Eco Garden Tour and Plant Sale in Madison

Saturday, September 17, 12–3 PM 

Madison Eco Garden Tour Photo 02Madison, NJ – September 6, 2022 – Pollinator-friendly plants won’t just be in gardens at Madison Environmental Commission’s third annual Eco Garden Tour. Native plants will also be available for purchase from Toadshade Wildflower Farm. The tour will be held Saturday, September 17 from noon to 3 pm. Admission is free, and advance registration is required at 

“The Eco Garden Tour is great way to see how our neighbors are creating beautiful yards with pesticide-free habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators,” says Rachel Ehrlich, Borough Council liaison to the Environmental Commission. “Suburban yards are actually ideal for re-creating the pollinator-friendly conditions of meadows and woodlands that used to be common in New Jersey.”

The self-guided tour will feature seven locations that can be visited in any order. Homeowners include both expert gardeners and newbies who have gone all-out in embracing native plants because they add beauty and life to our yards. All gardens have one mission: less lawn, more native trees, no pesticides, and an array of native plants with multi-season blooms that support pollinators from early spring through late fall. There are also chickens and organic vegetables.

Madison Eco Garden Tour Photo 01The crown jewel of the tour is the new Madison Public School (MPS) Pollinator Habitat at the schools' administration building at 359 Woodland Road. Bridget Daley and Joan Maccari of the Environmental Commission designed and co-led the garden project as a Rutgers Environmental Stewards initiative, which they implemented with the generous participation of 60+ volunteers who planted and have been caring for the 3000-square-foot garden. Six hundred native plants were provided at no cost through a gift from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Pinelands Nursery & Supply. Maccari will be giving away pollinator plant seeds at the MPS Pollinator Habitat location.

“Native plants, which are essential, are uncommon at local nurseries, so we’re excited to share seeds and to have Toadshade join us to sell native plants,” says Maccari. “The movement to 'shrink the lawn' and add more native plants, spearheaded by Douglas Tallamy, bestselling author of Nature’s Best Hope, has inspired so many of us who have been working on this tour. It’s amazing to see homeowners removing invasive species like ivy and pachysandra and adding habitat that is buzzing with beneficial insects.”

Also participating are experts including Quiet Communities, who will showcase eco-friendly lawn care; Nature of Reading Bookshop, who will offer favorite nature-themed books; as well as the Native Plant Society of NJ, the North American Butterfly Association, and the Great Swamp Watershed Association.

Questions can be emailed to For information on native plants, please visit and To learn more about Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s work, go to