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Remember: Sunset Observation at Jordan Park

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunset Observation at Jordan Park


I have detailed in a previous post the sorry state the creek at Jordan Park is in. The creek is not the only thing suffering along Sumner Avenue. The fledgling riparian buffer has nearly lost itself to Purple Loosestrife.


I believe this buffer zone has been created by allowing it to just grow without direct maintenance. For as necessary as it is to have these buffers alongside our creeks; it is also as necessary to observe and maintain what grows in them. The riparian buffer south of the Rose Garden in Cedar Beach Parkway was just mowed for that very reason.

All of our parks are human experimentation in controlling nature. As we design these civilized slices of the wild world, we must in turn make certain that what we have used nature to create is what nature herself intended. I am happy that what was done recently to Cedar Beach was done, but there are still invasive species remaining there that must be removed.

Without question, Jordan Park is in a bad way. One hundred years ago a marshland was turned into a giant pond and subsequent WPA projects turned it into a recreational park. Jordan needs help. In the most recent Adventure Allentown publication, Jordan Park is mentioned as having a master plan being developed for it. I look forward to seeing what the master plan entails. I hope it focuses on a revitalized sense of environmental responsibility and care for the natural way that Jordan Park is intended to be. It will not be feasible to return Jordan Park to the marsh that it once was but as I said above, it is our duty as stewards to get it as close as possible. The same goes for all our parks.

If we consider the mowed grass expanses the way our parks should be, we are wrong. Reconstructive work needs to be done and it needs to be done soon. I am excited to see the plan. Even now, there is work being done. Some trees have recently been planted:

See Also:
Jordan Park: Yikes
Invasive Species 2: Purple Loosestrife

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3 Comments:

Blogger LVCI said...

Purple Loosestrife : On the other side of the coin..

The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued insects, including bees and butterflies.A number of insects use Lythrum salicaria as a food resource.

It has been used as an astringent medicinal herb to treat diarrhoea and dysentery; it is considered safe to use for all ages, including babies.

It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens

One Author says: Purple Loosestrife control is therefore not an act of preserving wetlands in the face of an alien invader. It is, rather, an assertion of power by human civilization over nature and, as such, it reinforces the images of perfection that form the collective human construction of a socialized and, sadly, a sanitized natural world.

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise
James Russell Lowell:

A flower is an educated weed
Luther Burbank:

August 18, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Fair enough, but it also prevents native species from growing and in areas where there were no plants previous to buffer development, that is incredibly detrimental. The worry with loosestrife is that and without a native plant population, no seed banks can develop etc..

August 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger LVCI said...

The 'author' posted above is John Sandlos Faculty of Environmental Studies York University.. he also stated in his ENDNOTES:

"3...research found no definitive correlation between the density or percent cover of loosestrife and the floral species richness of the given area."

"Furthermore, the assertion that loosestrife is not utilized by North American fauna also deserves some consideration. Batra (et al. 1986) has recorded the use of purple loosestrife as a source of nectar and pollen by 14 separate species of insects. White-tailed deer (Rawinski 1982 cited in Anderson 1995), muskrat (actually cited in Thompson et al. 1987), rabbits (Anderson 1985) and meadow voles (Kiviat 1989 cited in Anderson 1995) have shown evidence of grazing on the shoots of the plant. Anderson (1995) has observed American coots, pied-billed grebes, black-crowned night-herons, American goldfinches and gray catbirds nesting in stands of loosestrife. Red-winged blackbirds are known to nest preferentially in stands of loosestrife (Keddy 1992)."

What I'm trying to get at here is the fact the world is not black & white. One's 'weed' is another's 'flower'. The current fad is to call this plant an enemy, yet in the scheme of things it does in fact play a role. It all depends what species you want eliminated and those you want to populate. It's man's current folly to blame the whole mess on some weed and not the very conditions that we have altered.

"..no (animal) species other than the canvasback was identified in the Thompson paper as endangered in any way by Purple Loosestrife... the extraordinary historical loss of wetlands throughout North America must also be attributed to the expanding engine of human enterprise, rather than the introduction of Purple Loosestrife. Yet I have not seen any papers authored by weed scientists that discuss the spread of invasive commercial developments throughout the remaining wetlands of North America."

As in the example I've already cited... city water runoff/human tampering/development being the far greater determent factor then some weed or buffer zone creation. Our manmade structures far outweigh what we refer to as natural conditions nor should they. Natural conditions would be a swap. I prefer a pretty unobstructed view of the creek.

If, and when we find someway to divert all our runoff in some magic way, perhaps then buffer zones could be discussed. Otherwise to be they simply are a fad for park developers to espouse.

August 19, 2009 at 8:21 AM  

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