Environmental and Natural Resources

Situation

New Jersey's rural, urban and suburban populations requires accurate and sound management information on issues related to home horticulture (lawn and garden care, pest control, nutrient use, sound cultural methods), and household, structural and human-health pest management (termites, carpenter ants, ticks, bed bugs, mosquitoes, etc.). This audience purchases and utilizes the products of our agricultural sector (nursery, floriculture, etc.) as well as the services provided by lawn care companies, landscapers, pest control operators, etc. In addition to residential clientele, municipalities and other managers of public lands, including schools, parks and recreation areas, require information on maintenance of these purchased commodities and public lands. Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension is the premier educational resource to assist this clientele. Rutgers Cooperative Extension must continue to remain relevant, timely, proactive and forward thinking, and must determine or reconfirm its current strengths, weaknesses and capacity before we can develop effective future efforts that meet the needs of this large segment of our public.

Assumptions

The needs of this large audience will continue to increase over time as NJ reaches complete build-out in the next 25 years. This audience has traditionally been a second tier program by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. They will be recognized as important as the agriculture industry. The numbers of clientele and the value they bring through purchase of products and use of services from the agricultural and horticulture industry should be more appreciated, as should their potential role in advocacy for the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Rutgers Cooperative Extension will meet local needs through County Rutgers Cooperative Extension faculty and staff, while participating in regional and state-wide programs. Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialists and NJAES researchers will provide leadership and support to county faculty and staff in programming. Additional hires must be made to expand the range of expertise that Rutgers Cooperative Extension currently has in several of these areas. Reorganization and prioritization of Rutgers Cooperative Extension programs, personnel and commitment to this area will occur.

Expected Outcomes

Short Term
Individuals will gain awareness, knowledge, skills related to:

  • There will be increased knowledge and improved decision making skills of volunteers (Master Gardeners and Environmental Stewards), professionals working in commercial horticulture professions (management and maintenance), commercial pest control operators, public health officials, municipal and other governmental and non-governmental agencies.
  • There will be an increased number of certified pest control operators and youth and adult clientele utilizing Rutgers Cooperative Extension information and service to improve their own and others knowledge and decision making skills.
  • Increased knowledge of benefits of physical activity
  • Increased knowledge related to food safety practices

Medium Term
Educated youth and adult clientele, both professional and residential, will utilize their newly gained knowledge and skills to implement and make changes such as:

  • Efficient and effective pest control techniques
  • Proper utilization of fertilizers and other soil amendments as needed based on soil testing
  • Proper selection of plant materials to reduce need for chemical inputs
  • Reduction in the damage caused by structural pests
  • Reduction in health related incidents and costs association with human health vectors (ticks, mosquitoes).
  • Protect health and safety of school children.
  • Enhance or maintain environmental quality

Long Term
New Jersey's residents will reside, work and play in a healthy, safe, and sound environment -- in their homes, gardens, schools, parks and workplaces.


  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences