Pelham Healthy Yards Meetup
More than twenty neighbors joined the monthly Pelham Healthy Yards Meetup held at the historic Highbrook Highline on Sunday, April 10. The Highline, a nearly 2-acre linear site on both sides of Highbrook Avenue, is a portion of the right of way of the former New York, Westchester, and Boston Railway.
Since 2010, Friends of Highbrook Highline has worked with the Village of Pelham towards the goal of returning the property from abandoned land to recreational space for residents to enjoy. But it’s not just people who benefit from this healthy transformation. Pollinators do as well.
Pelham landscape ecologist, Pollinator Pathway Coordinator, and Friends of Highbrook Highline member Dominique Biondi led an informative tour highlighting the restoration efforts by the many community youth groups who contributed over the years to manage stormwater, build raised garden beds, and plant hundreds of native seedlings.
Native plants provide food and shelter for wildlife. Their blooms provide nectar for pollinators including hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and moths. Native plant leaves provide space to nurture caterpillars, and their hollow stalks provide spaces for some bees’ larvae and eggs to survive the winter.
Dominique helped participants recognize one major threat to pollinator habitats: invasive species. Invasives not only harm our neighborhood parks by limiting the resources available for native plants to survive but often go undetected in our home landscapes. She identified multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora), mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), lesser celandine (Ficaria verna), garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata), English ivy (Hedera helix) and demonstrated ways to safely and effectively remove them.
As a community, we have an important role to play in caring for land using healthy yard practices that benefit the environment, pollinators, and our well-being. Removing invasive species and planting natives is one powerful action to take to improve the environment on a right-of-way corridor of a former railway and in our own backyards.
The Pelham Healthy Yards campaign was launched in the fall of 2021 by the Village of Pelham Sustainability Advisory Board and Climate Smart Communities Task Force and is supported by the Village of Pelham, Town of Pelham, and the Environmental Coalition of the Pelhams (EcoPel). After hosting virtual meetups in the winter months, Pelham Healthy Yards is again hosting monthly meetups in the community.
Learn more about Healthy Yards at https://www.healthyyards.org/westchester/
Sign up for the Pelham Healthy Yards mailing list and/or take the Pelham Healthy Yards pledge here: https://cutt.ly/takethepelhampledge
Follow @ecopel, @sustainablepelham, and @climatesmartpelham on Facebook and Instagram for more Pelham Healthy Yards news and the date of the next meetup.