers. [Read more…]

Soil Test Among Tips on Spring Gardening Checklist

A capacity crowd of 30 filled the Mercer County Connection office in the Hamilton Square Shopping Center on Tuesday to hear a presentation by Mercer County Horticulturist Barbara Bromley on spring planting essentials… Rooted in 60-plus years of gardening, Bromley freely shared her experience and advice on subjects ranging from the commonplace "you can fertilize now" to the esoteric "downy mildew is an emerging disease that is decimating impatiens… The Mercer County Extension program is part of the statewide Rutgers Cooperative Extension that has offices in all 21 New Jersey counties. The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station is at 930 Spruce St. in Trenton.

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Our Rutgers, Our Future Campaign “Thank You” Video

Our Rutgers, Our Future, the university’s seven-and-a-half-year campaign came to a formal close on December 31, 2014, raising a record-setting $1,037,056,700. In announcing the availability of the campaign’s final report, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said, “These funds will enable Rutgers to act on the vision developed by faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends and expressed in our University Strategic Plan for what Rutgers can become: one of the nation’s finest public research universities—preeminent in research, excellent in teaching, and committed to community.”

Video: Thanks a Billion

SEBS faculty members Peter Gillies, founding director of the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, Larry Katz, director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and Karyn Malinowski, director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center are featured saying “Thank You” to the donors who believed in and supported this historic Rutgers campaign. View the Thank You video above.