As you travel west on the Minuteman Bike Path, your first glimpse of the Arlington’s Great Meadows is a breathtaking, expansive vista of the great wetland.
That corner, which runs from the end of Brandon Rd in Lexington and along the bike path, has been seeing some active invasive plant management for the last few years. That work significantly stepped-up this past Veteran’s Day weekend.
Along the Bike Path you will see that the Japanese Knotweed is standing a lot lower, allowing the expansive view to the Meadow. It has been consistently cut back for the last 5 years by one volunteer. Last month, a relatively clean strip in that area was planted with about 400 seedlings of native flowering plants attractive to a wide variety of pollinators. If you go by that area, you can see blue flags demarcating the planting area and the white tags marking the plants.
The plants, which will stay under 4’ tall to preserve the vista, were grown from seed at the new Lexington Native Plant Nursery, an initiative of Lexington Conservation aimed at growing native plants from seed for restoration projects.
This past weekend, clearing of the heavily overgrown corner of the AGM was started with the help of Lexington Boy Scout Troop 160 and a dumpster dropped by the Lexington DPW.
You will see lots of brush laying on cardboard which will eventually be loaded into the next dumpster.
Work on the Lexington side of the path at the end of Brandon has been going on for a couple of years. The procedure is to clear the invasive plant material and then lay a thick layer of cardboard and cover it with wood chips, also provided by the Lex DPW.
Some new planting has also been done in that area this fall and seems to be surviving and will hopefully spread next year. These areas are seriously degraded, and bringing them back to an ecologically healthy system, as well as helping them to become beautiful for us to enjoy, is a wonderful challenge.
If anyone is interested in participating in this volunteer project, you can email Holly at ELHEPinfo@gmail.com ELHEP stands for East Lexington Habitat Enrichment Project and is carried out under the guidance of both Lexington and Arlington Conservation Departments. Enjoy the view! –Holly Samuels, Lexington Conservation Steward