For more information contact:
Schiff Natural Lands Trust
973-229-1837 (Emily’s Cell)
Pingry Seniors Fundraising Efforts to
Benefit Schiff Natural Lands Trust and Local Gardens
Mendham, NJ- Pingry High School seniors will offer native plants for sale on Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd to benefit the Schiff Natural Lands Trust. The sale will take place between the hours of 10am to 2pm each day. The Schiff Nature Center, the location of the sale, is located at 339 Pleasant Valley Road in Mendham, NJ.
This is the second year of the sale, which began in 2010 as an informal way to manage and share the Schiff garden’s overabundance of native plants. This year, Emily Crooker and Diana Dzerovych, two high school seniors from The Pingry School, are organizing the sale for their Independent Senior Project, or “ISP.” Before graduation, Pingry seniors are required to take on a project of their choosing, and after witnessing the support and enthusiasm various members of their families have maintained for Schiff over the years, they decided to become involved with the preserve as well. “My two younger brothers have always been Schiff enthusiasts; our house is filled with tie-dyed t-shirts they’ve made at summer camps. I saw how much they love Schiff, so when it came time for me to choose an ISP, giving back and helping an organization I had seen such a strong appreciation for over the years felt right because I knew that I would love it here too,” Emily Crooker explained. Diana Dzerovych saw the opportunity that an ISP at Schiff offered, saying, “Running the Native Plant Sale has given me the opportunity to practice my leadership and organization skills that I need to succeed in the future. Additionally, I am able to supplement those skills by learning about the environment, which is an important aspect of our world.”
The project has been a true community effort. Scout troops have been invited out to help dig the plants in preparation for the sale, and various volunteers have worked with Schiff to maintain the garden in preparation for the flowering of the plants.
“Emily and Diana are embodying the spirit of Schiff through their project. They’re learning and teaching others about the value of gardening with native plants, engaging local residents in our work and helping to strengthen our ties to the community”, said Executive Director Tanya Sulikowski. The sale is part of a series of annual fundraisers for the Schiff Natural Lands Trust that support Schiff’s mission of preserving and managing land and providing educational programs about the environment.
Native plants are essential to ecological communities. They maintain an important balance by providing food and habitat for native animal species. Since they are already so well adapted to local growing conditions, they are beneficial to the gardener and the environment. They allow gardeners to save money and reduce chemical pesticide use because they have natural defenses against local pests and are able to utilize the normal precipitation, leading to increased water conservation.
The Schiff Natural Lands Trust, Inc. is a member-supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving open space, serving as a model of stewardship and environmental education, and improving the ecological value of natural areas using best management practices. Schiff operates an active nature center that is open to the public, and offers numerous natural history and environmental education programs to the community, as well as passive recreational opportunities consistent with the preservation of the natural areas under its care, including an extensive system of more than 12 miles of multi-use trails. For more information about Schiff, please visit our website at: www.schiffnaturepreserve.org