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Category Archives:

Native Plants

To Best Help Monarchs, Plant Native Milkweeds

scpmonarchFirst the good news: Monarch butterfly populations, which had fallen to alarmingly low levels in 2013, rebounded slightly in 2014. But we need to do a lot more to insure that these amazing little creatures can thrive. They’re very good indicators about the health of the environment in general, and if they fail, it’s likely that we will soon follow.

However human development continues to consume more and more Monarch habitat. So what can we do to turn this situation around?

The answer? Milkweeds.

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Home Depot & BJ’s Wholesale Club Will Limit Bee-Killing Pesticides


After a number of years of studying mysterious bee behavior and colony collapse disorder, this past May Harvard researchers announced a connection between massive bee die-offs and neonicotinoid pesticides. Bees are responsible for pollinating as much as a third of our food supply- without them, foods like strawberries and almonds would disappear completely, along with many other favorite foods. Gardeners and fresh food advocates have been lobbying for something to be done, and now Home Depot and BJ’s Wholesale Club are responding by agreeing to limit or eliminate neonicotinoids from all nursery plants by the end of 2014, or else have suppliers add warning labels like “caution to pollinators”. The hope is that this will add a cost burden to the production of pesticide-laden plants.

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Come Help Put the Park To Bed on Saturday November 8

autumnpark_10302014That’s right- it’s the last Park Volunteer Day of the season, coming up next Saturday November 8 from 9am to 1pm.

Volunteers will be mulching beds, clearing weeds, finishing whatever fall plantings need to be done and generally handling all the tasks necessary so the Park is ready fro winter.

Pizza lunch will be provided by the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association. If you’d like to participate, please RSVP to Daisy[at]solar1[dot]org.

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Solar One Family Day: NYC Wildflower Week Interactive Plant Fair on May 17

NYCWW_2014Families and kids of all ages are invited to Solar One to celebrate NYC Wildflower Week, an extravaganza of native plant events around the city. For our 2014 Interactive Plant Fair, we’ll be potting native wildflower plants for you to take home, making seed bombs, creating flower costumes and masks and coloring wildflower pictures.

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Replanting at Stuyvesant Cove Park

new-plants-2Stuyvesant Cove Park has just completed a massive replanting to replace plants lost due to Hurricane Sandy. Sandy’s storm surge devastated Stuy Cove, by knocking over trees, washing away topsoil and mulch, and soaking the soil with salt water.

As spring came along this year, we waited anxiously to see how our plants would recover.  Though we had some happy surprises, we were sad to see many of our plants return much reduced in quality and quantity, and some fail to return at all. A grant from the City Gardens Club allowed us to replant some of the worst affected areas in the spring, which have grown in nicely and can be seen blooming in the pictures above and below.

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Eupatorium coelestinum, Eragrostis spectabilis, Rudbekia fulgida, and Heliopsis helianthoides

pScove-copyToday the sun washed over Stuy Cove Park, warming the chilled spring air. It wasn’t an unusual day, but it was one of our favorites, as some of our best volunteers from the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association made even more progress in helping us continue to restore the plants and beds of Stuy Cove.

This is the season where weeds start to appear, and in addition to planing new greenery, our volunteers also sought out weeds to remove them from our native-plant beds. Some of the new plants were Eupatorium coelestinum, Eragrostis spectabilis, Rudbekia fulgida, and Heliopsis helianthoides. Recognize any of them?

It’s the Mist Flower, Purple Lovegrass, Black-eye Susan, and the Oxeye Sunflower. Next time you come to Stuy Cove Park, you can find them!

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