Village Hill Blooms with Natives

Woodside Landscape Committee 2017 Update

The Woodside Landscape Committee started Woodside’s first Ecological Restoration project in the fall of 2015 – the replanting of local native grasses and wildflowers on Village Hill.

In the old days, our hillsides sported colorful Spring blooms of native wildflowers, not unlike Edgewood Park. In an attempt to recapture some of that natural beauty for Village Hill, Committee members sowed a variety of native wildflowers and grass seeds in October 2015. In the spring of 2016 and 2017 we saw encouraging results. Of the several wildflower varieties sown, Tidy Tips, Lupines, California poppies, and Clarkias bloomed best.

The WLC also invested in repairing the horse trail with lava rock, which improved footing for horses when the trail was rain-soaked. No need to wander left and right from the trail. Now the rare Danthonia grasses and suncups are surviving at the trail’s edges.

Perhaps most significantly, the project demonstrated that with proper weed management, dormant native wildflower and grass seeds still in the soil sprouted because the non-native weeds like wild oats were repeatedly mowed. From 2015 until now, the estimated percentage of natives has increased from 10% to 50% across the test site, and is expected to continue increasing thanks to the weed management protocol. Because of the success of the project, the Town is covering the cost of the periodic mowing for at least one more year.

The plan was developed by Craig Dremann, a local Ecological Restoration expert who specializes in grasslands and wildflower meadows. Landscape Contractor Frank Manocchio and his crew from LandEscapes prepared and maintain the test site.

Major donations sent in memory of beloved Woodside resident Nancy Gonzalez have funded much of WLC’s recent work and will be used to install a bench in the Alexander (Alec) Donald Triangle (ADT) with a plaque honoring the memory of Nancy. Some of her earliest volunteer work towards beautifying the Town focused on the ADT.

Other future projects include plans to replant the large pots in front of Independence Hall and to landscape the grass area in front of Town Hall with attractive drought tolerant plants which would serve as a model to inspire residents.

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