Meadow mowing in Hopewell Borough

Photo by Abigail Rayer

Hopewell Borough has announced that the first of two planned mowings of the Hopewell Borough Park meadow took place this week. The meadow is owned by Mercer County and is managed by the County Park Commission.

Mercer County Naturalist Jenn Rogers explained ion the Hopewell Borough Facebook page: “In the initial year of seeding, a few mows during the growing season are required to keep back the agricultural weeds and give sunlight to the little plants we seed there.”

When asked about the practice of mowing meadows, Michael Van Clef, Ph.D, ecologist and Stewardship Director for Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS), said this:

“We use the same approach when we have established meadows. FoHVOS has promoted replacing lawn and grass fields with native wildflower meadows through our community conservation program because it is far better for the earth. The biodiversity associated with native plants provides healthy habitat for birds and pollinators whose populations have been declining. The deep root system associated with native plants and grasses better absorbs water whichreduces stormwater runoff.

While meadows use less energy because you don’t need to mow them as frequently as lawn, we still recommend mowing them a couple times during the growing season when they are first established, and once a year during winter months after that. Both mowing the meadow and overseeding encourage the natives to better compete against unwanted weeds.”

Questions regarding Park Commission properties may be directed to 609-303-0700.

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