Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Highschool Wetland in Full Flower

It's a good time of year for an evening walk along Walnut Street. The sunsets can put on a show across the sports fields, and the high school ecolab wetland is having one of its finer moments. These elderberry blooms are past, replaced by a good-looking crop of berries, but there's a resplendent wave of wildflower blooms coming on.
This is the view from the sidewalk. Music may be wafting out of the practice room to the right, mixing with the loose banjo string call of the green frogs.
The blue irises made quite a splash a month ago, and the soft rush (left) was looking stately.

But a larger ensemble is just warming up: wild senna, black-eyed susan, hundreds of joe-pye-weed, swamp rose, sunflower, and cut-leaf coneflower. What's particularly auspicious about this wetland's setup is that it is essentially surrounded by an observation walkway, perfect for viewing the wildflowers rising ten feet up from the wetland below.
Walk around the back of the wetland to get a look at the crayfish living in the small pool where the sump pump feeds the wetland with fresh water from the high school basement.


  1. Charlotte Bialek7/03/2012 5:13 PM

    Steve, thanks for showing these! I am delighted to see the wetland, which would otherwise have been a dull wasteland requiring periodic mowing, turned into such a beautiful example of a free living wetland. We had dreamed of this and I am thrilled to see it come to fruition even though I no longer live nearby.

    Charlotte Bialek

  2. Great to hear from you Charlotte. For readers, one of Charlotte's many contributions to Princeton's public schools was the role she played in gaining school support for the transformation of the retention basin from mowed grass to thriving native wetland.