A Place for Pollinators at Independence Hall
With help from the National Park Service, staff from John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum and our Student Conservation Association community crews have begun the first phase of a pollinator garden project at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia! This garden will extend the reach of the refuge further into the city, and will provide a chance for people to learn more about the Fish and Wildlife Service, especially those who may not normally not get a chance to visit the refuge. Located behind the Free Quaker Meeting House, visitors to Independence Hall will also be able to enjoy a pollinator friendly garden as well as a shaded place to rest during their tours at the park.
Crews, leaders, and partners worked all morning to extract the previously existing shrubs and debris to prepare the site for planting flowers in April. Throughout the day, crews worked diligently to loosen soil, pull weeds, and trim trees. The biggest challenge of the day was removing a large patch of English Ivy, a stubborn plant capable of resprouting from the tiniest root left behind in the soil.
After working up an appetite, the crews refueled and were quickly back to complete the ivy demolition. Much of the afternoon consisted of mixing the existing soil with fresh mushroom soil for added nutrients. Many hands made for light work, and two truckloads of soil were quickly distributed.
Upon completion, this future garden will be a pollinator pit stop filled with Pennsylvania native wildflowers and shrubs. We will also plant common milkweed and butterfly weed to create habitat for the monarch butterfly. For park visitors, an informative wayside will share the importance of these pollinators for our flowers, home gardens, and agricultural crops. Stayed tuned for news as we make progress on this project, and for more amazing work from our SCA crews, staff, and partners. Take a look below at the before and after photos; we did some great work!