Senator Kip Bateman’s (R-16) legislation to establish the “Jersey Native Plants Program,” to promote the sale of native vegetation at local garden centers has unanimously passed the Senate Environment Committee.
Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation to establish the “Jersey Native Plants Program” has passed the Senate Environment Committee. (WikiMedia)
“Shopping local is a great way to support the farms that make New Jersey the Garden State, but we can do much more. We also need to encourage people to plant local,” Senator Bateman said. “Planting ‘Jersey native’ vegetation goes hand-in-hand with our successful ‘Jersey Fresh’ program. This legislation will strengthen local farm families, promote healthy eating, and help the environment.”
Bateman’s bill, S-3000, would create the “Jersey Native Plants Program” in the Department of Agriculture. The program would promote the sale of plants that are native to the Garden State at local garden centers and nurseries.
Similar to the “Jersey Fresh” and “Jersey Grown” initiative, this program would create a labeling system to identify native plants as “Jersey natives.”
The bill also aims to increase consumer awareness and educate residents about the importance, variety, and availability of native plants.
New Jersey has approximately 2,100 native plant species. 19 globally rare plants have their largest or most viable populations in the Garden State. Nine plants can only be found in New Jersey and do not grow anywhere else in the world.
“Locally grown plants are already familiar with the unique climate and landscape of New Jersey,” Bateman added. “Native plants will flourish here and help our state’s natural ecosystem thrive. Let’s ensure New Jersey’s indigenous plants continue to grow strong for generations to come.”
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