• Seed Collecting at Humes Preserve with North Country Garden Club

    by special guest authors Sealy Hopkinson and Melissa Worth, Chairs of the NCGC Horticulture and Conservation Committees Members of the Conservation and Horticulture Committees of the North Country Garden Club met with the Land Alliance’s Jane Jackson and Charlotte Brennan on October 11th to collect seeds. This was part of the ongoing, multi-year project for NCGC’s Partners for Plants (P4P) project funded by The Garden Club of America (GCA). NCGC was awarded this grant in late spring of 2020 to support the revitalization of the Humes meadow in Mill Neck. The Land Alliance, in partnership with the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District and the local community, is in the process of restoring the meadow, (which was at one time farm fields). It is a central piece of the Humes Preserve, a critical part of the Beaver Brook corridor of 150 contiguous acres of protected open space. The particular focus of the P4P project was to remove invasives, closely monitor the effectiveness of the removal and restore native plants throughout the meadow’s four acres. The GCA’s P4P grant funded the hiring of a trained horticulturist, Penn Marchael, of Pennington Grey, who served as project manager of the restoration process. The project is now in its third year. Penn, together with accomplished Land Alliance staff and the help and support of NCGC, has succeeded in controlling invasives and transforming the property into a meadow filled with native grasses and wildflowers. It supports a broad variety of insects, together with migrating and local birds that rely on natives for their survival. As you can see from the photos, the wonderful collaboration between NCGC and the Land Alliance continues. Under Jane and Charlotte’s guidance on this beautiful October afternoon, NCGC members collected seeds from little bluestem, big bluestem, Indian Grass and purpletop grasses, along with several goldenrod species. The seeds will be dried and kept in cold storage by participating NCGC members in preparation for future propagation and reseeding. That will be in the spring of 2023, at the Nassau County Museum of Art William Cullen Bryant Preserve in Roslyn, which is developing its own meadow! It is a wonderful, ongoing project for North Country Garden Club.

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