Come to the Free Native Plant Swap and Shop, June 9 – Union County

Union County residents can attend the free “Native Plant Swap and Shop” event on Thursday evening, June 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and swap noxious and invasive plants from their garden for up to three varieties. colorful natives that attract butterflies and other pollinators for free. More native plants will also be available for purchase during the event.

The Native Plant Exchange and Shop is hosted by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. Pre-registration is mandatory online at

“The Swap and Shop is a fun way to start introducing beneficial native plants to your yard and garden. It’s been a big hit with gardeners in our community, and we’re excited to bring it back this year,” said Rebecca L. Williams, President of the Union County Commission.

The redemption and shop will take place at the Scout camping area on the Watchung Preserve, located below the Trailside Nature and Science Center at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. Ample free parking is available on site.

Admission to the event is free. Participants can arrive any time after 5:30 p.m. and stay as long as they wish. Expert naturalists will be on hand to provide advice and information on gardening with native plants.

Entrants can bring any number of invasive plants from their garden to swap up to three native flowering plants, including swamp milkweed, blue wood aster, creeping phlox, narrow-leaved sunflower , the large white beard and the cardinal flower.

Examples of invasive plants to bring along: Japanese barberry, pachysander, butterfly bush, garlic mustard, chinaberry, periwinkle, English ivy, and Chinese silvergrass . Invasive plants should be dug up with roots included and brought to the event in a sealed box or bag.

Residents are also encouraged to attend Swap and Shop to purchase native plants. You don’t have to bring invasive plants from home to make a purchase. Toadshade Wildflower Farm will be on hand with a variety of native plants for sale. It is advisable to pre-order for pickup, online at

For more tips on gardening with native plants, download the free Plant This, Not That guide.

For more information about Union County Parks, go online to, email [email protected], or call 908-527-4900.

Quick links to all of Union County’s environmental programs and activities are available at The Green Connection,

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution, and other emergency services. support, visit General information about COVID-19 is available from the New Jersey Department of Health at

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For all Union County programs and services, visit, call the public information line at 877-424-1234, email [email protected], or use the online contact form .

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