The Meadow by Gina Frederick

The meadow proposed in ZONE B would fulfill many restoration goals. A meadow will
improve lake water quality by slowing and reducing stormwater runoff and filtering out
many of the pollutants from the parking lot and turf areas. Infiltration from the meadow
should also help improve base flow and aquifer recharge. One very significant function
of   a meadow is its tremendous biodiversity and wildlife value. Meadow grasses and
forbs support a multitude of insects. Many of these insects supply birds with the food
during spring and summer, when most trees and shrubs are not yet fruiting. A meadow
along the marina bank can also serve as a model of low-maintenance, high ecologically
functioning lawn alternative to marina visitors.

Suggested forbs and grasses for the meadow include:

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum)
Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
Purple Top (Tridens flavus)
Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis)
White Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Sideoats Gramma (Bouteloua curtipendula)
Canadian Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)
Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea)

This plant selection is designed to provide a 4’ high meadow which flowers spring
through fall and which provides prolific insect habitat. The graph on page 19 lists some
of the known insect host relationships with these meadow plants. Pictures on page 20
identify some of the forbs and grasses. The section drawing on page 22 illustrates how
the meadow and riparian buffer in ZONES A and B would look.

The outer edges of the meadow, between 2’ and 3’ wide, should be maintained as turf
to fulfill public expectations of tidiness. Installation of blue bird houses throughout the
meadow strips will provide bird nesting sites and indicate that the area is intentionally
maintained for wildlife purposes. These maintenance strategies are important because
they function as visual cues to the visiting public, indicating purposefulness and an
acceptable level of care (Nassauer, 1995).

Due to the fact that the meadow area consists of a steep slope, successful installation
will depend on soil and seed stabilization. If seeded, the slope should be stabilized with
a lightweight erosion control blanket and covered with a layer of salt hay. While use of
plugs is a more expensive method of establishing a meadow, it is also a more immediate
way to establish cover and allows for greater control of plant placement. It is also possible
to combine the use of plugs and seeding to minimize plug costs and maximize aesthetic
control over high priority areas.


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