The Natural Environment

Medicinal Plants of the Civil War

September 30, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Learn how plants played a role in the outcome of the Civil War - on the battlefield and the homefront in both the North and the South. Audiences are often surprised to see how many "Civil War" plants they are already growing, and the haunting historic images create a compelling tale of interest to history lovers as well as gardeners.

Notable Trees of Maplewood

June 3, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Our community is known for its vast array of native and introduced trees, but do we fully know and appreciate these natural treasures? Many are now under threat due to destructive storms, disease and the effects of global warming. Rich Wolowicz, an arborist expert in tree maintenance will provide tips on how to protect the health and longevity of trees on our properties. Todd Lamm, retired head of the Department of Parks and Shade Trees will lead walks throughout the park visiting specimens. 2-4 p.m. there will be tree art activities for families led by teaching artist Karen Fuchs and a chance to count the rings of an old-growth tree stump on the grounds and trace its history.

Dragonflies and Damselflies of N.J.

June 4, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Notice how dragonflies often visit water, whether ponds, lakes or rivers, even bird baths in the summer? Ever-fascinating, they are voracious predators as larvae, in freshwater habitats, and as adults, where they consume flies and other insects. Here in NJ we have an abundance of dragonfly and damselfly species, and Dr. Jessica Ware, a professor of evolutionary biology at Rutgers Newark, will lead us on a journey to learn about their amazing life histories and where to find them across the Garden State.


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Meet “Green Witch” Robin Rose Bennett in the Garden

September 18, 2016, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Come learn about the nutritive and medicinal qualities of herbs, weeds and plants first-hand in an experiential plant walk from 2-3:30 p.m. in Grasmere Park and the herb garden. There you'll identify, smell, touch, and taste beneficial plants with Robin Rose Bennett, the spellbinding herbalist and author.

An Afternoon in the Gardens of Grasmere Park

April 12, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Need advice on how to tackle your garden beds, plants or shrubs this spring as they awaken from their long winter dormancy? Join Durand-Hedden for a ‘hands-on’ day in the gardens on the grounds of Grasmere Park. Experienced gardeners Helen Kensinger and Judy Halesky, and arborist Todd Lamm will explain how to plan, maintain and prune your spring garden.

Birds of Prey

Sunday's "Close Encounters with Birds of Prey" at the Jefferson School Auditorium was a wonderful event, presented to a packed house. Thanks to everyone who joined us on an unusually beautiful day. We were pleased that so many made the trip across Ridgewood Road for light refreshments, conversation, a look at the house and the theater exhibit, and for shopping at the Country Store.

Close Encounters with Birds of Prey

February 22, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Would you like to see a real, live golden eagle, a peregrine falcon, a red tail hawk or, perhaps, a saw-whet owl? If so, join Durand-Hedden at Jefferson School auditorium at 1:30 pm as Bill Streeter, director of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center of Milford, PA, presents Close Encounters with Birds of Prey. Virginia Rd. door opens at 1pm.

Maplewoood Green Day

Durand-Hedden will be manning at table at Green Day today. The weather looks beautiful. Please stop by and say hello.

Durand-Hedden Honors Arbor Day 2014

Each April, through the influence of arborist Todd Lamm, Durand-Hedden has celebrated Arbor Day by planting trees in Grasmere Park. Arbor Day was founded 135 years ago in Nebraska by Sterling Morton and is now a major national and international event. In 2013, through the help of the NJ Tree Foundation we placed native White Pine and Red Oak saplings throughout the grounds and are eagerly watching their growth. This spring we planted two pink flowering dogwoods along the drive.

Dining Wild: Foraging Wild Plants

June 15, 2014, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Join Maplewood locavore Dan Lipow for a wild food foray. This walk on the grounds of Grasmere Park surrounding the Durand-Hedden House is a chance to learn how to identify, harvest, and sample the bounty our local ecosystem has to offer. The event will be guided by seasonally available wild foods. After the harvest, return to Dan’s camping kitchen where we’ll learn how to prepare and enjoy our wild-gotten goods.

Landscaping Your Older House

April 13, 2014, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

In this informative talk by landscaper designer Patricia Tratebas, you will get helpful landscaping tips for Maplewood homes built in the early 20th c., plus a peek at the popular garden styles, plants and ornamentation of houses of this time period.

What’s the Buzz?: An Update on the Busy Beehives at Durand-Hedden

September 29, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Join Durand-Hedden’s beekeepers in Grasmere Park Sunday, September 29 as they report on theprogress of their two thriving honeybee hives. Bees are vitally important to our world, but many are disappearing due to the mysterious malady of colony-collapse disorder.

Arbor Day Tree Planting Volunteers Needed

To celebrate Arbor Day 2013 on April 26, the Durand-Hedden House, Maplewood’s Historic House Museum, is looking for volunteers to help with planting dozens of young trees throughout historic Grasmere Park. J. Todd Lamm, the New Jersey Certified Tree Expert who cares for the trees and shrubs on the grounds, said that the saplings, red oaks and white pines, will be donated by the New Jersey Tree Foundation, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to developing community forestry activities and providing trees to public lands in New Jersey.

A Budding Naturalist

The extended Roosevelt family were great believers in the benefits of summer vacations in the country and outdoor pursuits. Teddy, as a frail boy who suffered from severe asthma, was urged by his father to do all he could to strengthen his body. He embarked on a program of vigorous exercise, which he continued throughout his life.

Grants For the Gardens

The New Jersey Committee of the Garden Club of America made a $5,000 donation to the Durand-Hedden House in 2008, enabling us to make a number of changes on the grounds seen and unseen.

Notable Trees of Maplewood

An Arborist with the Maplewood Department of Public Works, Todd Lamm has lived in Maplewood for 30 years. His tour list describes his personal favorites of this community’s vast array of native and introduced trees that he feels are notable for their age, size or species.

Natural Treasures all around us: Maplewood’s Magnificent Trees

October 21, 2012, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Look up. Our community is known for its vast array of native and introduced trees, but do we fully know and appreciate these natural treasures all around us? Local artist/educator Karen Fuchs will discuss tree growth and its patterns from spreading branches to earthbound root systems and how and why artists and botanists share a love of these majestic living forms. Visitors can also count the rings of an old-growth tree stump on the grounds, trace its history and do a printing project of tree cross-sections.

How South Mountain Reservation Began and Grew

April 10, 2011, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The familiar park with the awesome views to the east on the mountain above Maplewood and nearby towns has far more interesting origins than most hikers and dog-walkers realize.

Landscaping Your Home to Suite its Style

April 11, 2010, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The Hidden History of the Watchung Mountains

November 18, 2007, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The Watchung Mountains, a part of which loom above Maplewood and South Orange as South Mountain Reservation, have played an important part in both political and art history over the past three centuries.

Support Us

Membership in the Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association is open to all. Please consider your membership an invitation to join us as a volunteer or docent educator.