To create a native meadow plot where native pollinators and wildlife can congregate. We will convert the current lawn into a native meadow through environmentally friendly processes, and use the plot to educate students, faculty and members of the community about the importance of native flora, and their coevolution with native pollinators and wildlife.
What steps did your organization take to complete the project?
So far, we have begun the application process for the Green Grants Program, and started learning about native meadow development through working with other pilot plots off campus.
What challenges did you face, and how were they addressed?
Challenges will include the manpower and timing of the completion of this project. The larger the plot, the more people we will need to complete the project in a timely manner. Solarization of the grass will take time and exposure to much sunlight in order to kill the roots of the grass and underlying weed seeds. Timing the solarization so as to minimally disturb the soil microbes while still eliminating the plants will prove challenging as well. The weather must cooperate and provide ample sunlight in order to properly solarize. Current challenges are coordinating with UD staff and grounds as well as the Green Grants Program as to when to apply, and which land can be used.
What impact has the project had on your campus or community?
The impacts will hopefully cause people to realize the importance of native flora on wildlife. The juxtaposition of the current green, which, aside from squirrels and a few birds in the trees, with the native meadow, which will attract many different species of pollinators, and many native bees - which do not live in colonies and instead burrow into the ground near their food sources - will show how much more productive meadow scape is compared to treated grasses which are not native and an ecological wasteland. Taking a leadership stance in the Newark community will hopefully inspire others within the university as well as the Newark community as a whole to begin to convert their lawns into meadows.