If you have hiked or bird watched in the Hopewell Valley area this spring and summer, you may have stumbled on something organic or … was it extra-terrestrial?
It is the “Summer Triangle” project of Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (“FoHVOS”), a Hopewell Valley nonprofit land trust that is dedicated to preserving Hopewell Valley’s character though open space and farmland preservation and natural resource protection.
The “Summer Triangle” installations are marked by triangular fenced areas, featuring unusual organic formations in the middle, inspired by the asterism (pattern of stars) of the same name, and create a beautifully protected habitat for native bees.
“It is ‘ecological art’ — sculptural art that that has a collaboratively educational and scientific value,” explains artist Ruth Jourjine, FoHVOS board member, long-time volunteer, and nature-lover.
Funded by a grant from Washington-Crossing Audubon Society, FoHVOS built the three triangle fenced structures from locally invasive bamboo and phragmites on three different open space properties in the Hopewell Valley area: Pole Farm, Nayfield Preserve, and Kulak Preserve.
With help from Hopewell Valley High School’s environmental science after-school group, the team created ceramic organic shapes that serve as a sculptural element drawing passerbys to take a longer look.
While the ceramic pieces offer no functional use for the bees, the tight bundles of phragmites serve as the nesting site to these “solitary” non-stinging native bees. Jourjine explained that the female bee lays eggs in layers along the interior tube.
FoHVOS also hopes to encourage and aid people to put these in their own yards. Michael Van Clef, Ph.D. the Stewardship Director, along with their knowledgeable stewardship team, can aid in the process. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a map so you can find the triangles:
Be sure to catch Ruth Jourjine on WDVR 89.7 at 5:00 pm today, July 23, as a guest on Carl Molter’s “Into the Garden” program. Also, FoHVOS’s annual fundraiser is coming up on September 21st as “The Place to BEE on the Patio at Strawberry Hill.”