Information for Landscapers Operating in Berkeley Heights


  • No fertilizer application from November 1 through March 1.
  • No fertilizers on impervious surfaces/in drains.
  • No gas-powered equipment before 7 a.m.
  • Must be a certified Fertilizer Applicator (NJProFACT).
  • Berkeley Heights follows the NJ green infrastructure guidelines.

Contact Info

Email the Environmental Commission

Phone: 908-464-2700 ext 2115

Landscapers and tree management services can have a profound effect on a township's ecosystem health. With sustainable landscaping and healthy trees the soil, the plants, animals and even the residents benefit from healthier air and soil.

This page is designed to provide a quick reference to contractors so that they may operate within the law, abide by township ordinances, and provide the best service possible to their customers.

Sustainable lawn care involves more than just ending the use of synthetic pesticides or herbicides. With sustainable landscaping, the soil, plants, and animals actually sustain each other.


'Keep It On Your Property' Philosophy 

The primary approach is to keep everything on the owner's own landscaping; fertilizer, stormwater, grass clippings, leaves, and other reasonable yard waste that contributes to the yard's natural nutrients. Following the “keep it on your lawn” approach drives each property to serve the environment and can do so economically for your customers.

Find Alternatives to Grass 

Consider grassy areas that could converted to any multitude of gardens such as meadow grasses, wildflower gardens, other alternative ground covers or rain gardens to lower the time and cost of mowing. (Rutgers student paper on alternative ground covers)

Keep it Natural

Follow the township fertilizer ordinance, which include blackout dates from November 1st to March 1st and requires certification (ProFACT certification). The Certified Fertilizer Applicator fee is $75 for the first year and a $25 annual fee for the subsequent three years. Encourage your clients to use organic fertilizer, compost, shredded leaves, and grass clippings to provide a lawn’s nutrients. 

Stormwater reduction landscaping

Strengthen the Soil

Testing soil is typically required and reduces costs when it may not be necessary. To build healthy soil, increase its organic matter, restore proper pH, and reduce the application of fungicides and acidic fertilizers.

Go Native

Incorporate a diversity of native plants and eliminate invasive or exotic species. To prevent pest destruction, avoid over-planting a single plant species. Find local native plant sales.

Let it Rain

Berkeley Heights is extremely sensitive to wet seasons. Because of soil composition, rainwater here tends to go directly into storm drains which has a higher potential to pollute waterways. The soil itself and plantings are the best filter for this water. The New Jersey Stormwater Best Practices Manual aims to design natural systems that get stormwater absorbed efficiently by both the land and plantings.

Apply water infrequently and allow the soil to dry in between. Native plants naturally endure droughts. Consider an irrigation audit to ensure best practices are being followed. Automatic irrigation systems are also required to have rain sensors to avoid overwatering.Rain Garden

Shift Away From Gas-Powered Lawn Mowing Equipment

There’s a growing awareness of the health implications and nuisance of leaf blowers and lawnmowers.  The best practice is to shift away from leaf blowers and mowing as much as practicable so that leaves and grass clippings can naturally fertilize yards. Research options for electric equipment, so you can find opportunities to reduce noise but meet your customers’ needs. Berkeley Heights noise ordinance restricts the use of powered lawn equipment prior to 7 a.m. daily but encourages noises to be minimized until after 8 a.m.