THE SECRET TEA ROOM is on a short summer break and will be returning Wednesday, August 28! New dates will be added to the calendar soon.

Novartis Grant


Reeves-Reed Arboretum
165 Hobart Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901

Summit, NJ Novartis Pharmaceuticals awarded a grant of $9,950 to Reeves-Reed Arboretum in support of their unique and award-winning Hand-to-Nature education program.

Now entering its 23rd year, Hands-to-Nature brings children from area inner city schools to the Arboretum for a hands-on, environmental learning experience including transportation, class activities, healthy snacks and lunch, and classroom materials, at no cost to the participating schools. For many of these children, this is the first time that they have walked in the woods or explored a garden, and more often, these children don't have opportunities to experience nature firsthand. In his book, Last Child In The Woods, author Richard Louv links the lack of nature in children's lives with a rise in obesity, depression, and attention deficit disorders. Exposure to natural areas is essential for healthy child development and Hands-to-Nature aims to give these children an opportunity to connect with the natural world and help them see places like the Arboretum as a resource for lifelong learning. According to RRA Director of Children's Education, Jackie Kondel, "The lessons and goals learned in these programs will instill a love and appreciation for nature that these kids will carry home to their own neighborhoods." RRA provides post-trip lesson packets enabling the teachers to continue these discussions back in the classroom.

With the continued support of Novartis, along with additional funding from local garden clubs (Plainfield, Summit, and Madison) and the Summit Junior Fortnightly Club, the Arboretum is able to fulfill its mission to educate these underserved communities. The extraordinary work of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum education staff has been lauded and emulated for many years. Director of Children's Education, Jackie Kondel, and Environmental Educator, Lisa Martin, continually strive to create exciting, nature-rich programming that is not only innovative, but directly tied to the core curriculum standards set forth each year by the Board of Education. It is no wonder that more than 10,000 children benefited from their efforts and talents in 2015!

For more information about the many programs and events at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, and to sign up for the summer camp programs, please visit

Celebrating over 40 years as an historic public garden, education resource, and non-profit conservancy, Reeves-Reed Arboretum engages, educates and enriches the public through horticulture and environmental education, and the care and utilization of the gardens and estate. Open 7 days a week from dawn till dusk, the Arboretum is listed on both the National and New Jersey State Historic Registers. Funding for RRA has been made possible in part by the NJ Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Dept. of Parks & Community Renewal.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum – a place to grow....for everyone!