June 16, 2019 | 69° F

Rutgers Gardens bring fall festivities to campus


The Rutgers Garden Festival brought live music, local food vendors and fall themed games to the community. A food discovery table educated children about different types of plants and vegetables.

Rutgers Gardens hosted their annual Fall Festival last Sunday, which brought together a slew of fun fall activities curated for Rutgers students and members of the community.

Rutgers Gardens is a self-sustaining operation and relies on outside support for maintaining the gardens, purchasing equipment and materials, supporting salaries and providing public programs.

Funds are raised through facility rental fees, special events, membership dues and donations from supporters, and Rutgers Gardens is one of the few botanical gardens in the country that does not charge a visitor’s fee and is open 365 days a year.

Bruce Crawford, the director of Rutgers Gardens, said in a message on the website that every gardener knows that gardens are always changing.

“I have found it interesting that Rutgers Gardens, neither by design nor mission, has always been a combination of the two. It has slowly been evolving over the years while providing the visitor that touch of whimsy and an escape from the everyday stresses of life,” he said.

At the festival, guests were able to meet some of the animals at the on-campus farm, play pumpkin games and lawn games with Alpha Zeta fraternity, participate in scavenger hunts and learn more about plants and food at discovery tables.

There was food from the Farm Market vendors like the Cheezen Food Truck, Franks Pickled Pepper, Maple Magic, Neshanic Valley Beekeepers and many others. Oldies 1079 WOLD radio station provided music and broadcasted live at the event.

Katherine Siegel, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, was at the event with Cabaret Theatre. She said that they had Peter Pan-themed activities for children and guests.

“We had a fun obstacle course for the kids where they could run through a 'mermaid lagoon,' 'walk the plank,' throw 'cannonballs' at a ship and 'feed the crocodile,'" she said. 

The table was also giving kids pirate temporary tattoos and had an activity where the kids could decorate their own paper stars that we made into necklaces for them, Siegel said.

Admission was $5, but members and children under the age of 17 were free.

Ed from Neshanic Valley Beekeepers gave an informative speech about why we need bees and how they help gardens. Guests were also invited to see the observation hive to learn how the bees work.

The event turnout was so large that they had to close and then reopen.

“I think the kids enjoyed it," Siegel said. "And I really enjoyed seeing them have fun with the activities that we had worked so hard to put together."

Jill Pastor

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