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We see this page as a developing newsletter, where we document our Club's commitment to the increasingly urgent need to view everything we do individually and as a group through the lens of sustainability.

Below you will find upcoming events, featured articles, this committee's mission, and the personal journeys of some of our Committee members, explaining what convinced them to be part of this movement. First up is Jacoba Coes.


  • January 7: Our Club has joined 80 other groups in support of active work to pass a bottle deposit return law in NJ. If passed, the Governor has indicated that he will sign it.


  • April 6, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm: 8th Annual Conference: "Acting Locally for a More Sustainable World Conference" at MSU. To find out more and to register, click here.

Other Interesting Articles

Why I joined the Environment Committee
by Jacoba Coes


The Homegrown National Park movement started by Doug Tallamy is based on this fact:  in the US lawns are approximately 40 million acres — national parks are less than 20 million acres. To support environmental diversity the movement seeks to convert parts of our yards to native gardens creating a vast interconnected habitat across the US.


This idea inspires me. Starting in the 2000s we transformed our garden. We have added more native plants, use compost (not mulch), use drip irrigation (not sprinklers) and diversified our lawn.  We simplified fall clean up using all the leaves in the flower beds and leaving flower stalks standing thus providing insect habitat, winter food for birds and fertilizer.

This committee's mission centers on creating an Act of Restorative Kindness to our earth within our community.  Members work to restore, improve and protect the quality of our environment with like minded community partners.  This involves embracing new knowledge and science in the field of conservation and restoration as well as challenging current standards of beauty and landscape-care habits.

Committee Members
Chair: Deborah Hirsch

Committee: Andie Bertsche, Jacoba Coes, Marie Donnelly, Karen Fricke, Karen Kadus, Nancy Loo, Sydney Milliken, Sheila Oakes, Imke Oster, Sarah Stransky,  Suzy Straten, Michele Trevenen, Sue Young, ex officio Sarah J. Olson.

I joined the Environment Committee because I believe we must expand natives and natural practices to all our yards and our organization and must also influence change in public spaces. Join in and grow your own slice of the homegrown national park! 


Sites to support your efforts:  Homegrown National Park ,Native Plant Society of NJ, and Jersey-Friendly Yards.


I have learned esthetically to embrace how the native garden moves and changes year to year and much prefer that to the prior controlled landscape. I love that my yard hums with diverse flora and fauna! 


Decidedly not a purist, I still have bulbs, peonies, lavender, roses — all non natives — because I love those. But those plants are not invasive and they provide high quality nectar/pollen. The ecological benefit of a plant is now as important to me as its color.

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