Ross Lake Park Garden Journal

Please join us as we keep you up to date on what’s growing in our native shrub and pollinator garden. It’s a great place in Long Branch for finding solitude as you gaze over the lake to the Ross Island Stone Hut.



              The Effects of Stormwater on Ross Island

The intense rain storms of the past few years have begun to damage our lovely Ross Island.  As you can see from the pictures above,  there is a new island of leaf litter and silt being formed on the west side of the original island.  This causes the fast moving waters to rush around the new island and undercut the old island.  In the next picture, you can see a thin line of the ground and then the tree roots exposed underneath.  

Also, a large limb from a tree that we didn’t know was in bad shape fell off and is laying in the lake.

We want to save this treasure.  We must  work together with the rest of the towns on the watershed to try and slow down the water flow and siltation.  If all the neighbors on the Whale Pond Brook would work together we could make a difference.

Any volunteers to help stop flooding would be appreciated. We’re working with Rutgers Water Resources Green Infrastructure Champions across New Jersey. 


Introduction to Green Infrastructure Champions

Green Infrastructure Champions are key players in implementing green infrastructure as an approach to stormwater management in their own municipality. Green Infrastructure Champions will be able to:

Enhance their knowledge through green infrastructure workshops, seminars, and personal research
Engage community leaders to adopt green infrastructure as a stormwater management solution by updating ordinances and municipal master plans
Encourage local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and schools to incorporate green infrastructure in their existing landscaping
Secure funding for green infrastructure
Publicize implementation of green infrastructure through social media channels
Here is what we can offer:

Training on green infrastructure planning and implementation
Technical support to develop a design for a green infrastructure demonstration project
Networking opportunities with other Green Infrastructure Champions for mutual support
Assistance with grant writing
**A minimum of five (5) classes is required for certification.**

2022 Training Program

This program is partially funded by the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and is a collaboration of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program and the Green Infrastructure Subcommittee of Jersey Water Works.
1. “How to identify green infrastructure projects in your town”

Friday, January 14 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

This class will provide an overview of green infrastructure practices and how to identify sites that can be retrofitted with green infrastructure. The variables that should be considered in selecting the most appropriate green infrastructure practice will be discussed. A green infrastructure site assessment checklist will be provided to all attendees.

2. “Moving from planning to implementation of green infrastructure”

Friday, January 28 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

The various components of green infrastructure planning will be discussed including tools that can be used to help prepare these plans. The implementation of green infrastructure projects that have been identified through the planning process will be the main focus of this workshop. Leveraging existing projects, building partnerships, writing grants and project costs will be discussed. Lessons learned during implementation will also be covered.

3. “Maintaining green infrastructure practices/projects”

Friday, February 11 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

The key to long-term success of green infrastructure is maintenance. This workshop will discuss the maintenance requirements for each green infrastructure practice. Model maintenance agreements will be shared and discussed. Cost of maintenance will be covered in the workshop as well.
4. “Stormwater management regulations, policies, and ordinances”

Friday, February 25 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

Many people look to state and local policies, regulations, and ordinances to actuate a long-term change in how communities address stormwater issues. This workshop will discuss the current regulations and offer examples of policies and ordinances that can help communities reduce flooding and improve the health of their waterbodies.

5. “Green infrastructure planning and implementation for Sustainable Jersey points”

Friday, March 11 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

Green infrastructure planning and implementation activities can be used to earn points through the Sustainable Jersey Program. This class discusses planning as well as implementation activities that can be completed to obtain Sustainable Jersey points.

6. “Green infrastructure projects for schools”

Friday, March 25 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

Public, private, and charter schools all tend to provide opportunities for green infrastructure. This class will discuss green infrastructure projects for schools and educational programs that can accompany these projects to engage school children, their parents, and teachers.

7. “How to design and build a rain garden”

Friday, April 8 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

One of the easiest green infrastructure practices to design and build is the rain garden. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to design and build a rain garden. The class will include useful tools for design including the New Jersey Rain Garden Manual and the Rain Garden App. The workshop will not only teach attendees how to properly size a rain garden but also how to select plants.

8. “Retrofitting traditional detention basins with green infrastructure”

Friday, April 22 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

Detention basins have been used throughout New Jersey since the early 1980s. While these basins do reduce stormwater runoff peak flows from developed areas, they do very little to reduce stormwater runoff volumes or pollutant loads. This class will discuss retrofitting detention basins to improve their infiltration capacity and enhance their ability to reduce pollutant loads. The retrofitting of basins will also reduce maintenance, mainly the need to mow.

9. “Developing green infrastructure master plans for an entire site or neighborhood”

Friday, May 6 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

Many communities have installed a green infrastructure demonstration project. This class helps attendees build upon that individual project to create master plans for an entire site, municipal complex, school ground, corporate complex, or a neighborhood. The master plan goes beyond managing stormwater with green infrastructure and incorporates a wide range of amenities.

10. “Using green infrastructure to promote climate resiliency”

Friday, May 20 from 10AM-12NOON; via an online format

Climate changes, including rising sea level, more intense storms, and longer periods of drought between storms, can increase stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure practices can be used to minimize these impacts and promote climate resiliency. This class will discuss opportunities for green infrastructure to mitigate the effects of climate change as well as the design considerations that must be made to combat changing rainfall patterns and sea level rise.

All classes for the 2022 training program will be offered via an online format.
Registration is required.
Register starting December 1:
The fee will be $10/class.
Attendance at a minimum of five (5) classes is needed for certification.


Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences
Extension Specialist in Water Resources
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 848-932-5711/Fax:732-932-8644

Hollie DiMuro
Project Coordinator
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 848-932-6728/Fax: 732-932-8644

Andrew Tabas
Policy and Program Coordinator
NJ Future
16 West Lafayette Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone: 609-393-0008 ext. 109





March 26, 2020

The garden in late March shows the stems and seed pods of last summer’s perennials. Dried leaves helped to protect plant roots during winter, returned nutrients to the soil and provided a home for moths and insects.

Last summer, we planted grasses on the opposite bank of the lake, seen in the distance.  These prevent erosion and are the are the beginnings of another garden requested by the neighbors.

After surveying the garden,  we decided it was time to prune summersweet clethra now, before new growth appears. These plants bloom only on new shoots. Pruning stimulates new growth.

Spent hydrangea blooms need to be removed. Cut back to the first new bud on the stem.

March is the time to prune shrubby dogwoods such as blood twig and red-osier. Remove some or all of the brown stems.  Young stems are bright red.

As we leave, we need to think about saving the brush removed from the butterfly garden, since  butterflies lay their eggs on and inside the hollow stems. Caterpillars will emerge if we pile the brush together in a separate part of the garden.


Neighbors working together to restore our watershed.