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Nursery Wildlife

Our native plant nursery, PhilaFlora, is a major part of LandHealth’s mission to “put nature back.” Our greenhouses and beds sit on formerly unused land in Parkside, West Philadelphia. For a long part of its history this land was the site of Pennsylvania Railroad yards, with soils made up of rubble and fill. Nature, in the form of plant and animal life, has been slowly coming back on this site for years, and our work to create a native plant nursery has assisted the process. We use a light touch on the land, without pesticides and herbicides, and remove invasive or problematic plants by hand, to prevent them from dominating the site. Native and exotic grasses, as well as flowering plants and trees, provide the broad base for an expanding food web. The grasses support seed-eaters like song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), and bug-eaters like rough-winged swallows(Stelgidopteryx serripennis). The site supports animals a little higher up on the food chain, from worm-eating brown snakes (Storeria) to raptors like red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus).

The nursery helps restore the urban landscape, and in turn the land restores the people who use it. Learn more about how you can help restore the local Philadelphia wildlife by visiting the nursery tab on our website!

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