This piece was submitted by Girl Scout and Scarsdale student Annabelle Stanley who is in 8th grade at Scarsdale Middle School. Dusk was drawing close as I turned my bike lights on, clipped my helmet, and headed for the Scarsdale Library Pond. It was the day before I planned to complete the actual planting portion of my Girl Scout Silver Award project and I wanted to have one last look of the area and the conditions. The side of the pond closest to the High School was a muddy, wet swampy area, where even grass was struggling to grow.
My Silver Award project was to plant native, water buffering plants along this side of the library pond. Beverly Isis, from the Native Plant Center at the Westchester Community College, helped me select and source plants that will absorb rain fall, naturally filter storm water, withstand periodic flooding, benefit wildlife and beautify the park. Ms. Isis also drew up a planting plan, which was approved by theScarsdale Board of Trustees at its meeting on April 24. The plants cost over $900. The Friends of the Scarsdale Parks gave me a grant, as did Scarsdale Edgemont Girl Scout Troops 2672 and 2210. I also raised money from a bake sale I held at Sustainable Scarsdale Day on May 5.
On May 12, volunteers and I planted native shrubs, ferns and flowers to create a buffer zone at the edge of the pond. Volunteers included Fox Meadow Principal Duncan Wilson, Lena Crandall from Friends of the Scarsdale Parks, and Beverly Isis, as well as friends and family.
Scarsdale residents with swampy areas in their yards may be interested to know what native plants do well in this kind of area and help water management. Shrubs and bushes include swamp rose, clethra, red twig dogwood, high bush blueberry and itea 'Little Henry'. Good ground cover plants are joe pye weed, swamp milkweed, ostrich fern, blue flag iris, mystflower and great blue lobelia.
Pictured at top: Anabelle Stanley at Library Pond with help from Fox Meadow Principal Duncan Wilson.