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Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Rutgers Environmental Stewards]

Hanson Park Conservancy

Host Agency Info:
Name: Hanson Park Conservancy
Address: 38 Springfield Ave., Cranford, NJ 07016
Phone : (908)419-5800 or (908) 276-8086
Supervisor Name: Betty Ann Kelly, Maintenance Committee Chair/Lynda Feder, HPC President
E-mail of supervisor: bkelly@ucnj.org
Nature of Host Agency (circle): Non-profit

Invasive Plant Managment Plan Development

Project Description: With assistance from Trustees, implement an Invasive Plant Management Plan for Hanson Park, a small municipal park in Cranford. This almost 2-acre park is currently under development, overseen by the Hanson Park Conservancy, a non-profit organization. The Conservancy, in existence for two years, has raised funds and continues to do so, hired a landscape architect who developed a multi-phased plan for the park and assists the Township with maintenance of the park. In addition, HPC offers educational programming to the public, worked with the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension and the Union County Master Gardeners to install a rain garden in the park and formed a partnership with the Garden Club of Cranford to install a butterfly garden. Furthermore, the HPC is a participant in the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Wildlife Program-a program that involved USFWS staff’s assistance in controlling Japanese knotweed along the Rahway River’s banks within the park.

Invasive plants (non-native plants that compete aggressively with native vegetation) have become a major concern in the park, aggressively competing with the newly planted native vegetation. While a simple path, lighting and new trees, shrubs and herbaceous material were all installed as Phase I of the project, additional plantings, and path will be installed when funding becomes available. In the meantime, assistance is needed to control the invasives and to protect HPC’s investment.

The intern would reach out to school, community groups, local businesses and individuals to recruit stewards interested in maintaining different areas of the park on an ongoing or one-time basis. Outreach may include presentations at local group meetings, emailing interested volunteers and Conservancy members, publicizing through local newspapers and/or phone calling. After training, the intern would then meet with groups to establish adopted areas and provide support.