Restoring Native Grasses at CEED

May 12, 2020

Brian Smith from LINPI, the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, and Rusty Schmidt, an ecology landscaper, generously joined forces and volunteering to help plant a parcel of native grassland on CEED’s grounds. 

As part of our long-term goals as stewards of the Washington Lodge estate and its surrounding parkland, we want to restore the various habitats with native species. Today, our efforts were focused on the grassland.  While efforts like these might seem daunting, I’ve learned to take it one step at a time, one small plot at a time, and one day at a time. 

CEED volunteer, Richie of Bellport, used his tractor to rototill the patch of grassland in preparation for the re-seeding. Then, according to Rusty,”We laid down the seed a bit heavier than usual to help crowd out the non-natives.” 

The 1-pound native seed mix is a special order tailored for Long Island native grassland, and is a mix of grasses and wildflowers.  The remainder of the tilled beds will be planted with a mix of herbal, medicinal and vegetable crops. 

We already have three families signed up to build four raised garden beds in these areas. Please reach out if your family, Scout troop or organization would like to adopt a raised bed as part of our Spring 2020 Raised Bed Challenge. Arrangements can be made to work on the beds while respecting physical distancing protocols.  If no other groups or  individuals step forward to build the additional 16 available beds then we will need to move forward and seed with more crops, and wait until next winter to put in the rest of the raised beds. 

Many thanks to Brian Smith, LINPI, Rusty Schmidt and Richie for helping make this all happen! You can see that Gangsta dog was happy to help dig in the dirt and roll in the grass too! 

If you would like to get involved with our conservation efforts here at CEED, please contact me.
Eric Powers, eric@ceedli.org

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