Meadow Restoration Project
Boscobel House and Gardens is moving forward with its Master Plan, which reimagines how we steward this extraordinary place, foster meaningful experiences here, and connect to our community. In 2022 we broke ground Phase 1, on a series of well-needed updates to modernize our operations, increase ADA accessibility, and enrich experiences across our iconic site. In 2023 we launched Phase1a, a Meadow Restoration project with Meadow expert Larry Weaner and landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand. The project is converting a large area of non-native grasses and invasives into a Native Meadow, with a plantings plan that prioritizes plants growing in the Hudson Valley when its primary stewards were the Lenape, Wappingers, and Munsee peoples. Once established, the Meadow will diversify Boscobel’s ecosystem, expand our storytelling, and introduce an important—pre-Colonial—facet of Hudson Valley beauty and stewardship.
The Meadow relates to other Master Plan projects and Boscobel’s Community Tree Initiative. It is envisioned to achieve key Strategic and Master Plan goals: a) to maximize the engagement potential of our landscape, b) to honor the Hudson Valley’s “whole history” including pre-Colonial history, c) to model historic and modern environmental stewardship practices, and d) to grow and diversify Boscobel’s audience and community of supporters.
Boscobel is entrusting this project to Meadow expert, Larry Weaner. He and his team set best practice in the long-term stewardship of sensitive ecosystems at complex sites including the Brandywine Conservancy, Longwood Gardens, and Winterthur; and have won every major award for Meadow design, implementation, and management.
Boscobel worked extensively with the Philipstown Conservation Board to ensure that the Meadow reflects stringent environmental standards. We have also consulted other local stakeholders including Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary, Davoren Farm, and Cornell Cooperative Extension Putnam. Site preparation began by installing a filter sock around the pond, and applying aquatic-safe, non-soluble herbicide to targeted areas. Considering all other options (solarization, goats, soil disturbance, etc.), this plan was determined the most effective way to treat non-native grasses and invasives in Boscobel’s unique site conditions. While the lawn turns brown above ground, its roots remain intact to prevent soil erosion.
Planting native seeds and plants begins in early summer 2024. The Meadow will take 2-5 years to become fully established, and will require careful, ongoing management forever.
This project is made possible through community support from members, sponsors, and visitors like you. Please consider supporting Boscobel with a DONATION in support of our mission to engage diverse audiences in the Hudson Valley’s ongoing, dynamic exchange between design, history, and nature.
Questions? Reach out to Martha Pearson, Development Director, at 845-265-3638 ext. 111.