Bird Park Stewardship

Wild Lupine

Mow? No! Meadow? Yes!
Bird Park Goes Even Greener

As an organization, The Trustees is surely “green.” But we’re always looking for ways to go greener, and a new practice of mowing less at Walpole’s Bird Park is helping us do just that. By mowing less at this neighborhood gem – seven acres less, to be exact – we’re reducing greenhouse gases and conserving water.  In place of a manicured lawn (which took lots of time, gasoline, and water to maintain) new meadows are thriving.

Home to gorgeous grasses and wildflowers, the meadows are also a new home for wildlife, including birds and native pollinators like butterflies and bees. (Learn more about native pollinators.) Students from the nearby Bird Middle School are even helping with the effort. They’re growing wildflowers, such as orange milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) and wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), to plant in the meadows to increase habitat diversity and aesthetics. Over time, these areas will support a colorful variety of flowers, from spring through fall.

Could less mowing at Bird Park be a model for the rest of us with backyards that still require a lot of maintenance? Heck, yes! If we all changed how we manage our lawns a little bit, we could significantly reduce air pollution, create habitat for plants and animals, and save a lot of energy and water.

Some ideas we’re using to make Bird Park more sustainable, that you could use at your own home:

  1. Using composted materials instead of chemical fertilizers and virtually eliminating the use of lawn herbicides.
  2. Reducing our reliance on irrigation for lawns.
  3. Using mowers powered by alternative fuels, like propane.
  4. Increasing the height settings on mowers.
  5. Letting clippings decay naturally on our lawns rather than collecting them.

For the record, Kermit was wrong: It IS easy being green. Take a trip to Bird Park to see us being “green” in action!