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Madison Environmental Commission to Host Free ECO Garden Tour

Butterfly-Monarda_IMG_5371_8x10_200ppiMadison, NJ – August 16, 2021 – Butterfly-friendly plants and trees, native shrubs, rain gardens, composting, beekeeping and organic lawn care are all on the agenda for Madison’s Eco Garden Tour. Organized by the Madison Environmental Commission (MEC), the tour will be held on Sunday, September 12 from 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m. (Rain date is September 19, 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m.) The event is free, but advance registration is required at

“The Eco Garden Tour is a great way to see how our yards can be beautiful—and provide a pesticide-free habitat for bees, butterflies and pollinators,” says John Hoover, Borough Council Liaison to the Environmental Commission. “Suburban yards are actually ideal for recreating the pollinator-friendly conditions of meadows and woodlands that used to be common in New Jersey,” continued Hoover. 

The self-guided tour will feature eight locations that can be visited in any order. Homeowners include a native-plant gardener who raises chickens and is an expert composter; a landscape architect who has an organic vegetable garden and two beehives; and a master gardener who has lots of advice on how to switch to cost-saving organic lawn care.

Gardens on the tour come in all shapes and sizes. There are mini meadows that border driveways, rain gardens designed to filter water to our aquifer, and vegetables growing where lawns used to be.

Several exhibitors will be featured at the starting point for the tour, including Friends of Madison Shade Trees, Friends of the Drew Forest, and Electric Landscaping of Pitman, New Jersey, which specializes in using quiet, electric leaf blowers and lawn care equipment.

“Homeowners are all native plant enthusiasts who can offer lots of advice both on what to plant, and what non-native species they’d like to remove from their yards,” says tour organizer Joan Maccari of the Madison Environmental Commission. “The work of Douglas Tallamy and his Homegrown National Park movement—which encourages people to shrink their lawn and plant more native trees and pollinator plants—has been inspirational to so many of us in Madison, not only those who have been working on this tour. It’s very exciting to see the growing enthusiasm for native plants and more eco-friendly gardening and landscaping approaches,” continues Maccari.

For questions about the tour, please email the MEC at

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