POTTSTOWN PA – A native wildflower and warm-season grass meadow planted in Warwick County Park at 191 County Park Rd., south of Pottstown and just off Route 23, is a hit with both wildlife and the public, Chester County Parks and Trails Manager Owen Prusack said. In fact, it’s been so successful that it continues to be duplicated elsewhere on county recreational properties.
Other meadows also are already planted at Nottingham County Park in Nottingham, and Springton Manor Farm Park in Glenmoore. The latest meadow planting, the county reported Thursday (May 25, 2023), is now complete at Hibernia County Park in Coatesville.
The meadows are part of the county’s “sustainable ecosystems,” Prusack said, because they “provide natural beauty, incorporate food and cover for a variety of wildlife species, reduce storm water runoff, and attract pollinators.”
The goal, Prusack explained, is to add diverse habitat for wildlife value and also showcase nature’s beauty. A primary benefit, and the county’s intention, is to attract pollinators such as honeybees.
There’s a labor and cost-saving angle, too. Establishing meadows to replace grass or hay reduces the county’s carbon footprint, he suggested, “because we only have to mow once a year, at most, to help re-set and re-seed the meadow for the coming year.”
The five acres just added at Hibernia brings the total meadow coverage in Chester County parks to 155 acres. Their 12 native species of grasses, forbs (non-woody flowering plants), and wildflowers are expected to bloom throughout the current growing season through October, and regenerate next April.
The parks maintenance staff of Chester County’s Facilities Department assisted with the project by supplying equipment to help properly plant the seed. County partners in the wildflower meadow projects include the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Friends of Warwick County Park organization, the Friends of Hibernia Park, and the Friends of Springton Manor Farm. Their efforts helped buy much of the seed.
Photo of meadow planting provided by Chester County