Conserve Wildlife Blog

Restored Garden is Ready for Wildlife at Watchung Reservation

May 6th, 2022

by Meghan Kolk, Wildlife Biologist

Conserve Wildlife Foundation has successfully completed the restoration of the Certified Wildlife Habitat behind the Trailside Nature and Science Center at Watchung Reservation. The project was initiated last fall with a major clean up of the overgrown and neglected garden. The cleanup included pulling weeds, digging up unwanted and overgrown plants, trimming shrubs and trees, clearing vines from trees, and raking and blowing leaves. As a result, sunlight was let into the garden so that new wildlife-friendly plants could be added. After the cleanup, new native shrubs were planted that attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other birds. A new deer fence was also installed to protect the plantings from deer browse. 

Last month we did another quick cleanup of leaves that accumulated over the winter and pulled more weeds that started to grow in early spring. Then about fifty native wildlife-friendly perennial plants were planted, and the whole area was mulched to inhibit weeds. In addition to the beneficial plantings, the garden has a flowing waterfall into a small pond, many different types of bird feeders including hummingbird feeders, and nesting boxes for different types of birds. The garden is beneficial for birds, bees, and butterflies, as well as the frogs that frequent the pond area.  The garden is also used for educational purposes at the center.  

CWF thanks Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery for making this restoration possible. We are grateful as well to our volunteers and to the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, especially the staff of the Trailside Nature and Science Center, for helping to complete the project.

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