Community Ties: The Month of May

Raices Cultural Center “grows” its annual fundraiser.

At Raíces Cultural Center’s annual seedling sale fundraiser, local gardeners can find a wide range of common and hard-to-find vegetable, herb, flower and landscape plant varieties.  This year over 70 varieties of organically and locally raised seedlings will be available May 14, 15, 21 and 22 at Ruthie’s Bagels, 70 Raritan Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tomatoes, peppers and other edibles, medicinal and culinary herbs and pollinator attracting flowers will all be available and ready for planting.

Raíces Cultural Center is a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving cultural roots through the arts, history and ecology.  All proceeds from the Raíces annual seedling sale fundraiser benefit the Raíces EcoCulture programs and projects including our Seed Library and gardening education programs, our Apiculture Initiative and our new Common Ground Workshop series.

A detailed list of seedlings available for the 2016 growing season can be found on the organization’s blog at  For more information or questions please email


HP Library displays diorama featured at Philadelphia Flower Show.

On display in the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Avenue, is Mary Forsberg’s diorama that she entered in this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show.  Motivated by this year’s theme, National Parks, she created a diorama to honor her father and mother, Phil and Marion.  It represents Gunnison Beach, located at Sandy Hook National Recreation area. The judges awarded her second prize. In addition to winning a $300 prize, being selected to enter the contest itself was a big honor. There were only six West Coast and six East Coast dioramas. It will be on display at the Highland Park Public Library throughout May.

Attached to the diorama is this explanation, “Phil and Marian had included sunbathing au natural on their bucket list for years. Their 45th wedding anniversary came on a beautiful sunny warm day so they packed their cooler with coffee, donuts, wine, cheese and cake and spent the day absorbing the sun and the spectacular views of The City”.

The diorama features 21 live plants and succulents.  It also accurately depicts the New York skyline as seen from Sandy Hook National Park. A small cat, Rutger, accompanies them. The cat is a tribute to the actual cat who lived in the greenhouses at Rutgers Gardens.

“This was all a tribute to my parents Phil and Marian Forsberg and to Rutger, the 21 year old gray cat who lived at Rutgers Garden and was the unofficial mayor of the garden,” Forsberg said. “My mom died in October last year and Rutger died a week before the flower show.”

For more information about library exhibits call 732-572-2750 or go to the website at


MAY 7th Zumbathon supports Girls on the Run of Central NJ

The Rutgers Office of Summer and Winter Sessions is sponsoring the the inaugural Zumbathon to support Girls on the Run of Central NJ.

Zumba enthusiasts of all levels are invited to join some of the finest Zumba dance instructors in this area on Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. through 12 noon at Rutgers University, Douglass Student Center,100 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ. $20 online registration is available at; $25 at the door; $5 for Students with ID. Children 15< dance FREE. Supervised activity table will be available on site to keep the little ones engaged, while parents Zumba.

Whether you are a beginner, or a serious Zumba dance follower, it will be a great time for all, while supporting scholarships for Girls on the Run of Central NJ(GOTRCNJ)

“It’s our goal to bring this transformational 10-week program to communities whose girls have few options for after school activities”, said Donna York, executive director of GOTRCNJ. “All proceeds from this Zumbathon will help support this goal in the communities we serve.”

For more information on the Zumbathon and Girls on the Run of Central New Jersey contact

Celebrating its 15th year, Girls on the Run of Central NJ is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to inspire girls in grades three through eight to make healthy decisions, become independent thinkers and gain problem solving skills.

Girls meet twice a week in small teams throughout Camden, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties to learn life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. One of their regular sites is the Highland Park High School. At each season’s conclusion, the girls complete a celebratory 5k running event which gives them a sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. For more information go to


Raise a glass and help provide a good meal.

Meals on Wheels in Greater New Brunswick is hosting a Wine Tasting on Thursday, May 19, 2016 as part of its fundraising efforts. The event takes place at the Hyatt Regency at 2 Albany Street, New Brunswick, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It also includes light hors d’oeuvres and a Silent Auction with donations of merchandise and gift certificates from local businesses.   Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at: .

Meals on Wheels in Greater New Brunswick is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation founded in 1973. Its mission is to provide meals to the homebound, frail, and elderly in New Brunswick and Highland Park. Over 80 volunteers, including community organizations and Rutgers University students, deliver two meals a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year.   A registered dietician supervises the preparation of the 31,000 nutritionally balanced meals delivered annually.   Clients are provided with meals regardless of their ability to pay, thereby allowing them to continue living in their own homes.

The Hyatt Regency is donating both the use of their facility as well as the food for the wine tasting.

For further information on tickets, donating or volunteering visit: or call 732-249-3488.

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