Jul 17 2017

The Latest Buzz on the Pollinator Meadow at the Quakertown Preserve


 

In anticipation of our Farmers’ Market’s upcoming Nature Day on Sunday, Aug. 13, we wanted to share with you an update about the pollinator meadow at the Quakertown Preserve. This story is also part of HLT’s 20 Stories for 20 Years, where we share, through words, images and audio, information about HLT and the places we all love in the Hunterdon County area.)

On a summer’s day, the bustle and hum at the Quakertown Preserve pollinator meadow is palpable. Butterflies and moths float among the asters. Industrious bees buzz among the goldenrods and milkweeds. Birds pop out of their houses and dart to the young cherry, maple and oak trees.

The meadow is a symphony of sights and sounds to all who visit. But besides the natural charm, the meadow serves an important environmental benefit: It supports pollinators that are vital to agricultural crops in this region.

We first shared news with you about this meadow two years ago. HLT’s initial plan was to delay mowing the meadow and see what sprouted. While chances are, invasives plants will take over, that doesn’t always happen. It certainly wasn’t the case here.

Native plants took root and thrived in a field where corn or wheat once grew. HLT has closely monitor the property, ensuring a proper balance exists among the native plants. An overarching goal is to retain habitat heterogeneity. The variety of habitats at the meadow ensures that plants and pollinators will thrive.

The 35-acre Quakertown Preserve is located off Croton Road (route 579), just south of the intersection of Route 616/Quakertown Road in Franklin Township. For parking, drive across a small grassy field and park near the kiosk. The preserve encompasses cultivated fields, the Bodine Woods and a significant watershed protection area with springs that form the headwaters of Capoolong Creek. It’s a great place for hiking, birding, horse back riding and picnicking.

In 2011 dozens of volunteers pitched in with HLT staff to complete a major wetlands restoration project that removed a man-made pond and thicket of invasive plants and revegetated the area with native species. Volunteers have worked hard during the past few years to restore the wetlands and planting trees and creating hills and hummocks, which are great habitats for amphibians.

When you visit, make sure to take along your mobile device and share your experiences on the HLT Community Map!

You can learn more, and download a trail guide here.


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