LandHealth’s native plant nursery re-builds natural and human habitat in Philadelphia
Part of LandHealth’s mission is to introduce people in our region to the pleasures and benefits of using native plants in landscaping. Our native plant nursery in Parkside, West Philadelphia, specializes in growing plants that occur naturally in our area. We want everyone to know that these locally-adapted plants are attractive and very low maintenance. Native plants have the additional benefit of providing food and cover for other beneficial creatures, including pollinating insects and hummingbirds.
Community groups, institutions, and individual people throughout Philadelphia are increasingly interested in landscaping with natives, especially if they are sourced nearby and grown in the city. That includes Jefferson University’s Landscape Architecture program’s “Park in a Truck” initiative, which enables neighbors to turn under-used property into restful public recreation spaces. This past year LandHealth provided the plants , including trees and perennial flowers, for the first “Park in a Truck” in Mantua, West Philadelphia; we plan to provide for similar parks in the coming year.
The Philadelphia Zoo is working to include more local natives in its plantings. LandHealth has begun to provide locally-grown native plants to the Zoo as well, some of which were added to the Zoo’s installations this spring.
Philadelphia’s Yardens Association’s mission is to “increase access to healthy food, build community around food security and gardening, and rebuild urban soils.” This year, the association is increasing its use of plants that provide habitat and food for wildlife in addition to people. LandHealth is providing grasses and perennial plants for “Yardens” in West Philadelphia.
Neighbors in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia are also converting their front yards to include more natives, as part of a program to provide a corridor of pollinators that will connect green areas throughout the city. LandHealth is providing native plants for that project as well.
LandHealth is also helping individual people who want more native plants in their yards, even very small urban green spaces in the front or back of a rowhouse. This spring we brought native plants to small yards from South Philadelphia to Mt. Airy.
LandHealth’s nursery program is re-purposing under-used or abandoned land to benefit people, and the resulting natural products are helping to give people access to recreation, food, and a healthier environment.