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Park Commission Press Releases

Fifth Annual Community Garden Conference
MORRISTOWN, NJ – A greater awareness of food security, the food watershed, and simply FOOD is driving the farm to table and ‘locavore’ movement. These interests come together at the Fifth Annual Community Garden Conference, to be held on Saturday, March 7 at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ. This day-long program, which runs from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., begins with keynote speaker, Joseph Simcox. Mr. Simcox is a botanical explorer in the mode of 18th century adventurers. He has travelled the continents searching, not for gold, nor the fountain of youth, but for food. As an ethnobotanist and food security specialist, his work has taken him to the most remote regions, documenting and tasting thousands of little known edibles. “His talk will inspire us to see the food as the connection between cultures and encourage us to continue to seek sustainable agricultural processes,” said Lesley Parness, Superintendent of Horticultural Education.

The program is a collaborative effort of The Morris County Park Commission, The Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Other sessions include, Preserving Your Harvest, Crop Rotation, Asian Vegetables, Garden Coordinator Roundtable Discussion, and Attracting Pollinators.

“The importance of community gardens might seem obvious, but the benefits go way beyond just providing fresh, healthy food. Studies have shown that people’s lives are improved through the cultivation and enjoyment of plants, that gardens foster bonds of friendship and support, and that community gardeners and their children eat healthier diets than non-gardening families,” said Cynthia Triolo, Horticultural Program Specialist. “Community gardens reduce our carbon footprint and create greenspace that filters rainwater and restores oxygen to the atmosphere thereby reducing water and air pollution. Ask any community gardener and they will tell you that growing one’s own food is a tremendous source of pride and joy, but that the connection made with other gardeners, and with the earth itself are just as important,” Triolo concluded. For more information, and to register for this program, visit


Morris County Park Commission, is one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey, currently protects and maintains 18,600 acres at 38 distinct sites and a year-round calendar of events and activities.