Along with the Barnegat Bay Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, the Ocean County Soil Conservation District is hosting a monthly webinar series this spring entitled, “What’s Bugging Your Jersey-Friendly Yard?”
Presenters will be sharing their knowledge about the relationships between native plants and insects, how to identify beneficial insects and manage pests, and ways to create ecologically sound backyard habitat that supports bugs and the wildlife that depends on them.
This coming month’s session is on Feb. 9 and is entitled, “Myth Busters: The Truth About What’s Bugging You.”
With over a million described species, insects account for about 75% of all animal species. Insect diversity is essential in maintaining functional ecosystems, productive natural areas and working lands, and overall biodiversity. However, human perceptions of insects are often negative, resulting in insects being misunderstood, underappreciated, and in some cases, unnecessarily feared. This session will cover a variety of “insect myths vs. truths” with the goal of reversing common misconceptions.
All sessions are free but require preregistration. Details for the entire series, including session summaries, speaker biographies, recordings of previous sessions and separate registrations for each session are at bit.ly/3acQRyo.
Gardener State: A diary is a very handy gardening tool
Gardener State: Bald eagle population in NJ is soaring
The Jersey-Friendly Yard initiative and website were developed in 2013 by the Barnegat Bay Partnership with a grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
This site as a comprehensive online source of information about environmentally friendly landscaping throughout New Jersey. The website brings together multiple resources about the best landscaping practices to help property owners make sound decisions for a healthy environment and a healthy economy.
From certifications to water conservation outdoors, a wide variety of resources are linked to help home and property owners as well as landscape professionals learn more about environmentally sound landscaping techniques. A searchable plant database and an interactive online yard can demonstrate the benefits in transforming your yard this spring.
Guide for golf course management
Earlier this month, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New Jersey, or GCSANJ, created “The New Jersey Golf Industry Best Management Practices,” or BMP, guide, which covers all aspects of course maintenance with a focus on sustainability and protecting the environment as foundations for its use.
To shelter the environment in a state featuring vast differences in topography, one of the guide’s main goals is preserving natural resources for years to come. Golf courses that follow these standards would exercise the most current means of sustainability.
“This guide is specific to New Jersey. It is part of a nationwide initiative that all 50 states would create a guide pertinent to their state’s needs. Our guide is based on New Jersey and the practices to achieve sustainability on our golf courses,” said Maureen Sharples, executive director of the GCSANJ.
The guide provides an overview of the 10 best management practices in golf course maintenance to support conservation while delivering ideal course conditions. The BMP guide provides guidelines for superintendents and acts as a resource for stakeholders, including regulators, lawmakers, general managers and local communities.
The performance statements are broad-based and encompass the entire golf facility, including management of turfgrass, landscape, environmental resources, buildings and operations. They provide golf facilities resources from which to evaluate their current operations.
The development of the BMP guide was made possible by the GCSANJ BMP Committee and scientists at Rutgers University.
“This needed comprehensive guide is impactful today and for the future,” stated Jim Murphy, collaborator and extension specialist at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension. “My colleagues at Rutgers and I were glad to contribute and commend the GCSAANJ for developing such a valuable resource for golf courses throughout the state.”
In addition, Murphy, extension specialist in turfgrass management, and Stacy Bonos, professor of turfgrass breeding, have been named director and associate director respectively of the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science, effective January 1, 2021.
The Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science builds on a distinguished history of research, education, and service to support the turfgrass industry in the state, nation and world. Established in 1991, the center hosts annual symposia, field days, workshops, webinars and other activities that are conducted by a team of approximately 30 faculty and more than 50 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and staff. With its strong foundation and international recognition, the center is positioned for continued excellence that serves the turfgrass industry into the future.
The New Jersey State Golf Association is a nonprofit organization of public and private clubs and courses dedicated to the service of golf in New Jersey. Founded in 1900, their mission is to promote and preserve the traditions of the game of golf in the State of New Jersey. More information can be found on their website at www.njsga.org.
Nicholas Polanin is associate professor, agricultural agent II, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension of Somerset County. Email him at email@example.com.