Partners for Plants is a joint program of The Garden Club of America's Conservation and Horticulture Committees to monitor and conserve rare plants, restore native habitats and remove invasive weeds on federal, state and local public lands. Partners for Plants volunteers have partnered with land agencies to conserve a variety of natural open spaces throughout the United States. Since the program's beginning in 1992, there have been over 470 projects nationwide.
Our 2019 Quinnipiac Meadows Preserve Pollinator Garden site is situated on the upland end of a wetland, and plants adjacent to it are salt tolerant species. We have tested the soil to determine the status of the soil will use seeds to determine which species are likely to do well in the site. Our approach is to test different strains of seeds in selected areas of the site, and assess which plants establish vigorously over the summer. We will also plant a few shrubs over the summer. We noted numerous invasive species in addition to those we had previously sited, including Cynanchum louiseae (Black Swallowwort), Hesperis matronalis (Dames Rocket –, wild phlox, has 5 petals), Rubus phoenicolasius (wine berry), Celastrus orbiculatus (oriental Bittersweet), Morus alba (White Mulberry), and Wisteria sinensis (Chinese Wisteria). Our first mission is to mulch large areas of the site with cardboard and wood chips to prevent invasives from taking over.
In 2018 members of The Garden Club of New Haven and the Edgerton Park Conservancy collaborated to replace invasives with pollinators. GCNH members seeded cleared and seeded the area in the fall. Volunteers from Quinnipiac University put down plastic in April for solarizing. GCNH members groomed the and installed plant plugs in mid-May. By June, all was in bloom!