The stifling July heat wave did not stifle the enthusiasm of campers and counselors from Camp Discovery (Plainfield) on their recent outing at the Trailside Demonstration Gardens cultivated by the Union County Master Gardeners. On July 19, Camp Discovery Director Eric Halpern and his group of 14 campers (ages 6 to 12) and six counselors returned to the Demo Gardens at Watchung Reservation in Mountainside for a morning of education and enrichment. The gardens were flush with beautiful trees, shrubs, perennials, and brimming with a summer’s bounty of herbs, vegetables and berries.
A total of 29 Master Gardener and Master Tree Steward volunteers guided the campers through six activity stations developed by the Master Gardeners and on garden tours. The campers also learned how to transplant begonias grown from seeds, and got to take home their newly potted plants.
The event, directed by Master Gardener Laurie Westra (of Cranford), was hosted by the Children’s Program Committee of the Union County Master Gardener program.
PHOTO CAPTION: Union County Master Gardener Susan Marino-Jennings (of Mountainside) shows campers (l-r) Sophia, Isabella and Rania from Camp Discovery (Plainfield) how to “pot up” some of the pretty begonias that campers were allowed to take home after their day out “going green” with the Master Gardeners on July 19. The MGs hosted 14 Discovery campers, ages 6-12, in their Trailside Demonstration Gardens, plus Camp Director Eric Halpern and six camp counselors. Campers toured the MGs’ bountiful gardens, then rotated among six “green” activity stations developed by the MGs. 29 Master Gardeners and Master Tree Stewards participated. Halpern, who teaches science in Plainfield during the school year, noted that, “children who attend Camp Discovery are from a very urban environment, so this was a unique opportunity to enjoy a more rural setting and witness how herbs, fruits and vegetables are grown.” Photo by Master Gardener Ken Ilgavisis