Saturday, October 24, 2020

FPNL Zoom Meeting: The American Chestnut

On Thursday, November 5, 2020, at 7:30 pm, Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands will hold its annual meeting and program. Following a brief business meeting, Mike Aucott (Rutgers Ph.D. in environmental science) will give an illustrated presentation on the American chestnut tree that once stood as a symbol of American strength, resilience, and beauty. Learn about the American chestnut's glorious past, its grievous near-annihilation by blight, and the passionate movement to re-establish its place in our forests.

Mike Aucott is a retired research scientist for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection who has been hooked on chestnut trees since the 5th grade. He is currently coordinating the management of 20 orchards, totaling over 5000 second-generation hybrid chestnut trees as part of an American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) breeding program. He is also a member of the Hopewell Environmental Commission and has helped organize plantings of over 250 American chestnuts in Hopewell Township.

The meeting will take place online. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to The meeting link is available on the FPNL website.

Illustration: "Gathering Chestnuts," by J.W. Lauderbach, from The Art Journal of 1878

Sunday, October 11, 2020

KGA Zoom Meeting: Deer-Resistant Native Plants

On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 7:30 pm, Kingston Greenways Association will hold its annual meeting and talk. After a short business meeting, Rachel Mackow of Wild Ridge Plants will present a program on Deer-Resistant Native Plants. Of necessity, this will be a virtual event on Zoom, and it is open to all. The meeting link is on the KGA website, however, if you do plan on attending, please RSVP to

Rachel Mackow is an owner of Wild Ridge Plants, which is dedicated to the restoration of native plant communities that sustain and engage both people and wildlife. She manages the nursery operation on the farm at Wild Ridge and creates stewardship plans based on her knowledge of restoration practices and invasive species management. She enjoys helping people reconnect to plants and self-reliance through teaching foraging skills, herbal practice, and traditional plant uses.

Formed in 1998, Kingston Greenways Association aims to establish a permanent greenbelt around the village of Kingston consisting of natural environments, recreational parkland, agricultural and horticultural land, wetlands, streams and ponds, and sites of historical interest. The Association further aims to preserve and create connections of green among these for walking, jogging, bicycling and horseback riding. It also hopes to promote understanding of our local region through study and education, and to provide oversight and advocacy for open space in the Kingston area.

Photo: Rachel Mackow