Celebrating our “buzz” worthy polli-neighbors!
The bees are buzzing, and so is The Greenway! We cannot think of a better way to welcome spring than with the first season of our new wildflower meadow and the introduction of three beehives to the park. Celebrating 10 years of care and management of The Greenway, the Conservancy is thrilled to expand our sustainable initiatives and organic park care, especially building on our 2016 success in the creation of the Greenway’s Pollinator Ribbon.
The Greenway’s wildflower meadow can be found at the intersection of North Street and Cross Street in Boston’s North End. The native species planted in the 7,200 square foot meadow were specially selected to thrive despite poor soil conditions and the absence of irrigation. The meadow will grow into maturity over the next several years, with major plantings scheduled for 2019. Over this time period, you’ll see unique blooms arranged to form drifts of color, interspersed with a variety of native grasses that add texture and year-round interest. The seeds are sourced mainly from New England, and a majority are locally sourced from Massachusetts.
The Greenway is one of the few public parks in the country that is organically maintained, free from chemical pesticides and herbicides. Sustainable horticulture depends on a partnership with nature. In 2016, the Greenway Conservancy introduced our Pollinator Ribbon, creating new gardens designed to provide ideal habitats and plentiful food sources, attracting and supporting pollinator species. Our wildflower meadow is the newest addition to the Pollinator Ribbon, and we couldn’t be more excited!
We also recently welcomed three beehives, fenced off from the public at the corner of Cross Street and Commercial Street, which are home to colonies of Italian honey bees, Apis mellifera ligustica, known to be especially docile and great honey producers. The bees are active from early spring through late fall, collecting nectar and helping to pollinate flowers and edible plants up to three miles away! Pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, beetles, wasps, bats, and small mammals are vital to the pollination of 75% of crops worldwide. Locally, a robust pollinator population is essential to sustain our urban ecology and organic care. We love our new polli-neighbors!
The successful completion of these projects would not be possible without the support of Bob and Doris Gordon, long-time friends and donors of the Greenway Conservancy. Bob celebrated his 80th birthday with a lead gift for our wildflower meadow. He was on-site to welcome the bees on move-in day, and his family and friends have generously joined him in supporting these projects. Thank you to all who helped make the Greenway “buzz” this year!