Hillsdale Environmental Commission

Natural Resource and Preservation Hillsdale, NJ

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Ann Blanche Smith School Butterfly Garden


4th grade science students at Ann Blanche Smith School in Hillsdale recently created a butterfly garden. It was planted this fall so that it will be ready for the Monarch butterflies spring migration and to help with the preservation of the species. The garden was established with the help and support of Raymond Brothers Landscaping and the Bergen County Master Gardeners.

According to Chip Taylor at Monarch Watch, “Monarch butterfly populations are declining due to loss of habitat. To assure a future for monarchs, conservation and restoration of milkweeds needs to become a national priority”

A butterfly garden can be of any size, from a window box to a portion of your landscaped yard to a wild unattended are on a lot. You can include native plants, cultivated species, or a combination of both.

To find out more about starting your own butterfly garden, please visit : Monarchwatch.org



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Drought Conditions Continue

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Centennial Tree

Sadly, the majestic elm that was considered one of the oldest trees in Hillsdale, recently had to be removed recently due to various diseases. The American Elm, which had provided shade and beauty and which bore witness to events in the downtown area for well over 100 years, was designated as The Centennial Treed in a ceremony in 1998.



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Drought Watch Continues

Drought Watch Issued for Most of Northern New Jersey

          News Release NJ.GOV


TRENTON – As a result of continued dry weather, the Department of Environmental Protection has issued a water supply drought watch for most of northern New Jersey, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The DEP is urging residents in the affected areas to voluntarily conserve water and for the rest of the state to practice wise water use due to continued dry weather that is impacting levels in reservoirs, lakes, rivers and streams as well as shallow ground water sources.

The drought watch affects the Northeast, Northwest, and Central regions. These regions include all of Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.

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Plant Invaders

Plant Invaders - NJ.com June 20,2016

Michael Limatola, marsh warden at the Celery Farm in Allendale, pointing out the invasive plant porcelain berry. Courtesy northjersey.com

As peak gardening season lures North Jersey homeowners to landscape supply centers, they buy and cart home many shrubs and trees that — just over the state line in New York — are prohibited in suburban yards.

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North Jersey prepares to combat invasive ash-eating beetle

NorthJersey.com – David Zimmer

The state is taking action to protect its parklands from a foreign invader.

Last month, the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry revealed plans to implement prevention measures in Passaic and eight other counties in an effort to thwart the emerald ash borer. The invasive candy-green beetle native to Asia has brought about quarantines in the 25 states where it and its voracious larvae have been detected. If left undeterred, the species threatens to eventually wipe out North America’s 16 native species of ash and New Jersey’s 24.7 million ash trees, which are thought to comprise nearly a quarter of the state’s forests.

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Church Groups Bring Sparkle Back to Parks

The Hillsdale Environmental Commission would like to give a great thanks to some very special people today that took the time out to help our community of Hillsdale.

Families from the Pascack Bible Church spent the morning cleaning up and spreading woodchips throughout the paths and trails at Beechwood park as well as the playground area. It looks amazing and tremendous effort by them. Please take some time to visit our trails right here in Hillsdale and see the great job that was done today by this group

We also want to thank the Hillsdale United Methodist Church Youth group for their efforts in cleaning up and taking on an ongoing project at the Hillsdale cemetery. The cemetery has seen many years of neglect and the group has plans to bring beauty back into the property with new gardens and features.

Thank you to both organizations and we look forward to your continued support and efforts in making Hillsdale a beautiful community.




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Green Team Garden

March 7, 2016

It may seem early, but students at the Ann Blanche Smith School in Hillsdale have already been hard at work on their 2016 garden. This week the Smith School Green Team was busy preparing seed trays and putting down their first seeds for their spring vegetable garden. The 4th grade Green Team was assisted by Rutgers trained Bergen County Master Gardeners who gave out pointers on starting and caring for the seeds.

Mrs. Angela Iskenderian, Principal of the school, is ecstatic over the work being done. “The 4th grade Green Team members at Ann Blanche Smith Elementary School are committed to building a sustainable school by exploring how their actions impact the environment.” She went on to say, “ They are doing this through a gardening program that has become a community project with the help of parents, school and community.” Continue reading

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Trust Fund for Beechwood Trails Established


The Environmental Commission would like to thank our lead partners MEVO, Gary Kuhl, John Stepe, Ed Sneickus, United Methodist Church and the Hillsdale residents who came out on our June workdays to help rebuild the Beechwood Trails. Thank you as well to the Mayor and Council for their support, as well as to our DPW supervisor. The supplies for the project were funded by a generous grant from ANJEC (Association of NJ Environmental Commissions).

The borough has established a trust fund for donations to fund future repair work. To donate please drop off or mail checks made out to the Borough of Hillsdale – Beechwood Trails.

To stay informed of future repair efforts, or other Environmental Commission initiatives, please join our email list at http://www.hillsdaleec.org. We meet at Borough Hall on the 2nd Thursday of the month, and welcome resident collaboration and partnership with local organizations.

Beechwood Trail Guide.pdf