Members of Sourland Conservancy, Mercer County Parks Commission, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, and the D&R Greenway Land Trust planted more than 300 native flowers
shrubs and trees as part of the American Woodcock Habitat Restoration Project at Hopewell
The new plants include woodland sunflower, bergamot, blazing star, Joe-pye, mountain mint, milkweed, rose-mallow, elderberry, grey dogwood, silky dogwood, bayberry, bergamot, arrowwood viburnum, spicebush, pin oak, swamp white oak, and sycamore. These native plantings will provide critical food sources and breeding habitat for the American woodcock and other native and migratory birds, butterflies, mammals, amphibians and insects critical to the health of our local ecosystem.
The plants will be protected by natural barriers and traditional deer fencing. The natural deer barriers utilize an innovative technique of surrounding groups of new plants with rings of dead autumn olive, honeysuckle, Callery pear and Toringo crabapple that had been cut to make room for the new plantings. This spring, the Hopewell Boy Scouts created a new natural ring and augmented last fall’s rings using the Christmas trees discarded by Hopewell Borough residents. The rings provide visual and physical barriers to deter the deer. The natural rings will decompose as the plantings grow stronger and are able to withstand moderate deer damage.
This is the second planting in the park. In November 2016, volunteers planted over 500 native flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees.