Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tour of HS Ecolab Wetland This Saturday

This Saturday, June 19, a highly bikeable tour of "environmentally smart approaches to building, landscaping, gardening, and managing waste" in Princeton. This event, from 11-3, was organized by the Princeton Environmental Commission. Check out the map and descriptions at, and visit the stops in any order you choose.
Two garden installations that I helped start will be on the tour. I will be at the Princeton High School ecolab wetland from 1-3 to offer plant by plant commentary, and will be putting up interpretive signs there and at the Harrison St. raingarden this week in preparation for the tour. A new raingarden I installed this spring is not on the tour, but can be found in front of the Whole Earth Center on Nassau Street. The extraordinary gardens at Riverside Elementary will also be on display, as well as the fine facilities at D&R Greenway for growing native plants.

Here are some photos from the High School wetland:

The magical mystery sump pump that feeds water from the high school basement into the wetland. It comes on every twenty minutes or so, regardless of weather--a humble but highly beneficial version of Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park.

The cool, clear waters of the sump pump feed a pond--one of three in the wetland-- that teems with crayfish,

which grow to considerable size.

Silky dogwood is one of the shrubs, planted on some of the higher ground in the wetland. Other shrubs include: elderberry, indigo bush, swamp rose, buttonbush, winterberry and red chokeberry. Blackhaw Viburnum, a more upland species, also grows here on relatively high ground.

There's lots of blue flag iris planted here to show off this native that is seldom seen growing in the wild. The yellow flag iris, common in Princeton's wetlands, is an introduced species.

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