Under the foot of snow Portland recently got, between Cumberland Avenue and Congress Street, on Franklin Street are tarps. But why?

 

According to the Portland Press Herald, the city Arborist, Jeff Tarling, says it's NOT a slip and slide - it's prep work for wild flowers this spring.

GoogleMaps

The tarps are step one. They were put there in October as a natural way to kill the grass so they didn't have to use pesticides. The next step is to plant wild flowers and natural grasses this spring, including milkweed to attract butterflies.

These urban meadows are very popular in cities. It's a way to bring a little nature back to a city. Crab apple trees that weren't doing well were removed from the area, and Portland has decided to let nature do it's thing.

 

They are doing this for a couple of reasons. To cut down on upkeep to non native plants and to well, let things grow naturally and provide a 'pollinator habitat'.

Annie Wadleigh, who leads the Portland Pollinator Partnership, is pretty happy about the project. They are about 6 years old and try to protect and advocate for areas that have native species and stop the use of synthetic pesticides.

They warn that the 'wild look' might be well, a little messy and not exactly what you expect. But they hope that when you learn the why's behind the project, you will agree...that going native might just be worth it.