Horticulturist Katie Jacoby and curator Joel Fry will lead you through the North Meadow at Bartram’s Garden to discuss its history and re-creation.
The current plant community in the North Meadow contains a mix of both intentional plantings and spontaneous urban vegetation. Following long restoration from industrial use, completed in 1990, the 17 acres has developed into several environmental zones that provide ecological services to wildlife big and small. Recent test plots of native milkweed species, Asclepias, have been established to study insect interactions.
Historically, under the Bartram family, the triangular meadow was a grazing meadow for cattle, sheep, and horses, and remained a farm meadow into the early 20th century. After 1925 the surface was strip-mined for sand and converted to a concrete mixing plant for the Warner Cement Company, operating until the late 1970s. The derelict industrial site, an alkali wasteland with no apparent plant or animal life, was offered for sale in 1979 and acquired as public land with Federal and City funds. Following a long period of reclamation and re-filling, the 17-acre triangle was re-opened as a wildflower meadow in 1990.
We will tour some of the environmental zones and the milkweed plants which should be in bloom. Be prepared for some steep walking, and summer sun and heat in the open areas of the meadow.
Aerial view 9/23/1927, Van Sciver company strip-mining and screening sand, north meadow.
Aerial view of Bartram’s Garden in winter 1975, with the Warner Company concrete plant still in operation to the north.
Sale advertisement for the Warner tract, June 1979.
[top photo: Milkweed species flowering in the north meadow, Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly milkweed; A. syriaca, common milkweed. Photo by Katie Jacoby.]
All attendees will be expected to sign a COVID waiver. Please wear a face mask.
This is a rain or shine event that will take place entirely outdoors. Please bring rain gear and comfortable walking shoes, as we will be traveling a few hundred yards on foot. ADA Accessible bathrooms will be available onsite. We’re happy to make accommodations for guests with mobility limitations. If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out ahead of the event.