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Adopt-A-Spot Garden Flourishes Again


July 13, 2021

Historic Cemetery Now Helps Support Pollinators

Piscataqua Garden Club (PGC) recently kicked off year two of its Adopt-A-Spot garden in Portsmouth, NH, by installing pollinator-friendly plants. Adopt-A-Spot is a city-wide volunteer program designed to create and maintain small gardens in public areas. Last year, in collaboration with the city’s arborists, PGC’s conservation and civic development committees worked together to design and care for a little garden in an overlooked area at the entrance to the historic Old North Cemetery. This year the spot will include food sources for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, becoming part of an official Pollinator Pathway.

The characteristics of PGC’s Adopt-A-Spot would challenge any gardener—there is no water source, eighteen-wheeler trucks have to navigate the narrow driveway immediately adjacent to the garden, and it’s also quite shaded. At the same time, this spot perfectly embodies the need for a pollinator pathway. Originally on a peninsula in a tidal inlet of the Piscataqua River, the historic North Cemetery is now bordered by a railroad yard and a highly trafficked city road. As a pesticide-free corridor of public and private green spaces rich in the nutrition and habitat of native plant species, the pollinator pathway offers an oasis in our urban and suburban environments that can seem like a desert to pollinators. Click here for more information about the Pollinator Pathway movement.
The North Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the final resting place for many early American notables such as NH Governor and US Senator John Langdon, signer of the US Constitution; Prince Whipple, a Portsmouth slave who fought in the Revolutionary War and was freed by William Whipple in 1781; and William Whipple himself, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and brigadier general in the New Hampshire Militia. Also resting there are Edmond Roberts, appointed by President Andrew Jackson as America’s first envoy to the Far East and NH Militia Colonel John Hart, who served in the French and Indian War in 1745 and who owned and sold the land for the Old North Cemetery to the city of Portsmouth in 1753.


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