With the planting of a new five-acre native wildflower and warm season grass meadow at Hibernia County Park, the Chester County Department of Parks + Preservation is adding to the sustainable ecosystems that already exist at Hibernia as well as Nottingham County Park, Springton Manor Farm Park, and Warwick County Park. Wildflower and warm season grass meadows provide natural beauty, incorporate food and cover for a variety of wildlife species, reduce stormwater runoff, and attract pollinators.
Owen Prusack, Chester County Parks and Trails Manager, said, “Our goals in creating these native wildflower meadows are to add diverse habitat for wildlife value and showcase nature’s beauty, with a primary intention to attract pollinators such as honeybees. Plus, establishing meadows where there previously was grass or hay reduces the County’s carbon footprint, because we only have to mow once a year at most to help re-set and re-seed the meadow for the coming year.”
Hibernia’s new wildflower meadows are at the entrance to the park, off Cedar Knoll Road in Coatesville. The five acres added at Hibernia brings the total warm season grass and wildflower meadow acreage in Chester County parks to 155 acres. The twelve native species of grasses, forbs, and wildflowers planted will bloom throughout the growing season from early April through October.
Partners in Chester County Parks + Preservation’s wildflower meadow projects include the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Friends of Hibernia Park, Friends of Springton Manor Farm and Friends of Warwick County Park, whose fundraising efforts help to purchase much of the wildflower meadow seed. Chester County’s Facilities Department parks maintenance staff assisted this project with the equipment needed to handle the planning of the seed.