Thursday, October 21, 2010

Native Bluestem at the Princeton Battlefield

In an expanse of exotic turf grass at the battlefield, a few clumps of native bluestems pop up between mowings to show what used to be there in centuries past. Little bluestem, big bluestem, broomsedge, Indian grass, purple top and switchgrass are all tallgrass prairie species that can be found growing in Princeton in meadows and along right of ways where annual mowing keeps tree species from moving in.

I periodically contact the battlefield caretakers with the idea of restoring the landscape there to a more historically authentic condition. They have it in their longrange plan. The mowed grass is great for flying kites and throwing frisbees, but there's far more mowed expanse than I've ever seen actually being used.
One section--in the distance in the first photo--is mowed annually, allowing the bluestems and other prairie species to grow to maturity.

1 comment:

  1. Less mowing also gives prairie birds a place to feed and nest, plus, it saves money and fuel and noise. Finally, the wildflowers in unmown areas can be very lovely. I long for far less mowing than we currently have, along roadways, trails and in large parks like the Battlefield.