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Posted Monday, February 13th, 2017

At the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Township

Morris Parks: Seventh Annual Community Garden ConferenceFor the past seven years, the Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum and Rutgers Cooperative Extension have partnered to present an annual conference for community gardeners.

The two groups saw a need to learn about New Jersey’s community gardens, develop a database with contact information, explore the best management practices, and to provide educational opportunities for vegetable gardeners.

What started as just an idea seven years ago has evolved into a full-blown, all-day conference which to be held on Saturday, March 4,  at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township.

This year’s educational sessions, all taught by experts, cover topics such as Plant Breeding, Irrigation Tools and Techniques, Cover Crops and Green Manures, Composting, Planting for Pollinators, and Best Management Practices for Garden Coordinators.Morris Parks: Seventh Annual Community Garden Conference

“It’s a day chock-full of networking opportunities, educational programs, information gathering and a wonderful way to emphasize the community aspect of Community Gardening,” said Cynthia Triolo, Morris County Park Commission’s Community Garden Coordinator.

Morris Parks: Seventh Annual Community Garden Conference

Peter Hatch

This year’s keynote speaker is Peter Hatch, an independent scholar living in Albemarle County, Virginia, where he gardens, lectures, consults, and writes about garden history.

Now the Director of Gardens and Grounds Emeritus for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Hatch was responsible for the maintenance, interpretation, and restoration of the 2,400-acre landscape at Monticello from 1977 to 2012.

He also has managed important restoration projects, such as the eight-acre Vegetable and Fruit Garden, and the Grove, an ornamental forest of eighteen acres. In 1987 Peter initiated the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, a unique nursery to preserve historic and Jefferson-related garden plants.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s website at has a complete list of sessions, speakers and exhibitors. This program is eligible for 5.0 Rutgers Master Gardener CEU’s. The snow date for the conference is Sunday, March 5. To register, call 973.326.7603. The cost is $60 per person.