April 22 marked the 45th annual observance of Earth Day — but with our not-always-gently-used home planet in need of more TLC than ever before, the people of the Monmouth County Park System are extending the observance into the coming weekend, offering several different ways to raise awareness of local earth-friendly programs, all while enjoying several genuine public jewels of the greater Red Bank Green.
It starts on Saturday with a couple of special springtime events, and continues through Sunday at Monmouth County Park sites in Middletown Township.
At the ever-lovely Deep Cut Gardens on Red Hill Road, Saturday’s Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap offers serious landscapers and green-thumb weekenders the opportunity to bring a labeled, non-invasive plant or plants (in one-quart, one-gallon or two-gallon containers), and trade for the same size and number of plants with another local gardener.
There’s no charge to attend the event. Herb and vegetable seedlings may also be exchanged, and additional info – including a list of acceptable/ unacceptable plants – is available here. Plant intake will be from 8 to 10 am to allow for inspection (as per New Jersey Department of Agriculture regulations), with attendees able to select and take home plants from 10 am to 2 pm (no plants accepted after 10).
Directly across Red Hill Road from Deep Cut Gardens, the Spring Craft Show happens this Saturday at the Activity Center at Tatum Park. Going on from 9 am to 2 pm, it’s a display of wares by local artisans that offers a chance to “find a unique, hand-crafted gift for yourself or a special person in your life,” and as always there’s no charge for admission or parking.
Sunday’s schedule of Earth Day activities happens at four different park system sites in Middletown, all between the hours of 11 am and 5 pm.
• Deep Cut Gardens offers a free composting workshop (with tips on how to become an earth-friendly gardener).
• The Huber Woods Environmental Center in Locust invites all ages to “see snakes and reptiles during a family-oriented show that gives you the chance to see live and exciting animals and nature artifacts found in the state.”
• Over at at Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center in Port Monmouth, a free interactive show-and-tell program includes tours of the park’s 18th-century Seabrook-Wilson House — one of the oldest on the Jersey Shore, and a survivor that’s weathered epic storms and the tides of history.
• At the park system’s flagship Thompson Park facility in Lincroft, a free craft workshop promises all-ages fun designing “eco-fashion” jewelry and accessories from recycled materials.
For more news from Monmouth County Parks — including the introduction of a new Spring Arts Festival, and the announcement of the Summer 2015 recreation schedule — check in regularly at the All Good page here at redbankgreen.