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Parks and Rec News

Posted on: March 25, 2021

Test Planting Area on the Western Promenade

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We are excited about an upcoming test planting area along Western Prom near the Carroll Street intersection. New native plantings will be installed by Portland Parks Horticulture team in an effort to help keep alien invasive plants, wild sumac and tall, view-crowding, woody plants from filling in our freshly created viewsheds. Parks Horticulturalists will be focusing on using a plant palette of native low growing shrubs and perennials that help manage competition and provide food resources to pollinators. Plantings will include lowbush blueberry, creeping juniper, hedgehog black chokecherry, soldagio and aster species.

This month’s featured native plant and the benefits it provides:
LOW BUSH BLUEBERRY - Vaccinium angustifolium - Proposed for some of the west facing slopes of the Western Prom. The lowbush blueberry is a terrific Maine native ground cover, and Maine’s state fruit! It grows best in sunny, well drained- acidic soils, and puts out white, bell shaped flowers in May. Fruit comes on in mid to late summer, and the plants get about 2’ wide and anywhere from 6” to 2’ tall. It can form beautiful massings in open barrens on hill tops, and has gorgeous red/bronze fall colors. Lowbush blueberries are a superfood plant species for wildlife and food webs. They help support 9 different specialist bee species and over 288 lepidopteran caterpillar species (really important for pollination and food web integrity) as well as providing food for humans, black bears, foxes, deer, birds, and porcupines! (Tune in next month for a new plant spotlight!)

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