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Wildflower Meadow Project Transforms a Former Industrial Park


August 24, 2022

Garden Club of Madison

Over the last three years, the Garden Club of Madison (GCM), New Jersey, has received a total of $5,225 from The Garden Club of America’s Partners for Plants (P4P) program to remove invasive species from a former industrial site and help plant a sixteen-acre wildflower meadow. To convert this site, GCM worked in partnership with the Borough’s Community Garden Advisory Committee, the Environmental Commission, and Friends of Madison Shade Trees.

In 2019, the first P4P grant of $1,725 funded botanical expert Jared Rosenbaum, who provided assistance in establishing the meadow. This included site preparation recommendations, native species seed mix design, and best seeding and maintenance practices. That year, GCM members collected seed from both the meadow and their own gardens. Following a seed workshop, club members planted fifteen native perennial species in raised beds at the Community Garden.

In 2020, GCM received $500 from P4P and donated an additional $750 to purchase thirty native shrubs (winterberry, ninebark, and elderberry) and eleven pounds of Pinelands Nursery Beekeeper’s mix. The seed mix, a combination of native perennial pollinator plant seeds, helps support bees in the nearby Community Garden apiary. 

A 2022 P4P grant of $3,000 will be used this fall to purchase large native shrubs such as viburnum, American holly, highbush blueberry, spicebush, and sweet pepperbush. The New Jersey Tree Foundation donated an additional $8,000 towards the purchase of twenty nine large evergreen trees to plant as a buffer from the noise and pollution of an adjacent highway.

What was once an industrial park is now a thriving meadow - both bee and pollinator approved. Along the way, the project has overcome major challenges from hungry deer and recurring invasive species. Simple fences help protect the plants from deer, and larger shrubs crowd out recurring invasive species. The Borough of Madison's Community Garden Advisory Committee Chair, Steve McAuliffe, oversees land management, including seed planting and maintenance of the entire meadow.


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