Just got back from Philadelphia, where I worked on installing a new environmental artwork at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. The ecological diversity of the forest there is threatened by invasive species such as Asiatic Bittersweet that suffocate native plants. In addition, new plantings of native plant species are so tasty that they have to be fenced off in order for them to survive being eaten by deer.  I wanted to create a restoration project that would highlight this situation: one in which human care, protection and intervention is necessary for diverse native plants to thrive.

Lots of volunteers and staff helped as we worked to clear a 16′ x 20′ patch of invasive species. We ended up with a huge pile!

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After clearing, we constructed an 8′ deer fence in the form of a “house” for the new native plants we would be putting in.  A front door and welcome mat greet visitors to the house, where they can go inside and relax on stump seats amidst the plantings of Spicebush, Tupelo, Aster, Native Sunflower, and more.

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before and after:

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Finishing touches will go on the project over the next few weeks. More to come.

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