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Save the Date 

2022 Native Plant Society of NJ
Annual Conference  

You asked, we listened. The Native Plant Society of New Jersey is proud to announce the 34th annual spring conference will take place virtually on Saturday, March 5th, 2022 with a highly renowned line up of special guest speakers. By joining us you support our efforts to protect New Jersey's native flora, restore important habitat for wildlife and pollinators, and foster pride in helping to create a bright future for generations to come. All webinars are free of charge to the public.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Click here to REGISTER!

The schedule is:

  • 8:50 AM Welcome!
    President Hubert Ling

  • 9:00 - 10:10 AM - Doug Tallamy:
    "The Nature of Oaks"

  • Business Meeting to follow talk - Election of Officers
    Voting for Plant of the Year - Selections: Plant of the Year
    Break until next speaker

  • 11:00 AM - 12:10 PM - Jay Kelly:
    "Addressing the Impacts of Overabundant Deer and Invasive Plant Species in Northern New Jersey: Strategies for Forest Restoration"

  • Lunch break

  • 1:00 - 2:15 PM - Don Torino
    "Creating a Certified Wildlife Garden"

  • 2:30-3:45 PM - Rebecca McMackin
    "Brooklyn Bridge Park Lessons (so far!) in Constructed Ecology"

  • 3:45 PM - Closing Remarks and Conclusion of Conference

The times may change to accommodate our speakers and or events out of our control.

Click here to learn more and order!

Descriptions of Our Presentations and Bios of Our Speakers


"The Nature of Oaks"
Dr. Doug Tallamy
T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware

Oaks sustain a complex and fascinating web of wildlife. The Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycles of life, death, and renewal. From woodpeckers who collect and store hundreds of acorns for sustenance to the beauty of jewel caterpillars, Tallamy illuminates and celebrates the wonders that occur right in our own backyards. He also shares practical advice about how to plant and care for an oak, along with information about the best oak species for your area. The Nature of Oaks will inspire you to treasure these trees and to act to nurture and protect them.  

Doug Bio: Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 106 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 41 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home was published by Timber Press in 2007, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014; Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, was released in February 2020, and his latest book The Nature of Oaks was released by Timber press in March 2021. His awards include recognition from The Garden Writer's Association, Audubon, The Garden Club of America and The American Horticultural Association.



"Addressing the Impacts of Overabundant Deer and Invasive Plant Species in Northern New Jersey:
Strategies for Forest Restoration "
Dr. Jay Kelly
Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College

Overabundant deer and invasive plant species are profoundly altering the characteristics of forests in central-northern NJ and present major priorities and challenges for forest restoration in the future. This presentation will share the results of current research on the changes taking place in our forests and the effectiveness of different approaches being taken to address them. The benefits, limitations and potential pitfalls of tools such as prescribed burning, native plantings, deer exclosures, and hunting programs at improving forest conditions over time will be discussed.  

Jay Kelly Bio: Jay F. Kelly, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College and co-Director of its Center for Environmental Studies. He is a native of central NJ and holds a BA in Biology and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University. For the past fifteen years, Dr. Kelly and his students have conducted extensive research on rare plant biology and conservation in ecosystems across NJ and the mid-Atlantic region. A major focus of this work in recent years has been documenting the impacts of deer, invasive species and other factors on forests in central and northern NJ, and the effectiveness of different tools for addressing them. Having collected both historical and present data from hundreds of forest plots, and infrared deer surveys on more than 100 sites in northern NJ, Dr. Kelly and his team have assembled some of the most comprehensive data available on the extent to which deer and invasive plants have changed our forests over time. They are also conducting ongoing research into the long-term responses of forests to different forest restoration strategies, including deer exclosures, hunting programs, prescribed burning and native plantings. More can be found about his research and educational activities at https://www.raritanval.edu/Environmental-Studies.


  "Creating a Certified Wildlife Garden"
Don Torino

President of Bergen County Audubon Society
National Audubon Society

Don Torino Learn how to make your backyard a critical wildlife habitat for migrating birds and pollinators. With the focus on the importance of native plants and how important they are to the environment. 

Bio: Don Torino is President of Bergen County Audubon Society, the local chapter of the national Audubon Society. He grew up the Meadowlands, which is where he learned to love the natural world. Don worked for Wild birds Unlimited in Paramus for 23 years as the store naturalist, and during that time, he designed over 500 backyard wildlife habitats. Today he still resides in the Meadowlands, where he leads nature walks throughout the year, runs educational programs on everything from butterflies to birds, and works at Bergen Audubon's public native plant habitat projects around the area. 


  "Brooklyn Bridge Park Lessons (so far!) in Constructed Ecology"
Rebecca McMackin

Director of Horticulture, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Jay Kelly Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre, organic park in the middle of New York City, was created with ecology in mind. The Park's award winning piers host top notch recreation, from opera to outdoor films, all of it beautifully designed. But the piers also contain native woodlands, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, and numerous meadows. These areas closely mimic native ecosystems and are managed with an emphasis on wildlife habitat.  

This talk will detail many of the strategies employed to design an ecological park, as well as the management techniques used to cultivate biodiverse parkland. If we can do it, so can you. 

Bio: Rebecca McMackin is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. By day, she is the Director of Horticulture at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland organically and with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. In her imaginary free time, Rebecca writes about landscape management and pollination ecology, as well as designs the occasional garden. Her writing has been published by the New York Times, the Ecological Landscape Alliance, and the Landscape Institute. 

Click here to REGISTER!