Letters: Rain Garden Bulldozed on Harrison, Wage Theft Ordinance a Plus for Princeton

Bulldozing of Rain Garden on Harrison Street a Shame

For many years I walked and drove by the rain garden in front of the Senior Center at Spruce Circle on Harrison Street, taking great pleasure in its beauty and the knowledge that it was helping bees and butterflies. It was really lovely: I can recall seeing Joe-Pye weed, cardinal flower, milkweed, and various grasses swaying gently, softening the otherwise undistinguished line of lawns, buildings, and same as always plantings.

The garden used water running off nearby roofs to sustain plantings that in turn sustained pollinators like hummingbirds, bees, and Monarch butterflies.

The garden made me proud to live in a town that would devote a piece, even such a small piece, of private property for the benefit of the general public: to help people passing learn about what native plants like those in the garden can do for us and the creatures with which we co-exist.

But yesterday, I drove by and was shocked to see a piece of bare ground. What had happened to the beautiful rain garden?

I’ve since learned that it was bulldozed.

What amazes me is that we’re surrounded by news of dropping pollinator populations, threats to bees, and huge declines in Monarch butterfly populations. And just when the very few Monarch butterflies people are seeing have arrived, the rain garden was razed. The milkweed growing in that garden, now destroyed, may already have been the site of eggs laid by the very few Monarchs some have seen in Princeton.

How sad. And what a pointless loss to the community.

Hilary Persky


Local Ordinance Protects Undocumented Resident Workers

I write to congratulate Heather Howard, John Heilner, Bob Hough, Elisa Neira, Maria Juega, Mayor Liz Lempert, the Princeton Council and the many others who have worked so effectively to give voice and legal support to those landscape workers whose wages are being stolen in our town.

It was uplifting to listen to undocumented residents of our town who now trust our government and our police enough to come forward in support of the wage-theft ordinance. As Councilwoman Howard stated “It will make Princeton a more humane community”.

Plain-dealing and fairness have long been hallmarks of the United States of America. To agree with another to hire him or her at a mutually agreed-upon price for an agreed-upon amount of hours of work and, then, after the work is done, to not pay what is owing is not just a shocking, but morally bankrupt practice. I am proud of our government for being the second town in New Jersey to adopt this ordinance. Well done.

Sheldon Sturges


  1. In fact there WERE monarch eggs on the milkweed of that rain garden. Steve Hiltner’s blog documented the presence of monarchs there just a couple of weeks ago. Idiot town mower guys.

  2. The monarch conservation organizations are to blame – all they care about is making money via selling milkweed and milkweed related products. They make money by urging the public to plant-plant-plant which creates a market for the products they sell. They have little interest in saving existing milkweed so they don’t spend much time contacting government agencies to try and pursuade them to modify their mowing and spraying practices.

Comments are closed.