A meadow is described as a field habitat, vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants. These ecosystems play a crucial role in the well-being of nature and ourselves. Within the Arboretum we are fortunate to have two Meadow areas, one on each Campus.
Meadows provide habitat for butterflies and other insects, birds, and small mammals and delightful vistas for residents. The open meadow spaces help to clean the air we breathe by removing pollutants. These areas also give us all a chance to be around open natural areas. Some studies suggest that activities that occur in natural settings can help to reduce stress and have positive restoration effects.
Without annual mowing, our meadows, which were farmland for over a century, would give way to pioneer trees — cedar, sweetgum, sassafras, winged sumac — and in time become forested once again. The Arboretum Oversight Committee continues to focus on the maintenance of meadow areas on both campuses.
Lumberton Campus Meadow
The Lumberton Meadow is a retention basin surrounded by the homes on Woodside Drive (see accompanying map from Google Earth; click on the map to see it enlarged). Water moves down the slopes from the homes to a concrete gutter which carries water downhill from the top (T) of the basin through a culvert (C) down to the bottom (B) of the basin. Water then goes through underground culverts to Powell’s Mill Run (PMR), which flows through the Lumberton Campus Nature Preserve to the South Branch of the Rancocas Creek.
In the summer of 2014, a three-year project was begun to renovate the Lumberton Meadow, which had been taken over by mugwort. That summer, the existing vegetation was killed and removed. Then the entire meadow was seeded and live plants/plugs were planted in selected areas. The plan included native grasses and wildflowers to provide a wonderful and diverse landscape for both residents and wildlife. You can download a high resolution version of the plan here (a 2mb pdf).
In September 2014, after the meadow was cleared, and May 2015, as the meadow greened up, resident Terry Foss created these gigapans (huge panoramics with fascinating detail, all captured in the context of single brilliant photos) of the meadow. Clicking on a gigapan will take you to the Gigapan website, where you can zoom in-and-out and pan from side-to-side.
The photos below show the progression through the first three summers:
This gallery shows photos taken by two Lumberton residents, Robert Koch and Miriam Swartz, of some of the plants seen since the meadow was renovated (you can click on an image to enlarge it, then use the arrows at the left and right sides of the image to move to the next one):
Medford Campus Meadow
The Medford Campus Meadow is on both sides of Estaugh Way from the “Silo Entrance” (SE) on Wilkins Station Road to the intersection with Medford Leas Way (MLW). The Google Earth image below shows the North Meadow (NM), South Meadow (SM), and Katzell Grove (K). The banner image at the top of this page is a view of the North Meadow looking toward the Silo Entrance.
In 2012 there was a controlled burn on the North Meadow of the Medford Campus. Click here to view brief videos and a slideshow of the burn.
Based upon the success of the work done to improve the Lumberton Campus Meadow, plans are being made to improve the Medford Campus Meadow. The ultimate goal of the project is to make the area more colorful and sustainable in terms of native plants, grasses and wildflowers. Residents, guests and local wildlife, in particular birds and butterflies, will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this project. The first step, to be carried out in the Fall of 2017, is the control of invasive non-native species.